Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2000-11-29-Speech-3-074"

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"Mr President, the omens have never been good before any Intergovernmental Conference. Unresolved issues have predominated, and the common ground has been narrow. Now, very few days before the ministerial meeting of the present Intergovernmental Conference, the signs are once again unpromising. This time, however, it is paradoxically the prospect of an emerging consensus that is causing us political headaches. As the days go by, it is becoming ever likelier that the agreement the ministers will reach, while not representing the lowest common denominator, will be a rather low common denominator, indeed a very low common denominator. Many of us therefore fear that what Nice will offer in the way of institutional reforms will not really enable the Union to implement a major enlargement process involving the accession of twelve or more new Member States, unless further, more extensive reforms are implemented. I venture to doubt whether consensus will be easier to achieve in the new extended family than it is now. One can but hope. Besides, the overall result of the coming IGC ministerial meeting, another small but unfortunately far from delicate detail is causing me some concern. In the resolution on Nice that we are discussing here, the last clause in point 6 says in essence that Parliament too should have a right of initiative in procedures under Article 7 of the EU Treaty (breaches of the principles of democracy, respect for human rights, etc.). In general terms, this would impinge upon the central role of the Commission. The fact that the Commission has the sole right of initiative is an essential element of our Union. Granting the European Parliament a right of initiative in this highly sensitive domain would throw the door wide open to party-political despotism. Do the European Socialists, who tabled this proposal, intend to react to every election in which the Left loses its majority by initiating a campaign of European ostracism against the new government? I advise the House to beware of such a move and ask you to vote against this clause tomorrow."@en1

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