First of all, I want to congratulate Members of this House and the new President on your election. I offer you my best wishes and hope for good cooperation between our institutions. To some, the Parliament represents genuine European democracy because of its directly elected Members, while to others it is rather the European Council, because of the strong democratic legitimacy of the leaders. In fact, such disputes make little sense, as both institutions are democratic. In the end, we must respect each other and cooperate with each other, because only then can we build trust and change Europe for the better. This is why, before the European Council proposed the new leadership of the Union, I met with your representatives many times. I did it not only out of respect for you, but above all, to make sure that the decisions are truly common. We managed to make these decisions on time, and actually much more quickly than five years ago. I believe they are good choices. For the first time in our history, the European Council proposed two women and two men to lead the key EU institutions. I feel happy and proud that we have achieved perfect gender balance in the top positions. This is a very positive change. Europe is not only talking about women, it is choosing women. I hope that this choice will inspire many girls and women to fight for their beliefs and passions. And I also hope that it will inspire the European Parliament in its decisions.
During the process of nominations I was in close contact with the leadership of the Greens, especially with Ska Keller and Philippe Lamberts. I am fully confident that cooperation with the Greens and their presence in the EU decision-making bodies will benefit not only the governing coalition, but Europe as a whole. Therefore, I will appeal to all my partners to involve the Greens in the nominations, even though there is still no European Council leader from this party. I hope that the newly-nominated Ursula von der Leyen will also listen to my appeal, in fact, I will pass her this message directly later today. As you know, in many countries green symbolises hope and freedom. I have much faith in this symbol.
Speaking about different sensitivities in Europe, I would also like to mention the unity and geographical balance on the continent. As you know, I have personally struggled to maintain European unity in the past years, whether on solidarity with Ukraine, assistance to Greece, the migration crisis or the Brexit talks. Sometimes we were more – and sometimes – less successful, but eventually we always managed to stay together. This is because the leaders truly understand the power of unity. It is clear that only when we are united, can we counterbalance the most powerful global players. At our last summit, we were also able to build consensus. It took us three days, because I wanted to be sure that every Member State, big or small, from every corner of Europe, was on board when it came to the future leadership of the Union. But of course, there is still room for improvement as regards representatives from the East, in the overall architecture of European positions. In particular that some Prime Ministers from the Socialist family were making commitments as regards geographical balances in this House.
The European Council also covered a number of other topics, but since you know our conclusions, I will not take up any more of your time. Thank you and good luck again.