Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2000-03-01-Speech-3-056"

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"Mr President, Bosnia and Kosovo have shaken Europe. At long last, the European Union realises that it cannot afford to always give the Americans the political and military initiative. The decision to set up our own peace force is excellent. However, if Europe wants to take military action at crucial times, the Treaty must include a flexibility clause. Mr Solana can play an important role in this. He is not stupid. Certainly not! He is a driven man, a competent man. But the question remains as to whether this accumulation of responsibilities exceeds even level of competence. In addition to being Secretary-General of the Council, Mr Solana is also Secretary-General of the WEU, as well as High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy. He also heads the Unity Policy Planning and the New Early Warning Unit. One wonders whether he gets any time to sleep, Mr President. From a democratic point of view, I actually find this accumulation of responsibilities unacceptable. This is exacerbated by the fact that Mr Solana is, of course, not a democratically elected politician, but a high official who is not accountable to any parliament. His position threatens to eclipse that of Commissioner Patten, as has been illustrated again today, in fact. It appears that, as European security and defence policy takes shape, the Commission and Parliament are increasingly being left out in the cold. This too is unacceptable in my view. Naturally, every attempt should be made to make European policy more efficient, but this should not lead to unwished-for concentrations of power. Mr Solana must keep Europe awake without nodding off himself."@en1

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