Speeches, etc.

Margaret Thatcher

Foreword to Conservative European Election Manifesto ("Leading Europe into the 1990s")

Document type: Speeches, interviews, etc.
Source: Leading Europe into the 1990s (1989), pp4-5
Editorial comments:
Importance ranking: Minor
Word count: 377
Themes: European elections, European Union (general), Economic, monetary & political union, European Union Single Market, Labour Party & socialism

The European Community stands on the threshold of the most important period in its history. We are in the process of creating a single market for all our citizens. 1992 will be a momentous year for Europe and the world.

Conservatives at Westminster and in Strasbourg have played a key part in laying the foundations for this. We pressed successfully for tighter control of the Community budget. We put our contributions to it on a fairer basis. We began the reform of the Common Agricultural Policy. We urged the scrapping of controls which stood in the way of the single market. We are leading Europe into the 1990s on a Conservative agenda.

Only the Conservatives can be trusted to safeguard the achievements of the last decade and to rise to the challenge of the next. That means keeping Europe committed to the economics of freedom and enterprise. And it means taking a practical, imaginative and constructive approach to new problems, like the threat to Europe's environment and the world's.

We believe in a Europe of independent, sovereign states co-operating freely, in a climate of economic liberty, for our common good. We believe in a Europe committed firmly to the defence of the West. We believe in a Europe whose industries are more competitive, whose economics are more open and prosperous, and whose people have greater choice and more freedom. We believe in a Europe whose nations need not sacrifice their uniqueness, but can build upon it as a source of strength, working together to enhance the quality of life of all their citizens.

Our opponents have a different approach. They would throw away the gains of the 1980s. They look back to the failures of the past and seek to make them a vision for the future. They want more controls not fewer, more bureaucracy not less, and more meddling.

On 15th June we will elect the new Members of the European Parliament. The present Parliament is evenly divided between left and right. With only a wafer-thin majority for Conservatives and those from other countries who share our approach. It is vital that Britain is represented in the European Parliament by a strong Conservative team.

The new Parliament will see the Community through a decisive stage in Europe's affairs. We must elect the right team—the Conservative team—to lead Europe into the 1990s.