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WELCOME EUROPE - WELCOME TO VALLETTA (MALTA'S FORFMAL ENTRY TO THE EUROPEAN UNION)

The 30th April 2004 seals over eighty years of Maltese Political History, from the First Constitution of 1921 to the Second World War, and from Independence to European Integration. The political foresight of Twentieth Century politicians and the commitment of the Maltese people developed into a Common Political Heritage. 

The political visions of European leaders such as Schumann, Monnet, De Gasperi, Adenauer and others developed into a unique political model, designed and built on the principles of solidarity, subsidiarity and on the respect of diversity of the human being and his culture.

Just as Valletta, the Citta’ Nuova, was built from the terrible attacks and destruction of the Great Siege, this European political project came straight from the drawing board of Europe, rebuilding political stability from the debris of the Second World War and becoming the major instrument of peace for the people of Europe and the World.

The European model of governance, established and developed in the last fifty years, is the only concrete proof, in political theory, of putting into practice political, social and economic stability and prosperity. This is our European Common Political Heritage, which we are called to share in. The values of this established heritage are cast in the developing First Constitution of the Union and in the Accession Treaty signed in April 2003, bringing into the European family of fifteen member States the Mediterranean islands of Malta and Cyprus and the ex-communist block of Central Europe , growing into a political union of twenty-five member States.

In April 1942 the Grand Harbour , Valletta and the Three Cities mourned hundreds of lives and were a site of destruction as more than 6,000 tonnes of bombs were dropped in this area alone at the orders of Hitler and Mussolini during the Second World War.

On the 30th April 2004 the Grand Harbour will become another stage. Valletta and The Three Cities, will no longer represent the blood shed of wars but will be the central stage celebrating peace, solidarity, human dignity, diversity and the Unification of Europe. It is no coincidence that this is the same place were the Cold War ended.

Malta and Valletta , with our history, identity, diversity and roots are a synthesis of the European Union. The fortifications of Valletta are not a barrier as they were to the enemy when they were designed and built. Today, the Bastions of Valletta are a symbol of what Europe stands for; faith, fortitude, perseverance, liberty, inclusion and solidarity. Europe’s strength lies within its unity; to share with your ally, your former enemy; to work in a country previously refusing your entry; to invest in a country previously depriving you of your savings; to live freely in a country which previously imprisoned you.

It is in this perspective that as Mayor of Valletta, Malta’s Capital and one of the Capitals of the European Union I welcome you all to Valletta on the eve of the historic 1st May 2004: to welcome Europe, and to celebrate the beauty of life, the significance of peace, the consequences of solidarity, the guarantee of freedom and to give gratitude to our forefathers.

As you enter to the City on the eve of Malta’s accession into Europe, as we place ourselves on the waterfront of the Grand Harbour and the edge of the fortifications to experience this historic moment, let us all remember that Valletta, a World Heritage Site, requires prudence, care and full respect. We have to show Europe and all the viewers that Valletta , the smallest Capital City of Europe Union, is a unique City, worthy of its name, its history and its future, and a living symbol of Political and Cultural Heritage in the New Europe which has emerged.

Welcome Europe , and Welcome to Valletta !
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