Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2005-01-11-Speech-2-153"

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"Mr President, the road to this Constitutional Treaty was a long and rocky one, and a number of good proposals fell by the wayside. Now, though, we need this Constitution, and ratification by the Member States must progress quickly. The founding fathers, including Robert Schuman and Konrad Adenauer, laid the foundations for the European house. Their successors built the walls, bought the shelves and filled these shelves with files. The contents of this house are now piling up to the roof, and we face the immense task of clearing out this house and making it fit for the future. This is what the European Constitution will help us to do, and it represents a compromise which will mean greater openness and tangible improvements for the European public. Existing Community legislation will be set out in a Treaty, which will make Europe easier to understand. The common trade policy will play an exemplary role in future in representing our internal market to the outside world, and the enlarged Union’s capacity to act will be strengthened by a smaller Commission and by a new EU Foreign Minister. Citizens will gain more rights, and the Charter of Fundamental Rights, as drafted by Roman Herzog, will be enshrined in the Constitution. The European Parliament’s role will be strengthened; it will elect the President of the Commission. It is to be hoped that in future leading politicians from European parties will stand for this post. The Constitutional Convention allowed us too to bring our influence to bear on the Constitution, and Europe will not become a centralist monster state, but will instead be constructed according to the principle of subsidiarity. The characteristic approach and principles of the largest group in this House, the Group of the European People’s Party (Christian Democrats) and European Democrats, can also be seen in the Constitution, although unfortunately we did not succeed in pushing through all of our amendments, for some of which we fought bitterly. To give but two examples, I regret deeply that no reference to God has been included, and that the formulas for qualified majority voting in the Council are so complicated. I would however hope for all our sakes that this Convention is a foundation upon which we can continue to build Europe, and that this Europe will be one of peace, freedom and prosperity."@en1

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