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Interview with Adam Daniel Rotfeld, Chairman of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe, Polish Foreign Minister

23 February 2005

Question: What do you hope will be achieved by the Summit in Warsaw?

Adam Daniel Rotfeld: Well, this year 2005 is the year of many anniversaries. The most important anniversary is the liberation of Europe in 1945 and the collapse of the Nazi regime of the Third Reich. As a result Europe was liberated, but on the other hand it was divided in two parts. One part was living in democracy, with the respect of human rights and respect of individual freedoms. The other side, I have in mind obviously Eastern Europe, Eastern and Central Europe, was still within the totalitarian regime, within the influence of the Soviet Union.

Our intention is to demonstrate at this meeting in Warsaw on the one hand the overcoming of the partition of Europe. Europe is united, but united as the country of free democratic states where the rule of law and respect for human rights is a kind of guiding principle for all the countries. And the second element that seems to us very important is the complementarity of European institutions. We do have in Europe a lot of institutions: the Council of Europe, OSCE (Organisation of Security and Co-operation in Europe), NATO, the European Union and many others. Our intention is not to organise Europe within one institution, within one structure, but to find a way that all of them will be more co-operative, interlocking and supporting each other in promoting these principles, namely the state of law, democracy and human rights.

The Summit Meeting in Warsaw should demonstrate that Europe is united as a Europe of democratic, free and sovereign states where the rule of law and democracy are the guiding principles of the European Community.