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Jacques Delors and Mikhail Gorbachev

Prince of Asturias Award for International Cooperation 1989

Jacques Delors

Your Royal Highness,
Your Excellencies,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

Mr. Delors is deeply conscious of the honour paid to him by your Foundation through the award of the Prince of Asturias Prize for International Cooperation. This is a cause to which he is strongly committed and to which he attaches the highest importance personally.

First, as President of the Commission of the European Communities, Mr. Delors has devoted his energy in collaboration with the Member States to the constructions of a solid and dynamic European Community in fulfilment of an idea which has found a strong place in the minds and hearts of millions of European fellow citizens in recent years. The European construction has not been easy and has only been made possible by the cooperation of many states and interests.

It is also the case that, contrary to the views of some pessimists, the enlargement of the European Community, most recently through the enlargement of Spain and Portugal, h as markedly increased the dynamism of our Community and enlarged its horizons by the influx of new ideas and historical links. We live in a European Community, which has clearly regained its vigour and increased its internal cohesion both on the economic and social plans.

Secondly, this Community as the major trading power of the world and the inheritor of a remarkable intellectual and cultural diversity has inevitably a large and growing role in the world. Under Mr. Delors' leadership as President of the Commission, we attach a high priority to the development of the links with our partners across the globe, no only because of trade and aid but because of the rich legacy of human values for which we stand.

It is in this spirit, Your Royal Highness, Excellencies, Ladie and Gentlemen that I accept on behalf of Mr. Delors, President of the Commission of the European Communities, this honour which you have bestowed on him.

Mikhail Gorbachev

The speech made by Derguei Romanovski, on behalf of Mijail Gorbachov.

It is a great honour for me to carry out the personal request of the General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and President of the USSR Supreme Soviet, Mijail Gorbachov, to collect the 1989 Award for International Cooperation on his behalf, and to express the heartfelt gratitude of the Soviet leader towards the Prince of Asturias Foundation for bestowing this prestigious award on him.

The decision of the Prince of Asturias Award Jury was greeted with satisfaction in the USSR. It is seen as high-ranking approval of the policy of radical internal and international changes that are being made by the Soviet leadership under Mijail Gorbachov, and also as a testimony of understanding and acceptance of his concept of a new political mentality founded upon the priority of mankind's shared, common values and of a balance of interests. Furthermore, it is profoundly significant that this year's Award is jointly shared by two public figures whose tireless activity heralds the future of Europe.

The task of abolishing the division of our continent and of building what in the Soviet Union we call 'the Shared European Household' can only be achieved by a new type of international cooperation, and by overcoming outdated dogmas and distrust through greater mutual understanding, greater trust and a major reduction in the capacity to wage war. In our view, the East and West are equally responsible for making sure that the unprecedented opportunity that now exists for establishing a Europe that is united from the Atlantic to the Urals does not go unheeded. Our continent is undoubtedly destined to provide the world with a new model for collaboration and international, de-militarised, non-ideological, democratic co-existence. The events of recent years provide a basis for hoping that Europe will prove itself capable of rising to this historic challenge. Each and every European, each country and every European organisation must make their individual contribution to so worthy a task.

Spanish-Soviet relations, based upon longstanding feelings of friendship and the mutual appreciation of our peoples, are a fine example of two states contributing to building up this new European friendship. Mijail Gorbachov has asked me to pass on his firm belief in the ongoing development of fruitful links between the Soviet Union and Spain, his feelings of heartfelt friendliness towards your country, and his wish for peace and prosperity for the Spanish people.

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