Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2007-09-26-Speech-3-118"

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"Mr President, we have today voted on and adopted Mr Duff’s report on the exercise of the right to vote and stand as a candidate in elections to the European Parliament for citizens of the Union residing in a Member State of which they are not nationals. I cannot support this report, because contrary to the intentions of the rapporteurs in my view, this method of voting and standing in elections to the European Parliament will not promote good neighbourly relations between countries, especially if they share a border. Over many years, countries with significant national minorities have developed standards for avoiding conflicts of a nationalistic nature. The voting method adopted may re-ignite such conflicts, which will run counter to the spirit of peaceful coexistence between the nations of Europe. This is because it will be possible for individuals to stand for election and vote when they are not nationals of a particular state. There are bound to be abuses of the system, for example by providing a fictional domicile simply in order to reduce the voice of a particular country, and to engineer an impact on the outcome of the elections. Checking the relevant information is difficult and expensive. In addition, this voting method will strengthen separatist movements, which is surely not what we wish for contemporary Europe. I regret that for somewhat unclear reasons, we are imposing our will on the Member States from above in this regard, thus interfering in national electoral procedures."@en1

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