Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2004-05-03-Speech-1-017"

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"Mr President, we are witnessing one of those great moments which the history books of the future will talk about. Today we are expressing our hope for a Europe of unity, solidarity and peace. With a view to the many common battles we have before us in order to make this lovely dream into a reality, we warmly welcome the people from the ten new States of the Union. For several years our group has made visits to those countries to promote dialogue and build partnerships with the forces of progress and with many social actors. I thought of their hopes and expectations on seeing the moving images of the events in the various capitals marking the enlargement from the Europe of Fifteen to the Europe of Twenty-Five. The conclusion I draw from this is that, if we want to succeed in this wonderful project, we must have the courage to open up the in-depth debate with all our citizens that we should have launched a long time ago. It must deal with a fundamental question, which I have often raised here and which is in all our hearts: what do we want to do together and what means should we create in order to achieve it? So, is not the main of this enlarged Union, for many of our compatriots, to be stronger in order to defend a progressive model of solidarity within globalisation? If that is the case, we cannot, for example, accept companies in this part of Europe indulging in the blackmail of relocation and, in the other part, seeking the least social and fiscal obligations. We must reverse this Malthusian approach with no future and accept that the real driving force for our common development is social progress and the promotion of the human capacities of all the peoples of the Union. All the instruments available to us must be employed in order to achieve this ambition. In order for enlargement to succeed, it is not sufficient to unite Europe, we must unite the Europeans! Is not another reason for building this enlarged Union together to recover, for the citizens, the powers that have gradually been handed to market forces? A document produced by the Commission’s forward studies unit stated in 1998, and I quote: ‘the Europeans are less and less willing to accept being presented with the . We must allow greater participation by the actors and stake holders. That is the challenge facing Europe today’. Enlargement increases the urgency of this demand tenfold. The more we remove borders, the more we must increase the new rights of the citizens. Otherwise, the law of the jungle will prevail. We must create new rights for employees, for the general public, we must promote a genuine participative European democracy, from the places where we live and work to the heart of the institutions. We should set ourselves the objective of uniting the Europeans by means of common projects, with which they identify themselves and which they have crafted. Finally, what view of the world should the enlarged Europe promote by means of these initiatives? In a recent article, Mr Cimoszewicz, the Polish Foreign Affairs Minister, wrote, and I quote: ‘It is life itself that settles the controversies not resolved by politicians’. That is true. I am convinced that, in recent times, life has in fact resolved many points which are controversial, particularly on the part to be played by the united Europe in the debate on how the world’s affairs should be managed. I believe that those are the challenges we now have to deal with together. It is in that spirit that I say – without hesitation – ’yes, I welcome the people from the new countries of the Union!’"@en1

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