Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2004-05-04-Speech-2-029"

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"Mr Roche, there is a fundamental difference between work on the Constitution in the Convention and work during the Intergovernmental Conference which, I am afraid, can only have a clear, negative impact on the result. Everything or almost everything regarding the Convention was visible, including its crises and other moments. It was the outcome of complicated work which gave us a barely adequate compromise. On the contrary, your work remains secret, and we have to rely on moles in order to find out what is happening, given that unfortunately, our representatives too and their officials love playing the diplomat and therefore do not inform us, as they should, of what is really taking place at the Intergovernmental Conference. I do not like in the slightest what is really going on, and my group likes it even less. A show of optimism, which feeds a kind of reassuring syrup to the media and public opinion, in my view in reality hides a further possible victory for those governments, old and new, who cheerily thumb their noses at the European interest. It seems that this view is also held by the Commission which, behind much ceremony and diplomacy, has revealed to us here a line which is going in a completely different direction to the one which we are about to agree to in Dublin. Today if we read the text which your officials are working on, Mr Roche, it is clear that this is an exercise for which Altiero Spinelli would have retold the story of ‘The Old Man and the Sea’ who, returning to the shore with his large fish, as you will remember, finds it has been devoured by sharks. Mr Roche said that he does not want to go into detail. That is a shame. If he did, everyone would be able to see the price we are about to pay, including to Mr Blair and his referendum: firstly, maintaining unanimity for justice and home affairs, so we can kiss goodbye to the fight against terrorism, where today there will probably be an interesting instalment on the question of assigning European citizens’ rights to the United States with respect to the agreement on passengers; secondly, reinforcing the interpretative clause of the Charter of Fundamental Rights, tabled by the United Kingdom in Thessaloniki, which makes the Charter of Fundamental Rights and its cogency practically useless; and that is not to mention the removal of the European Parliament’s power of assent for structural funds decisions or the opportunity for parliaments to veto each amendment. Today, therefore, we find ourselves in a radically different situation to that of yesterday: yesterday was the day the dream came true; naturally I would not want us today to have to start picking up the pieces of a dream already shattered. Our first duty now is to let the citizens know that the terms on which the Presidency has chosen to negotiate are the same terms which Parliament rejected in December; our second duty is to initiate a serious debate about what the consequences of a ‘no’ in a referendum should be, which in my view should be crystal clear: anyone who says ‘no’ in a referendum on the Constitution – as Spinelli said – is putting itself outside Europe."@en1

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