Dear Miss Plasek,
First of all I would like to thank you for the invitation to your simulation game.
As I got the invitation, I immediately agreed to come and changed my schedule to make it possible to be here today.
I think it’s a very good idea to meet with people from other European countries to learn with them, to discuss with them, to make friends with them.
That’s what the European Union stands for.
Therefore I’m glad that I could come to you today and speak to you.
Europe is our future.
Europe is your future.
You can create a common spirit among young people all over Europe.
This is what the European Union is based on.
We all work together to build a unique space of freedom, liberty and prosperity.
And you did your part!
You can make Europe grow.
As member of the European Parliament I do appreciate your efforts.
And as a convinced European I say: Thank you very much.
Your simulation project is a very successful project to show that we can and that we should work together.
To understand each other better.
To communicate better.
To fight against prejudices.
To find common interests.
Your cooperation needed efforts from all sides.
Investment of time.
Investment of money.
Investment of nerves.
I hope you are happy that you took part in this project.
I am happy that here in Bergrheinfeld are teachers that do invest their time for a trans-european cooperation.
And so do the pupils and students.
And I am happy that all of you – from all participating countries – have come to celebrate today your success.
I encourage you to continue your work for the European spirit.
Because it is your Europe.
Because you are Europe!
Now let me tell you some facts from my work as a Member of the European Parliament and how I came to that position.
In sports I learned one lesson for my whole life: You have to stand up and do something if you ever want to reach something.
That is one of the reasons why I joined a political party when I was 18.
I did not want to talk about politics only; I did not want to complain only.
I wanted to do something actively, I wanted to change something.
I had the dream to enter a position where I could really influence politics.
This dream accompanied myself till today and will do so in future.
Nowadays I am a member of the European Parliament and I do influence politics.
I worked hard to come into this position.
My studies of law, my exchange studies in Switzerland and travelling to other European countries helped me to feel, to incorporate the vision of a unified Europe.
So I felt greatly honoured when I was nominated candidate for the European Parliament by my party.
I was elected then on 13th of June 2004 as representative of Lower Franconia.
This is an outstanding prove of confidence by all voters.
And I take this confidence very serious.
When I was nominated I thought about what to do for my constituency.
Today I realise that almost every European project I am working on has consequences for the people in my home region.
I am able to do a lot more for them I ever would have thought of.
Research policy, education programs, Air quality, the Common Market Organisation for wine and other laws have a direct impact on our daily life.
I understand my position as an advocate for Lower Franconia, as a lawyer for my region in Bruxelles and Straßburg.
In the European Parliament I am a member of the EPP-ED Group, the European People´s Party and European Democrats.
Additionally I am member of the German Delegation in the EPP-ED and member of the CSU-Group in the European Parliament.
I am the youngest deputy from Bavaria and I represent my political group in three comitees:
the committee of environment, public health and food safety
the committee of employment and social affairs.
the committee of internal market and consumer protection
For my party – the CSU – I am the spokeswoman for health, environmental and sports politics.
Over the last years I established a wide spread service offer to the people here in Lower Franconia:
regular public office hours for people who want a personal contact to their MEP,
my office in the constituency as contact point for the people,
the working group Europe I founded together with the Bavarian Minister Eberhard Sinner two years ago
my web-site on the internet ? www.anja-weisgerber.com,
the offer to welcome visitor groups in the parliament to let people participate on my daily work.
visits to schools
visits to companies to get to know about their concerns and to inform them about new European regulations
Let me now switch to an actual example I deal with in the European Parliament.
A very important topic is the reform of the Common Market Organisation of wine.
In the moment, the EU produces too much wine.
To abolish the overspill, the European Union spends about 600 Million € a year of the taxpayers money.
This can’t go on any more.
There must be a change.
Therefore, I support the plans of the Commission in general.
But at some points the Commission went over the top.
At these points we –the European Parliament – fight against exaggerated demands of the Commission.
A crucial point for Lower Franconia is the protection of the “Bocksbeutel” – I don’t know if you have already seen this special wine bottle.
At present this bottle is reserved for Franconian wine.
In the European Parliament I fight to maintain the protection and the exclusiveness of that bottle.
One week ago, I gain a first victory.
The Committee for Agriculture in the European Parliament voted in favour of my amendments concerning the Bocksbeutel.
But this means not that the protection is already saved.
The Council has to decide about the Market Organisation for wine.
By this we only sent a strong signal to the Commission and the Council to maintain the protection of the Bocksbeutel.
I’m therefore in close contact to our federal minister Horst Seehofer to assert the protection.
This was a very actual example of my daily work in the European Parliament.
And I hope I could demonstrate the direct influence of our work in Brussels to my constituency and to the people.
Ladies and Gentlemen, I thank you for supporting the European idea by your participation on the simulation game.
You help us to build one Union, one Europe.
Thank you for coming to Lower Franconia.
I hope you enjoyed your stay.
I thank you for your attention.