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June 2003 - Nr. 6


The Editor
Casual Convergance
Elizabeth Kuehn
KW and Beyond
Over The Fence
Triebwerk Theater Performance
50 Years Alpine Club
Dick reports...
Sybille reports
Ham Se det jehört?
Book Review
Was ist Deutschland?
New Bells Consecrated
Deutscher Filmpreis
Rostock Olympics
3rd in Immigration
Good bye, Lenin!
Photographs US
Polish EU Vote

Germany Welcomes Polish Vote in Favor of EU Membership

  TWIG - In a nationwide referendum, the citizens of Poland voted to join the European Union over the weekend (June 8-9), a move greeted by German leaders as an important and welcome step forward. "There has never been any doubt that Poland belongs to Europe," declared Chancellor Gerhard Schröder after the results of the vote were announced. "The decision of our Polish neighbors means that Poland will now also belong to the European Union."

Schröder said he was certain Germany’s excellent relations with Poland would develop a new dynamic and mutual solidarity as they worked together for the future of Europe. Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer also voiced support for Poland’s admission to the EU. "The admission of Poland and other central and east European states to the European Union on May 1, 2004 is a step toward a new epoch of European integration," said Fischer. "Through this, the division of Europe will be overcome in a lasting way." The results of the Polish referendum are a promising sign for the upcoming referenda in the Czech Republic next week and Estonia and Latvia in September, he said.

Brandenburg governor Matthias Platzeck welcomed the vote as a move that could bring new opportunities not only for eastern Europe, but also his state, which shares a long border with Poland. The election results showed stronger than average support for EU membership in Poland’s western cities. The small western town of Goznica registered the most votes in favor, 92%. For the citizens of Szczecin, Koszalin and Swinoujscie, Berlin is a closer capital than Warsaw; these cities voted 86%, 88% and 87%, respectively. The vote for Poland overall was 77.5% in favor of joining the EU.

Germany and Poland have long joined forces on cross-border projects for flood control along the Oder River, international security and the development of infrastructure. Citizens on both sides in the border region tend to see in Poland’s admission to the EU the potential for more cooperation and economic growth close to home.


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