Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2004-07-22-Speech-4-017"

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"Mr President-designate, my colleague Marco Pannella and I will support your appointment and we will do so primarily for institutional reasons. We believe that only a Commission with strong parliamentary support can perform its role, which must first of all, as the Treaties themselves state, be the result of a strong connection between Parliament and the Commission. This is a natural alliance for anyone who believes in the evolution of Europe’s institutions. Please allow me, however, to offer a comment and a recommendation for what I hope will be strong parliamentary support. First, you remarked on widespread Euro-apathy throughout Europe, as shown in the recent elections. In my view, this Euro-apathy is precisely the consequence – the other side of the coin – of the apathy of the European institutions and European leadership, starting with ourselves, starting with the fact that nearly all of us campaigned on national issues, starting with the fact that we ourselves, you yourselves, the leaders of Europe themselves very often give the impression of an introverted, frightened, often paralysed Europe, a Europe that prefers to deny problems rather than tackle them and accept the associated responsibility, risks and consequences. Without risks, leadership and responsibility, I wonder how we can have citizens who are passionate about Europe when, in the vast majority of cases, we are not passionate ourselves. Lastly, I put an important political request to you. You have obviously mentioned the need for an agenda for prosperity, stability, solidarity and a Europe that promotes peace and stability. I am quite sure that nobody would want an agenda for poverty, war, instability and so on. The problem, in effect, lies in the means. We Radicals are convinced that even prosperity, peace and stability make no sense and cannot be achieved without a strict, clear and coherent agenda to promote and support the rule of law, democracy, freedom, and civil and political rights, not only for the 400 million European citizens but also for the people of the whole world, starting with the world close to us. It is up to you and us together to express this deep-seated conviction that there is no development without freedom, there is no peace without freedom, and there is no stability without the rule of law. This is Europe’s identity. We are not a religious project or a geographical project, but we are a political project based on the rule of law. I believe this is what we should be promoting, with strength and leadership."@en1

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