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17 May 2005
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Speech by Svétovar Marovic, President of Serbia and Montenegro

Mister President,
Your Excellencies,
Ladies and gentlemen,

At the very beginning I want to thank our today’s hosts for excellent organization of the third summit of Council of Europe.

Polish leadership and Polish people have proven again that they are extraordinary organizers and kind hosts. On behalf of the delegation of Serbia and Montenegro, thank you.

By choosing to speak about the topic “European unity European values”, I primarily had in mind the need of the region I come from – Western Balkans - to speedily go through changes in order to have the European values become a reality in our countries, thus contributing in the building of the unified Europe.

We are convinced that European unity is based on common values and common heritage, but also on the respect for differences that are invaluable and embody, I would say, the charm of Europe. It is a duty of eight hundred million Europeans to build a stable and prosperous Europe founded on parliamentary democracy, respect for human and minority rights and the right to be different in a word, founded on the rule of law.

Here I want to mention and emphasize the support of Council of Europe to the network of schools for political studies in our region. The future political elite of our countries is being educated in these schools. They the leaders of tomorrow will have a task to continue building our common European future. Their education will enable them to deal with this task.

The building of Europe with no new or changed borders, with no division lines – be it political, cultural or psychological, is the objective unifying all of us here in Warsaw. This objective is Europe, where all the citizens communicate easily, progressive and modern ideas flow freely and where the economy is open for free competition of talents and qualities. In this process Council of Europe played a very important role in the past, and I am convinced that it will continue playing the same role in the future.

That is why, in my opinion, today's summit has a great importance.

Serbia and Montenegro deems its membership in Council of Europe very important. For us, being a member of the Council means more than mere geographical affiliation. It means acceptance of all the values Council of Europe tirelessly supports, as well as their respectful enforcement in everyday life.

As a responsible and trustworthy member of the Council of Europe, Serbia and Montenegro wishes to continue contributing fully to the strengthening of Europe’s democracy and stability.

In our opinion, the best way to do so is to offer a tangible contribution to the region we live in; as you well know, this region is still burdened with numerous problems. We are convinced that they can be solved if we keep to the above mentioned principles that serve as a foundation for 21st century Europe.

The only way to reach a modern democratic society for all peoples of Western Balkans is to accept compromise and mutual understanding while respecting the basic principles of international law.

For Western Balkans, only mutual understanding and dialog open perspectives of tolerant, multiethnic, and modern European society.

Role and importance of Serbia and Montenegro in solving the remaining regional problems – with respect to the European standards is of a great importance not only for the geo strategic and security reasons, but also for the affirmation of European values in the region.

The greatest challenge facing not only Serbia and Montenegro but the region and Europe is the issue of Kosovo and Metohija. The only possible way to solve this problem is to implement European standards while searching for the agreed sustainable solution that would be acceptable for all sides.

Today I want to send a message that on these basis Serbia and Montenegro is prepared to have a dialog with provisional authorities of Kosovo about all issues, including the most complex ones. Only so can we and, I hope, our soon-to-be partners from Kosovo and Metohija prove to Europe and the world that we respect European values and truly opt for unified Europe of 21st century.

Every retreat to the dreams of past centuries is pushing the societies of Western Balkans further away from the ideals and life of this century's Europe. As responsible politicians, we have a duty and a responsibility to today's and future generations not to let this happen.
As I mentioned young generations, I would like to add that the future of Europe belongs to them. I welcome the results of the European Youth Summit held here in Warsaw. On behalf of Serbia and Montenegro, I support all the objectives and expectations of young people in 21st century Europe.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Third summit of Council of Europe needs to help establish the future role and importance of the Council of Europe in the climate of changed European relations - especially after the enlargement of European Union – and offer answers to new challenges by defining a plan of activities.

Serbia and Montenegro attach great importance to this summit; within the limits of our abilities, we are prepared to take part in solving all the problems tackled by Council of Europe. I mentioned the specific European problem – Kosovo and Metohija – as the key problem in the region. I also wish to emphasize that Serbia and Montenegro will offer their full contribution to the fight against terrorism, organized crime, human trafficking, all forms of intolerance and other problems facing a modern world. We are prepared to do so primarily for our own sake, for it is the only way to build a modern European society based on rule of law, where every citizen knows their human and civil rights are well protected, in line with the highest democratic standards.

Serbia and Montenegro is aware of the importance of Council of Europe's cooperation with European Union and Organization for European Security and Cooperation. It is our opinion that the differences in their priorities and membership represent more of an asset, not an obstacle to successful cooperation.

In this context, allow me to express our respect and acceptance of Declaration on cooperation between Council of Europe and Organization for European Security and Cooperation and of guidelines for Memorandum of understanding between Council of Europe and European Union.

Ladies and gentlemen,

All institutions, all relevant political factors and leaders in State Union of Serbia and Montenegro, as well as in Republic of Serbia and Republic of Montenegro, have defined the accelerated process of Euro integrations as their priority in year 2005. This year is considered to be a year of rapid advancement towards European and Euro Atlantic organizations and integrations. There is a full consensus in our country that no problem can jeopardize this strategic goal.

Serbia and Montenegro support Europe without division lines of any kind, Europe as a home to all its citizens and nations unified by common values of great European family. Our joint highest interest was and is a loyalty and respect for modern Europe's values, their nurturing and developing. I will name these values once again: the highest democratic standards, civil society and rule of law. All of us in Europe support these standards; this summit proves it. This is, I am sure, our essential interest and a guarantee for our peaceful and prosperous future.

Thank you.