Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2000-03-29-Speech-3-150"

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"Mr President, ladies and gentlemen, the guidelines for the 2001 budgetary procedure as laid down in the Haug report are a starting point for a debate on the European Union budget for 2001 which promises to be both arduous and heated throughout the year. I must emphasise that the amenability of the rapporteur, whom I congratulate, has enabled a broader consensus to be reached. Going back to the first four paragraphs of the motion for a resolution, which identify the European Parliament’s political priorities, and then those that contain the essence of its position, I would like to highlight the following aspects: appropriate funding is being promoted for the new policies introduced by the Treaty of Amsterdam as well as for the policies that have been strengthened by the Treaty in the fields of internal and external action. In this way we are sending out a clear political message. The provisions of the Treaty are designed to be implemented. It is not merely a declaration of intent, which would be a serious example of political hypocrisy as well as completely unacceptable. The substance of the Treaty must be implemented. The report broaches the issue of employment in terms of job creation, which in turn is connected to micro, small and medium-sized enterprises, as well as to the use of new technologies. This, for us, is the crucial approach. It is vital for new jobs to be created and this depends on the initiative and the creativity of entrepreneurs. Let there be investment, then, in a culture of initiative. The report restates the need for a sustainable and multiannual contribution to financial aid for the reconstruction of Kosovo and for the stabilisation of the Balkans as part of a review of the financial perspective. It rejects such financing if it is to be provided at the expense of existing commitments, either involving external actions or through cuts in the common agricultural policy or other policies. New money must be found for new requirements, with the condition, as always, of judiciously identifying those requirements, and the rigorous use of funds, as should always be the case. In relation to Kosovo, this concern seems to be particularly reasonable. The report insists on the need to reform the European Union’s administrative system, which is essential if there is to be efficiency, responsibility and transparency. This debate has launched the budget procedure and, at the end of the year, when the final assessment is made of the draft budget for 2001, it must contain the essence of this Parliament’s position. Unless that is the case, the democratic legitimacy that Parliament gives to the actions of the European Union, particularly in the budgetary process, would be an enormous confidence trick, which the public would see through and for which they would not forgive us."@en1

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