Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2006-01-18-Speech-3-278"

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"Mr President, I have no sympathy whatsoever with the idea of democracy espoused by certain critics of the EU, who usually dig themselves in behind their national flags and try to enlist other European citizens in their cause. We are now hearing it said, over and over again, that 70 % of Austrians do not want this constitution – an obvious reference to the latest Eurobarometer surveys and no more revealing than they are, combined with a flagrant disregard for the democratic rules and procedures that apply in Austria, my own country, where both houses of the country’s Parliament have ratified the Constitution by massive majorities. Some, however, attach greater weight to percentages in surveys than to the procedures required by constitutional law. Nor do I have any sympathy with the adopted by those who already want to discuss alternatives, even before the ongoing ratification process is completed. Those who are now calling for new alternatives are treating as worthless the decisions democratically reached in most of the Member States of the European Union. More to the point, where are these alternatives? In the Convention on the Future of Europe, we had long discussions on all of them; discussions about a more democratic Europe, a more social Union and so on. Over and over again, we came up with the same results. Desirable though they might be, every improvement of that kind would end up producing more Europe, and a stronger Europe, and hence the very thing that most of the Member States and the people who live in them do not at present want – a continuing loss of power on the part of the nation states. Let us then do what the majority in the Committee on Constitutional Affairs has proposed; let us try to inform the European public about what really is, and is not, in the 2004 Constitutional Treaty, and let us have a second run at getting a consensus in support of the best constitution currently on the market."@en1

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