Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2002-02-06-Speech-3-305"

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"Mr President, I would like to thank the many Members who have helped to enhance this resolution with over 50 amendments. I would also like to make three brief suggestions to the Commission, for – like many other Members – I am convinced that cohesion is not a financial obligation but, first and foremost, a resource, and that if we do not have a Europe of equal opportunities we will never have Europe. That said, I will turn to the first two suggestions, which, moreover, have already been put forward this evening. I feel that it would be appropriate to reflect on the parameters, for the gross domestic product may well be in danger of becoming inadequate as an indicator of the real state of well-being or distress of our countries. We therefore need to assess other factors as well such as the rate of unemployment, the quality of infrastructure and the cost of labour. My second suggestion is this: since I feel that politics should always prevail over arithmetic, I would call upon Parliament and the Commission not to concentrate on the effects of enlargement as portrayed by statistics, although I do believe deeply in enlargement. Indeed, we will strive to ensure that no government can see it as a handicap, for it will certainly be a great political asset for Europe. That said, we would like to avoid certain regions unexpectedly finding themselves in a state of wealth for purely statistical reasons. Politics must continue to take precedence over arithmetic in this sense. Here is my third suggestion: we should reinvigorate the strategic profile of our cohesion policy, learning to invest in non-material resources such as training, knowledge and information. We feel that this is the road to take if integration is to have any practical meaning."@en1

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