Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2003-01-13-Speech-1-068"

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"Mr President, the future European Constitution must lead to a more democratic and effective Union, that is, one that is closer to the citizens and their concerns. In this regard, the role of the regions is quite simply essential. What the Convention must do is formalise something which is already a reality. How is it possible that the regions are applying Community legislation and that this is not formally recognised in terms of rights within the institutional framework of the Union? How is it possible that these regions transpose Community legislation but their situation is clearly undervalued in the Treaties in force? We must correct this in the following way: firstly, the regions must be consulted at every stage of the legislative procedure in the European Union; secondly, we must urge the Member States to allow them the greatest possible participation throughout the European decision-making process in each of the States, including at the level of representation within the Council of Ministers; we must also increase the role of the Committee of the Regions and allow the regions to be able to act within the framework of the principle of subsidiarity. If somebody has to apply and transpose legislation in accordance with this principle, then logically they must also be able to defend their prerogatives and rights. Also in the European Union the courts are there to ensure the better legal operation of the institutions and policies we have decided on jointly. By whatever means, the important thing is that the Napolitano report, in the form it is in today or the form it will be in, probably, after the vote in the plenum, will recognise the right of the regions to defend their prerogatives before the Court of Justice – this is the fundamental thing – and also to apply the policies of the Union, in a more effective manner, within the framework of Community law, as the Socialist Group’s Amendment No 5 states. The Spanish Socialists voted in favour of the Napolitano report in committee and we will do so again tomorrow because it represents a step forward. What will be approved will probably be somewhere in the middle."@en1

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