Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2004-05-04-Speech-2-027"

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"Mr President, it has been a great privilege to serve in a Parliament that has made such great progress in delivering for Europe the constitutional settlement that it needs. Parliament has become now an assured player in the constitutive process and we have assisted Europe to answer definitively the old question about whether the Union could widen and deepen at the same time. The answer is certainly 'yes'. We expect the European Council now to show the political will to bring the IGC to a quick and successful conclusion and to draft the durable, efficient and effective system of democratic government that we need to strengthen the Union and its place in world affairs. However, it is vital that Parliament, which has played such a crucial part in the IGC so far, does not fade at the final phase. President Cox and our representatives, Mr Brok and Mr Hänsch, must carry on playing a full part in the negotiations and resist any weakening of Parliament's powers of codecision and assent. There are some worrying signs in this respect and Commissioner Vitorino is quite right to warn us. Why, for example, is the Irish presidency suddenly seeking in its latest proposals to remove Parliament's power of codecision with respect to the Structural Funds? Perhaps Minister Roche could explain. If the Council wishes to encumber itself with unanimity upon financial questions, that is its own problem, but it cannot be permitted to evade parliamentary accountability. I wish to support the committee's request that, should there be a crisis at the IGC, the President should call a special meeting of the Conference of Presidents. Despite our dispersal across 25 electoral campaigns, we would be able to reassemble quickly to reinforce the President's negotiating position. Please remember that a negative assessment by Parliament on the final conclusions of the IGC would certainly scupper referendum campaigns wherever they spring up."@en1

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