Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2004-05-04-Speech-2-013"

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"Mr President, I believe that both Jean Monnet and Altiero Spinelli would be very proud of the events of 1 May. Jean Monnet, a much respected founding father of the European Union, campaigned for the establishment of the European Economic Community because it would be a means to ensure that the continent of Europe would be at peace with itself, as opposed to engaging in war. The artificial divide which has existed in Europe since the end of World War II has now come to an end and the peoples of east and west Europe have now come together freely as a community of 25 countries, working together with the common interests of promoting economic prosperity, democracy and the rule of law. The vision of the founding fathers of Europe has been further realised as a direct consequence of the accession of ten new countries into the Union. As a Community of 25 members, the Union is now in a much stronger position than ever to promote policies on the international stage with vigour and determination. Also it is now 20 years since Altiero Spinelli drafted his report, which recommended that a constitutional Treaty be agreed for the European Union and one of the key elements of his report back in 1984 was to give a stronger role to the European Parliament. Many of Altiero Spinelli's recommendations have been included in the Treaties which have been enacted over the last 18 years. The European Parliament now has the power of codecision with governments of Europe in over 50 fields of legislative activity. But we must be careful and remember that an extensive amount of work remains to be completed before a European Union Constitutional Treaty is agreed. Intensive negotiations will continue under the Irish presidency between now and 17 June, with a view to finalising the provisions of this new Treaty. It is then incumbent on those of us who support this Treaty, which will streamline how the EU does its business, to get out and positively promote its provisions to the people of Europe. If agreement is reached for a new European Treaty then we will have to focus on the campaign to ratify the terms of this new Treaty across the 25 different Member States of the Union. We must not underestimate the magnitude of this task. We must be determined to win this battle so that we will have a Treaty which will govern the European Union for the next 25 years."@en1

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