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Muchas personalidades, de todas las nacionalidades y de todas las confesiones, han sido acogidas en el Consejo de Europa. Estos hombres y estas mujeres que han sido portadores de proyectos políticos, sociales o culturales ilustran la dinámica y los valores que, desde los años 50, dirigen las labores del Consejo de Europa.

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Lech Walesa [1943 - ]

Presidente de la República de Polonia

4 de febrero de 1992

quoteLa democracia no es un fin en sí misma. Es un medio que conduce a una vida mejor, más segura, más próspera…quote

Su discurso: [versión original]

...Poland has always been in Europe. In terms of its culture and civilization. Having accomplished its revolution by peaceful means, she has joined Europe politically as well. Through her own experience, she has attracted the other countries of the central and eastern part of our continent. Putting it in a more graphic way - Czechoslovakia, Hungary, the Soviet Union and other countries have translated the script of the Polish way to freedom. They have turned it to their own use. And now they are carrying it into effects as their strength, possibilities and aspirations allow for it. Freedom and democracy have now become a thing of everyday life in the states of eastern Europe. They are now a standard over there.(...)

I think that western Europe should support the countries of our region, also in its own interest. You have to realize that your opening to eastern Europe will help this continent’s economic potential to grow. Why have I taken this opportunity to speak about it at greater length here, on the forum of the Council of Europe ? It is because I am privileged to be in the heart of democratic Europe, because it is just here that I can hope for an understanding of the obvious truth: it is that without prosperity democracy will have a precarious life. A difficult one, too. Prosperity will strengthen the newly won democracy. Otherwise, the citizens of the Eastern states will start wondering why they have ever fought for it. Democracy is not an aim in itself. It is a means to a better, more secure and more prosperous life…