Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2002-06-12-Speech-3-225"

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"Mr President, first of all I must say that the goal of enlarging the European Union is as fundamental as the goal of deepening it. In this respect I agree entirely with the report drawn up by Mr Brok, whom I congratulate. In any case, I want to focus on one of the candidate countries: Bulgaria. In my view, Bulgaria has been approaching the process of joining the European Union very seriously since political stability was achieved with the last elections. I must therefore state that the Bulgarian authorities are making a great effort to continue in the right direction with the enlargement negotiations and the country’s specific adaptations so that it can become a European Union Member State within a timeframe that is both convenient for Bulgaria and possible for the Union. We all want this timeframe to be as short as possible, although, as we say in Spanish, ‘the sun is not hurried by early risers’. Nevertheless, I want to emphasise certain aspects that worry us. First, the social aspect: of course the Bulgarian economy has to adapt, but it must be done by keeping the basic principles of social cohesion, such as the fight for equality and against unemployment, poverty and marginalisation, to promote jobs, benefits and social security. On the matter of the environment, we highlight the need for all units at the Kozloduy nuclear plant to be closed down by the appropriate dates and also for the Bulgarian Government to make a firm commitment to environmental protection. Lastly, we urge the government to remove all legal obstacles that still allow people to be marginalised, because of their sexual orientation, for instance. It is unacceptable that articles like Article 157 should still be in force in the Bulgarian legal code."@en1

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