Solidarity brought together the people of Europe - former EP head

Speaking at the inauguration of the 12th European Economic Congress, Poettering noted that the establishment of the Solidarity movement brought huge changes, not only to Poland but also to Europe and his own country, Germany. Andrzej Grygiel/PAP

Poland's NSZZ Solidarność (Solidarity) trade union, established 40 years ago, did not only change Poland and the whole of Europe, but also created a base of solidarity between European residents, former EP president Hans-Gert Poettering said on Wednesday.

Speaking at the inauguration of the 12th European Economic Congress in Katowice, southern Poland, Poettering noted that the establishment of the Solidarity (the 1980s anti-communist - PAP) movement brought huge changes, not only to Poland, but also to Europe and his own country, Germany.

In his opinion, EU countries will be able to deal with the crisis when they know their identity. "It is not only an organisation (EU - PAP), it is a community, a community of values. As its basis, and this is precisely solidarity, is the dignity of every human being, freedom, democracy, the rule of law and peace. I hope we will always act in a spirit of solidarity and subsidiarity," he added.