Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2000-01-17-Speech-1-027"

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"Madam President, I really am quite astonished at Mr Barón Crespo’s behaviour and the fact that he is now asking for this item to be put on Wednesday's agenda. Mr Barón Crespo, you were unable to attend the Conference of Presidents last Thursday. I am not criticising this; it happens from time to time that people send someone to represent them. Mr Hänsch represented you on this occasion. In the Conference of Presidents, we had an in-depth discussion. Your Group was alone in advocating what you are saying now. We then put it to a vote. As you know, each chairman has the same number of votes as his Group has Members. There was a vote on this matter. As I recall, the outcome of this vote was 422 votes to 180 with a few abstentions. This means that all the Groups with the exception of the non-attached Members – but, of course, they are not a Group – were in agreement; only your Group thought that we should proceed as you have proposed here. All of the others were of a different opinion. That was the decision. I should now like to comment on the issue itself. We have confidence in the Commission and in Romano Prodi and, after a difficult procedure, as everyone knows, the vast majority of our Group supported the vote of confidence in Romano Prodi and the Commission. We believe, however, that the Commission's strategic plan needs to be debated within a proper procedural framework, not only on the basis of an oral statement here in the European Parliament, but also on the basis of a document which is adopted in the Commission and which describes this programme over the five-year period. There is no such document! The Commission will present its programme for the year 2000 in February. We have said, very well, if the Commission does not wish to introduce the 2000 programme as early as January then we will do it in February. We have agreed to this. After all, we do not wish to quarrel with the Commission; if at all possible, we believe that the Commission and Parliament need to tread the same path. However, we in Parliament also have a supervisory role with regard to the Commission and we do not have to agree with everything which comes out of the Commission. I should like us to be able to do a reasonable amount of preparation for the debate on the five-year programme in our Groups. You cannot prepare if you hear a statement in this House and have no idea of its content. That is why we would recommend – and it is my impression that the Commission is also open to this idea – that we hold the debate on the Commission's long-term programme up to the year 2005 in February – and I hope that the Commission will agree on a programme before then which it will propose to us – and that, at the same time, in February we also hold the debate on the Commission's legislative programme for the year 2000. The fact that the subjects are connected also suggests that we should hold the debate on both programmes together. That is why my Group firmly rejects the proposal made by the Socialist Group."@en1

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