Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2003-12-03-Speech-3-040"

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"Mr President, Europe still rates opportunism more highly than it does formal agreements. Large countries can apparently get away with more than small ones. French and German flouting of the rules of the Stability Pact has delivered a serious blow to the confidence of the Dutch people in the European Union. The man on the street wonders why he should support a new treaty if it is uncertain that it will be observed. It is important that discussion of the Stability Pact should not be avoided, particularly in the light of the referendums about the Constitution. The referendum will be more about context than about the text of the treaty. It will be a yardstick for confidence. We set great store by the Convention's proposals concerning the voting procedure in the Council and Parliament's full budgetary rights. As far as we are concerned, however, the Member States may retain their fully-fledged Commissioners. If legitimacy is to be enhanced, then they must be directly elected by the European Parliament, without any nominations by the European Council. However, only when in Europe, agreements are more important than political opportunism will public confidence have a real chance of growing."@en1

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