In 2004 Europe will end its division and welcome the member states from the ‘new Europe’ into the European Union, including those states that signed the ‘Letter of Eight’ and the subsequent ‘Letter of Ten’ resolving to stand by the US in the confrontation with Iraq. In so doing, they showed an interest in influencing Europe, not just joining it.Enlargement will be an historical step not only for the new member states, but for Europe in its entirety, since it will force large-scale reforms upon Europe, whether wanted or not – from the architecture of the Union to a lot of other old-fashioned policies of ‘old Europe’, such as the Common Agricultural Policy. All of us know that these reforms are not easy. A lot of upcoming decisions will be unpopular. Much determination and political courage will be needed to press the real changes through. In fact, for the new Europe it was a clear step backwards: in the USSR Moscow used to tell its Soviet satellites what to do.Europe today is based on a unity of diversities, and it will have more of this after enlargement. Europe will have countries with flat-rate personal income-tax, innovative corporate tax systems, and open and very competitive economies. The future member states are not interested in building differences between old and new; they are dreaming of a union. This is a Europe not divided between new member states and old member states, free for competition and not closed behind the wall of custom tariffs, standards and regulation. It is ruled by law and not by governments’ interventions. This is a Europe for all. What matters for us all today is that we must together make our continent whole again – and new. Mart Laar is the former prime minister of Estonia. New Europe is very soon going to have the highest growth rates in the continent. Its readiness to undertake risk and make bold decisions can create positive possibilities for the development of new technologies and higher economical growth. Developments in the Baltic Sea region will soon show that integration of old and new can bring substantive benefits for both sides, and create from such regions real engines of growth and future development. Reintegrating central and eastern Europe into the EU is in some ways a move back to the future. It must return to its roots and proudly proclaim the principles that created the foundation of its relevance. Fifty years of Soviet rule has in some ways preserved in central and eastern Europe those values upon which the European Union was first based. A citizen should not be punished for working and earning more and, instead of making people dependent on governments, it is better to teach them how they can help themselves. Being told to shut up, as Jacques Chirac advised after the special EU summit in Brussels, will not help us move forward. And these changes can easily fail, if Europe does not start to seriously search for its identity in the new situation and in the evolving reality of globalism and international politics.It often seems Europe identifies itself only negatively, by declaring that to be European means not to be American. In this way, new Europe (of the prospective member states) is accused of being too “pro-American”, and of viewing Europe only as a common marketplace. This is not true. Indeed, the people of the new Europe had to use basic European values to fight communism; they kept and cherished them. The peoples of new Europe know the price and importance of freedom, they know the problems of socialism, they value their national heritage and culture, they are for free enterprise and for relying on the invisible hand of a market economy. At the same time, the people in new Europe are beginning to think that some of those values have been partly lost; that some countries are too focused on earthly values and money and that there is a clear need once again to turn to eternal values and principles. A clear and frank examination of Europe and the EU as it is now must suggest to both old and new member states that its economic performance is weak, that it is over-regulated and over-taxed, and that it is lagging behind states in America and Asia in the area of research and development, which means that its future is not clear. In this situation, enlargement is the best thing that could happen.