The Danish Prime Minister’s speech at the opening ceremony

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Prime Minister Tusk,
President Buzek,
President Barroso,
President Christofias,
Members of the Commission,
Excellencies,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

On behalf of the Danish Government, I wish to welcome you to Copenhagen. Welcome to the official opening of the Danish Presidency of the Council of the European Union.

Let me start by thanking the Polish Prime Minister – Donald Tusk – for a very efficient and skilful handling of the Presidency during the past six months.

Your leadership, your dedication to Europe and your inclusive way of dealing with each and every Member State have been of great importance during a turbulent time in European politics.

Thank you, not just for a job well done, but for a job very well done under very difficult circumstances.

The Danish Presidency will do all we can to build upon the accomplishments of the Polish Presidency.

Ladies and Gentlemen – Europe is in a crisis.

But we are in it together. And we must act together if we are to overcome the crisis. This is the point of departure for the Danish Presidency.

The year 2011 tested our resolve and placed new demands on all of us. For too many European citizens, 2011 became the year, when they lost their job, had to close their business or saw their monthly pay check reduced.

In 2012, the European citizens expect their political leaders to act and rightly so.

The Danish Presidency will make an all-out effort during the next six months to ensure that the EU continues to produce tangible results.

We aim at stimulating economic growth.
Creating new jobs.
Enhancing budget discipline.
Promoting green policies.
And ensuring the safety of our citizens.

These are the main objectives of the Danish Presidency.

In this endeavour, I look forward to a close co-operation with the European Institutions. Only together we can assure a “Europe at work”. Only together we can create the necessary results.

Ladies and Gentlemen – Denmark takes over the Presidency with a clear sense of the task at hand and with a humble acknowledgement of the responsibility on our shoulders.

We will do our very best, but we will also dare to count on your support.

Unity and cooperation is the identity of modern Europe. The answer to the challenges ahead of is to work harder. To work together. The answer is to put Europe at work.

Thank you.

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