Opening Remarks at a Plenary Meeting of the Russia-European Union Summit 2003-11-06 00:00:00 Rome Vladimir Putin: Ladies and gentlemen, First of all, I would like to thank our Italian friends for the excellent preparation of this summit, and for the hospitality and friendliness that are traditional of your country. I believe that today’s meeting marks a milestone along the road mapped out in St Petersburg in May. At that time, we took the strategic decision to form four common spaces: economic, internal and external security, as well as science, education and culture. I am convinced that today we can move forward by building up our mutual trust, and that calls for a direct, flexible and effective dialogue at all levels aimed at achieving practical results and breaking the deadlocks that have impeded successful cooperation. In terms of the instruments of our work, we need a clear-cut and simple vertical structure of approvals, a clear-cut mechanism for decision-making and most importantly, the implementation of the decisions. In addition, our work must be based on joint action plans, “road maps”, if you like. They must be compiled and agreed upon proceeding from mutual approaches and not unilateral decisions. I repeat: we are living through a period of major transformations on the European continent and in the world as a whole. Today we cannot be guided by outdated models of interaction. The coordination of our actions will go a long way in determining the weight that Europe’s voice carries in world politics, economics and trade and in security matters. I am convinced that only by acting together can Russia and the expanding European Union channel the process of forming a new world order in line with our common values and common interests. And we are committed to having this, the 12th Russia-EU summit take another step towards that goal. Thank you.