Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2003-09-24-Speech-3-046"

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"Mr President, the draft Constitution is good for the whole of the Union and for each of its Member States, because it benefits the citizens by making the Union more effective in terms of resolving its people's aspirations and by doing so in a more democratic way, thereby increasing its legitimacy. The Convention was a success. In a transparent fashion, it enshrined a broad consensus in the draft Constitution, a solid balance which involves this Parliament, the Commission and the national parliaments and governments, which undoubtedly moves the European Union forward. We are undergoing a Constitution-building process, of which the Intergovernmental Conference (IGC) must be one stage, and it must not dilute or reduce the fundamental content of the main progress made in the draft Constitution. These include the Charter of Fundamental Rights of a binding nature, the legislative procedure as a general rule, the extension of the qualified majority, the creation of institutional figures – such as the Minister for Foreign Affairs – who are clearly useful, the progress on justice and home affairs and, of course, the Convention as an essential method for future constitutional reform. We would have liked more progress: for example, greater extension of the qualified majority, for there to be no exceptions to the legislative procedure, a strengthening of economic and social government, or more flexible constitutional ratification or revision procedures, but we can achieve all of this through future constitutional development, on the basis of a co-relationship between clearly Europeanist forces. In order for the IGC to be a success, furthermore, it must properly resolve the problems which are still on the table. One example of this is achieving an institutional balance within which each country is suitably represented. All the governments must contribute to achieving this, doing so with the same agreement-seeking spirit which existed in the Convention, strengthening the consensus in it and in the whole of the draft Constitution. Governments, the Commission, the national parliaments and we, in the European Parliament, must send a positive message to the citizens so that they support this Constitution and, if possible, do so by means of a referendum. There is no doubt that the text of this report sends this message; we therefore congratulate and support the rapporteurs and their text."@en1

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