Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2000-11-14-Speech-2-046"

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". Mr President, ladies and gentlemen, power requires control. The European institutions have power and, for the sake of our citizens, we must set limits on this power. It is high time that we plugged the gaps in the protection of European fundamental rights. The debate as to whether the Union should not simply accede to the European Convention on Human Rights just as the Member States do has gone on for years. I, for one, am delighted that, for a variety of reasons, the Union has not acceded to the Convention on Human Rights As it stands, the Charter which we shall be voting for today – I hope by a large majority –, will clearly afford us better protection of our fundamental rights which is more in keeping with the times than acceding to the European Convention on Human Rights would have done. Just under one-third of the Charter contains the same guarantees as the Convention on Human Rights. The rest, for the most part, ups the ante when it comes to citizens' political rights, economic and social rights and, last but not least, the issues of tomorrow – environmental, health and consumer protection. The Charter must become European law if it really is to do its job. The step which we are taking today is just one step on the long road ahead. The solemn proclamation must pave the way for binding European constitutional law. Does today's step mark the start of a movement which will end in a European superstate? No, it does not. The demand for fundamental Union rights, combined with the request that the treaties be constitutionalised, does not mean that a United States of Europe lies at the end of the road. But we do need a constitutional text for Europe as quickly as possible, a text for our citizens containing clear, comprehensible statements on Europe, telling them what rights they have, where the Union has taken over responsibility, what powers the Member States should exercise, including in the future, and how Europe intends to do its job, with every guarantee that the rule of law will protect their human rights. We must keep working on this. We must move in this direction."@en1

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