Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2000-02-02-Speech-3-092"

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"Mr President, to say that the European Union is at a crossroads is no doubt nothing new. It has been said many times. This time, however, it is true. We have established the single currency – which is extremely positive – and we are facing enlargement. The question is if we will undertake enlargement whether we are prepared or not. Will we enlarge with or without deep reform? That is the debate, and this question must be addressed in any discussion of the Intergovernmental Conference, its agenda or its method. It is clear that the Council, for the moment, has not opted for enlarging with deep reforms in place. That puts enlargement in danger. It jeopardises any prospect of political union and, of course, it is difficult for the public to understand. The Council must realise that, if we want the future of the European Union to involve a form of enlargement built on firm foundations, the next Intergovernmental Conference must go much further. The Council is consulting us and Parliament is giving its opinion. We want an Intergovernmental Conference, but not this one. Must there be an IGC? Of course there must, but not this type of Intergovernmental Conference. The agenda must go much further. We must be much more daring with regard to the issues dealt with in the IGC and we must be much more transparent and much more democratic. Being much more democratic means greater participation by the European Parliament and allowing the Commission to exercise even more – yes, more – its ability to take the initiative. We must clearly set firm objectives. The functionalist approach is over, for better or for worse. The functionalist approach has brought us to this point. Have we achieved results? Yes, but the point is to make a qualitative leap and, speaking in political terms, this, Mr President-in-Office of the Council, means convincing the other Community partners that to fall short would be the worst thing we could do at the moment."@en1

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