European Parliament celebrates 50th anniversary

March 13th, 2008 - 11:40 am ICT by admin  

Brussels, March 13 (Xinhua) The European Parliament has celebrated its 50th anniversary in a special sitting in Strasbourg, France. European Parliament President Hans-Gert Pottering, Slovenian Prime Minister Janez Jansa, whose country holds the European Union (EU) presidency, and European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso addressed the house Wednesday.

The speeches were preceded and followed by performances by the European Youth Orchestra. Pottering said the European Parliament has fought to secure more and more rights and has become ever more aware of its responsibility and of what it can do.

“We are the representatives of close to 500 million union citizens. We reflect all political tendencies in the EU, we have become self-assured and a major player in European politics,” he said.

He said the Lisbon Treaty would give more rights to the European Parliament.

Jansa said the existence and the operation of the European Parliament from 1958 is a direct reflection of the progress achieved in the process of integration over the past 50 years.

Barroso said the European Parliament’s power has strengthened the EU as a whole. A strong European Parliament is an indispensable partner for other institutions, and in particular the European Commission, he added.

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