Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2004-05-03-Speech-1-020"

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"Mr President. Welcome; now, what belongs together is being united. You are arriving in the nick of time and, with your hard-earned experience, you can help rescue our democracy. Democracy means bearing with each other on a daily basis and the right to get involved in elections. It is characterised by our being able to go to the polls and obtain a new majority and, subsequently, new laws and a new government. We get something in return for our vote. It can effect change and perform a monitoring function, and it can reward and punish. It counts. As a voter, I have some significance. I help to wield influence. This simple idea unites us, but it is unfortunately well hidden and not at all up front in the draft Constitution. We can still take part in national elections and change our vote in the Council of Ministers, but we cannot vote ourselves new laws in those areas in which the EU decides. We can take part in EU elections every five years but, here too, we cannot vote ourselves new laws or a new government. The EU President, the Foreign Minister and the Prime Minister are all to be appointed by an alliance of 17 out of 25 prime ministers. The most important posts will presumably go to those who can no longer get elected in their own countries. Taken to its logical conclusion, this means you can be appointed if you can no longer be elected. The EU Prime Minister and the President of the Commission are to constitute their government through talks with the prime ministers. The indirectly appointed President is to decide who he wants from each country on the sole body able to table proposals. We shall never again be able to table proposals ourselves. This democratic deficit could be remedied by converting the EU into a democratic federation, but there is no common EU people that is ready for a common democracy. The only realistic democratic solution is to construct the EU from below as a Europe of democracies. Every country must have the right to elect its own Commissioner and send him or her to Brussels as our voters’ representative. Our Commissioner must come home every Friday and say what he has done in the past week and how he will vote during the following week. We should then have 25 elected representatives in Brussels, answerable to the voters in our countries. One fine day, we shall be able to unite the whole of Europe in equal cooperation between free nations gathered together to carry out the tasks we cannot successfully discharge in our own democracies. If we focus upon what we cannot deal with ourselves, we have nothing to lose. In that way, we should gain a share of influence when, otherwise, we should be without influence. Welcome to the work for openness, democracy and proximity to the people. Welcome to the fight for a Europe of democracies and diversity. To our Polish friends, we would say, moreover: congratulations on your national day."@en1

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