Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2004-01-14-Speech-3-021"

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"Mr President, Mr President-in-Office of the Council, you are inheriting a European Union that is in quite a pitiful state, which has, throughout 2003, shown itself to be fundamentally incapable of responding to the major external and internal challenges faced by the people of Europe. Under these circumstances, it would have been quite premature, to say the least, to give this Europe of 25 – which is what it is – a constitution, this being the symbol of a people’s political and democratic maturity. We are far from reaching that point. You said just now, Mr President-in-Office of the Council, that we were the elected representatives of the people. We are not; we are the elected representatives of the European peoples, until there is evidence to the contrary. So, Mr President-in-Office of the Council, make more speed with less haste. The top priority is not what Mr Poettering is loudly demanding, which is all that his supporters can see. The people of Europe do not have the same priorities as the Group of the European People’s Party (Christian Democrats) and European Democrats, and they do not care about the political leanings of the Commissioners. The people of Europe do not need a constitution, which is a matter for institutions. They need growth; they need jobs. I think that you could make your Presidency a great deal more useful by taking the Union down that road, rather than getting lost in the maze of this supposed constitution. In order to restore growth and employment, there needs to be a change of policy. The policy followed since the Maastricht Treaty has failed. Europe, and specifically the euro zone, is dropping a growth point every year solely due to the restrictive, Malthusian and ultimately somewhat sadistic policy of the European Central Bank, which means that we now have a largely overvalued currency. Are we going to accept the European economy being mortgaged for much longer by the ghosts of those whom General de Gaulle would have called ‘the gnomes of Frankfurt’? The greatest danger for Europe, Mr President, for the Lisbon process and for growth and employment, I am sorry to say, is my former compatriot, Mr Trichet. Your Presidency will be judged not on the Constitution, you can be sure, but on your ability to make the European currency work for the European economy."@en1

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