Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2000-04-12-Speech-3-147"

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"Madam President, where should our travels in Europe take us? To a European federal state with a strong centre and far-reaching competences, or should we carefully develop what has so far been the trademark of European integration and a guarantee of its success, namely a Union of Europe’s peoples and States? To read the text of the Committee on Constitutional Affairs, you would almost believe that the European federalists have already won the day: a Commission that does not contain representatives from every Member State, a Parliament in which even the representatives of the medium-sized States no longer carry any weight, and a Council that essentially bases its majorities on 51% of the total population of the Member States. This would be a travesty, even for an ardent European. The text we adopt tomorrow will, I hope, be a different one, a more balanced text that is geared to continuing teamwork between large and small States, and which continues to respect the distinguishing features of our European peoples and States, and therefore does not make even more demands of the citizens of Europe, who have enough problems with the degree of centralisation in Brussels as it is. My second point is that I am hoping for a change to the Committee’s text. Mr Dimitrakopoulos and Mr Leinen put forward a proposal in recital 29 to modify the procedure for suspending a Member State in the event of serious democratic and human rights violations. Allow me to leave you in no doubt as to how the vast majority of people in my country, Austria that is, feel about such a development. They are already learning, from bitter experience, what it is like when Community law in force is not adhered to, in the name of political correctness. This does nothing to boost confidence in the central tenet of a united Europe. A community of law must uphold its own law. It is simply not true that the policies adopted towards Austria at present are only bilateral in nature. Anyone still requiring confirmation of this fact need look no further than the speech made today by the President of this House. How else are we to interpret Nicole Fontaine’s statement to the effect that she hopes that Austria will become a full member of the Union again one day? What does that make us now? Therefore let us dispense with hypocritical amendments to Articles 6 and 7 of the EU Treaty. Let us abide by the law in force and handle the Austrians as required by the EU Treaty. Inclusion, and not exclusion, is what we need!"@en1

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