Europe: the German goal of political union
We want to open up new paths toward the unification of Europe. The European idea has brought reconciliation across national borders, and has laid the cornerstone for a lasting order of peace in Europe. A policy for Europe has been and remains first and foremost a policy for peace in freedom. We must restore our citizens' awareness of that fact through very specific steps: the elimination of border checks, more intensive cultural relations, more youth exchange activities.
Each citizen should sense that the European Community also serves his own personal interests.
Our goal continues to be the political union of Europe:
* We must enhance the European institutions' ability to act.
* The Council of Ministers must once again view itself as an organ of the community and be guided by common European interests. It must take decisions by majority vote in the cases laid down in the treaties.
* The European Parliament must be strengthened as a source of important political impulses. This means above all expanding its competences and making joint efforts toward a European constitution.
* The federal government advocates the accession of Portugal and Spain to the European Community.
* The community must greatly increase its efforts to create new jobs and to reduce regional discrepancies. The common agricultural policy will continue to play an important role in the development of Europe.
The German-Italian initiative for a European Act serves the political development of the community. It is intended to provide a new political perspective on the path toward European union.
Every federal government must take into account the special responsibility deriving from the division of our country and its geographical location on the border toward the east. Pursuing an active policy for peace toward the countries of Central and Eastern Europe continues to be the task of German foreign policy. The interests of the people have priority for us.
On the basis of the valid treaties and the final act of Helsinki, the federal government will continue to work toward genuine detente, dialogue, and cooperation. We want to do everything in our power to make the division of Germany and Europe more bearable for the people affected and to maintain good relations with our neighbors in Central and Eastern Europe.
The federal government will devote particular attention to relations with the Soviet Union and work for their continual development. However, we cannot overlook the severe obstacles and setbacks caused by the Soviet intervention in Afghanistan, the oppressive situation in Poland, and above all by the arms stockpiling of the Soviet Union. We will take advantage of every opportunity to make clear in talks with the Soviet leadership where the responsibility for these problems lies and to urge that positive changes be made.
The federal government is following developments in Poland with sympathy and deep concern. It wants to continue on the path of understanding with the Polish people and within the scope of its ability to give substance to the treaty of Dec. 7, 1970.
I should like to recall the joint resolution adopted by the German Bundestag on Dec. 18, 1981:
We call for the lifting of martial law, the release of all detainees, the continuation of the dialogue with the church, and the lifting of the ban on Solidarity. The dissolution of the independent union Solidarity is not only a breach of promises given by the Polish regime, not only a violation of the final act of Helsinki, but also a cold-blooded coup against the Polish people.
The federal government regards economic relations with the Soviet Union and the other Comecon states as an important part of its overall East-West relations. It expects the Soviet Union, too, to live up to its share of responsibility for those relations.
The final act of Helsinki constitutes a charter for life together among the states of Europe. It is also of great significance for the people. Thus it is in our interest as well.