Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2009-10-07-Speech-3-103"

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"Mr President, like many who have already spoken today, I am pleased about the Irish ‘yes’ vote and I would like to congratulate all those who fought for this, particularly the Irish Greens in the However, if it is true that it is a day of celebration, then it is, in any case, a hard-won day of celebration. It would be wrong of us now to simply return, full of self satisfaction, to the usual routine institutional processes as if nothing much had really happened. The President of Parliament referred, in his first statement on the subject, to the fact that we should also listen clearly to the ‘no’ votes. To this I would add that we should also listen to the voices that are barely audible, the ones who, during the European elections in June, thought it unnecessary to take part in the election and play their part in supporting this process. What I mean by that is that we must take account of the fact that a committed way forward can only be successful if we make a more serious effort than we have done so far to involve the citizens. We have certainly lost time. We have lost years. Europe has fallen behind in international terms. We only need to look at the G20 meetings to see that. However, Europe will only become more dynamic if it has a stronger involvement on the part of its citizens. I do not think that the people of the Czech Republic should be pressurised, due to the disruptive stance of their President, by means of an announcement that, if there is any doubt, they will not get a commissioner. However, there is something that is even more important and that is that it would be a serious mistake to decide on Tony Blair, or any other possible candidate for the office of President of the Council, behind closed doors. Instead, this needs to be discussed openly with the people of Europe. I propose that we have a hearing in Parliament for all the candidates for this office."@en1

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