Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2000-10-24-Speech-2-029"

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"The meeting in Biarritz was typified by very strange happenings. It therefore comes as no surprise that governments clashed on essential issues. After all, they are now discussing the redistribution of power in Europe, but especially at this stage, it is vital to have a sound presidency that seeks consensus. Unfortunately, France acted more as a spokesperson for its own interests and for those of the large countries than for proposals which could bridge those contradictions, even if Mr Moscovici is now trying to convince us that the opposite is true. If the French Presidency carries on like this, the IGC will fall flat on its face on Nice’s hard pebble beach. It is of major importance for each Member State to continue to be represented in the Commission. A hierarchy becomes inevitable, as this is also what tends to happen in national governments. Even once the present candidate countries have joined, each Member State must be able to retain one junior or senior Commissioner. It is highly suspicious that the large Member States, which are behind intergovernmental cooperation, would argue in favour of a small Commission in which they themselves would not always be represented. A rotation system of this kind would lead to a serious weakening of the Commission’s position and that is exactly what we want to avoid. If the large Member States ask for the votes in the Council to be redistributed to a certain degree, then that is a reasonable request, but if they over-react, they will antagonise the small countries. In addition, majority decision-making goes, by definition, hand in hand with codecision; it is totally unacceptable to us to separate the two. Reinforced cooperation works very well with a minimum of eight Member States. For foreign and security policy, we could possibly do with fewer. It is difficult but certainly not impossible to reach agreement in Nice. But the French Presidency should not act as strangely as it did in “Bizarritz”."@en1

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