Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2004-05-04-Speech-2-030"

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"Mr President, ladies and gentlemen, I have the honour today to appear for the first time before this forum of representatives of 450 million citizens of a united Europe speaking my mother tongue, Slovak. For years and years, I have hoped and believed that Slovakia would, as a sovereign State, one day become a full member of the European Union. An essential prerequisite for the continued effective operation of the EU following its historic enlargement involves adapting its institutional framework to meet the new circumstances. The first test awaiting us, therefore, and what a test it is, is the approval of the Constitutional Treaty. Adopting the Constitutional Treaty is, however, impossible unless citizens of the Member States can identify with such an important document. Let us not divide Europe into old and new, let us not categorise States as small and large, rich and poor. If we want Europe to be really unified, we must listen to every nation, every citizen. Let us give an opportunity to these citizens and Member States to create their own attitudes to Europe in line with their own traditions, respecting the principle of sovereignty in cultural and ethical matters. I am deeply convinced that the purpose of EU reform is to create not a superstate but a supranational body, whose legitimacy is derived from the primary legitimacy of the Member States. The Constitutional Treaty must guarantee a model of effective coexistence, the fundamental pillars for which are tolerance and mutual trust. May I remind you of the rights of the small States. For them, the question of financial mechanisms, together with an effective regional policy, is particularly vital. As regards the future shape of the European Commission, I am of the opinion that every Member State must have its own full Commissioner with precisely defined powers. Europe must be built on the principle of equality among the Member States of the Union. The accession of ten new States to the EU does not mean that the process of integration is finished. Nor will adopting the Constitutional Treaty bring reform of the Union to an end and, therefore, it is not possible at this stage to resolve all the questions relating to the operation of the European Union. It is important that this process should aim to meet our common objectives. Mr President, allow me sincerely to wish our Irish friends and indeed all of us a successful resolution of these matters, matters which have been discussed with such passion, and to hope that fundamental progress is made at the summit in June, culminating perhaps in the adoption of the Treaty by consensus among all the national delegations."@en1

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