Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2003-07-01-Speech-2-032"

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"The European Heads of Government in Thessaloniki spoke almost continually of the need for speaking with one voice. That is what they all want, as long as that voice is their own. If they do not let go of this attitude, little will change, despite the Convention and despite Mr Solana’s interesting document. There is little one can say in the way of criticism about his analysis, but therein lies at the same time its weakness. The report speaks about what unites us but is silent about what divides us, and that, in practice, is precisely the problem with 25 Member States. The threats in an enlarged Union do not only lie beyond Europe’s borders but also within them. We can see eye to eye with Mr Solana at the abstract level, but God forbid that this should become a little more concrete. I fear, above all, an internal rift about the attitude with regard to America’s role in the world, and hence about how to tackle the major breeding grounds of conflict. Mr Solana is right to say that an effective European Union could have a considerable impact, one that is conducive to a fair, safe and multilateral world. We must develop our own security policy, but we have not managed to do this to date, unfortunately. The Iraq crisis was not only about Iraq, but also about a new distribution of power in the world and inside the European Union. Since the fall of the wall, external policy in the European Union has been re-nationalised. Heads of Government, especially those of major Member States, seek to compensate for the loss of national sovereignty and identity in many areas by raising their own national profile in the area of foreign policy. Unfortunately, the Convention bears out current practice by maintaining the rule of consensus. Even the voice of a European super-Minister for Foreign Affairs can only be heard when the cacophony of his national colleagues has fallen silent."@en1

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