Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2000-05-16-Speech-2-026"

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"Mr President, the proposals put forward in the report that we are now considering interpret – or should interpret – the will of the European Parliament to prepare itself to meet the challenges facing the European Union. It has to be this way, as we have been through a tricky time, and there are permanent tensions and glaring contradictions. It seems that we expect everything and, at the same time, we expect nothing at all from the European Union’s priorities, as we can see from the level of budgetary transposition – or lack thereof. It is our ability to take advantage of something that could potentially transform tensions and to reduce the amount of contradictions which will make the difference between the stagnation and the consequent decline of the project and the dynamism that its implementation requires. Have the competences of the European Parliament increased substantially with the entry into force of the Treaty of Amsterdam and the consequent extension of the codecision procedure to further areas of policy, for example? If that is the case, we would have to provide Members of the House with a greater ability to carry out their mandate, more and better information and we would have to ensure that the political groups are more accountable and that the staff of the European Parliament is more efficient. Does enlargement require subtle changes in the membership and functioning of this Parliament? If it does, then we need to prepare for them, anticipate the challenges and how to respond to them and not fall into a situation of ‘wait and see’, which would leave us trailing in the wake of events that we can neither prevent nor influence. This applies to the European Union as a whole. We are at a turning point and, now that we have reached this point, nothing will be the same as it was before and things will not remain as they are now. Now that economic and monetary union has been achieved, the euro cannot be a point of arrival but a starting point, which, in time, will bring about and require further changes. Now that the process of enlargement has been launched, fundamental changes are required as well as renewed ambition. The need to make the economic sphere correspond to the political sphere is becoming increasingly clear. We are swinging between deepening and dilution, solidarity and selfishness, decisiveness and delay, coherence and contradiction and convergence and divergence. By increasing the influence of core principles, amongst which I would highlight subsidiarity and social and economic cohesion, we will be able to launch and see through new initiatives. I congratulate Mr Ferber on the care he has taken over this work."@en1

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