Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/1999-12-14-Speech-2-220"

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"Mr President, as European construction evolves, it is only natural that the mechanisms of democratic control should be strengthened. Some of this responsibility falls to the European Parliament, specifically through the assessment that precedes the approval of the budget. It is important that we do not limit ourselves to carrying out a series of formalities, without content or consequence, because that would entail the risk of reducing ourselves to a type of democratic alibi. This would be a betrayal of the citizens we represent. The message given at the discussion phase for the 2000 budget must then be taken seriously. The European Parliament wants the assumption of new responsibilities by the European Union to be matched by new financial resources. This applies to Kosovo, to the Balkans and to any budget heading. It makes no sense to maintain recourse to initiatives completely lacking in transparency, such as the under-budgeting of new commitments or of payments for them, or both, linked to linear cuts in old commitments or payments, the inevitable consequence of which is delays in both as well as dozens of transfers throughout the year. If the problem is a result of the European Union system of revenues it appears that the solution must be to change the system of financing the European Union. I shall finish by referring to three situations which I shall continue to highlight: firstly, the intolerable delays in the fulfilling of payments relating to the implementation of the policy of cohesion. Some delays I am aware of result in the negation of the principle of economic and social cohesion. Secondly, there is also the support for the reconstruction of East Timor, because we have to adopt resolutions which draw attention to the situation there. Finally, we are right to award Xanana Gusmão with the Sakharov Prize, but at the same time, let us be aware that the EUR 20 million that the 2000 Budget has earmarked for East Timor merely represent the starting point. Finally, I hope to see the commitments given to the outermost regions, identified at Amsterdam by Article 299(2) of the Treaty on European Union."@en1

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