Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2003-12-18-Speech-4-018"

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"Mr President, Commissioner, ladies and gentlemen, from time to time a certain impetus is needed in order for an issue to be considered, and, in this case, Mrs Louise McVay has provided it. In this case, and in those like it, we see again and again how much cold-heartedness there is in this European Union of ours – of the need for which I am thoroughly convinced, and for which we are all working together. After all, it takes a certain optimism not to resort to the criticism, which is to some extent stereotypical, that Europe is only for those who are fast, big, rich, healthy and strong, but instead to believe that this Europe is there also for the vulnerable members of society, for those who are slow and cannot keep up the pace – and here I am not talking about ‘core Europe’, but about individuals who are slower and cannot keep up – for the sick, for the little people. We have no problems with travel. We move money, goods and cars from one Member State to another. We use them; we have a single drivers’ licence and a single set of road traffic regulations. Where common action in social matters is concerned, though, or common action in the cultural sphere, it is unfortunate that this Europe cannot demonstrate the rhythm and speed that it already possesses in other spheres, and for which we are grateful. It would surely make sense for us to be as quick about things in the social and cultural spheres as we are elsewhere. Members – among whom I particularly want to thank Mrs Aaltonen, the rapporteur – have already spoken at length about the need for, and importance of, measures to deal with multiple sclerosis. I therefore want to draw particular attention to the incongruousness of our having such a need to catch up in the social sphere. There is no single entitlement card for the disabled, Commissioner; a disabled person who lives in Germany cannot go to France, nor a disabled person from Italy to Germany and have his status, which is a disadvantage, recognised, not even when it comes to getting a parking space, let alone a seat on public transport and other similar things beside. This is where we urgently need to make up for lost time. I believe – indeed, I am convinced – that it is not enough to do no more than say ‘we have no responsibility for this’. We must do far more here, and be more consistent in doing it. I hope that this debate will make us more aware of these matters too."@en1

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