Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2004-05-04-Speech-2-040"

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"Mr President, we will take down the flags, pending their recognition by the European Union. It is a fact that six Member States are smaller than the regions whose flags are on display today. What we mean by this is that we welcome the new Member States, but at the same time, we want to call on the Council and Commission to recognise that the reality of languages and cultures, the diversity of peoples in Europe, cannot simply be reduced to states. We know, and realise all too well, that we are one big family, but in our new Constitution, we must share sovereignty at supranational level, so that with Europe, we can play a role in the world that is worthy of these 450 million citizens. At the same time, we must urge our Member States to recognise that within some Member States there are differences that are not sufficiently recognised. In principle, this is already the case in the new Constitution. The principles are laid down, but the rest is down to our Member States. We would like our Member States to realise that they have to recognise the diversity of peoples within themselves, so that these constitutional regions are not required to become states – which over the course of history, they have missed the opportunity of doing. Although we collectively want to share sovereignty at supranational level, we also want the principle of subsidiarity to be applied from the top down, and languages and cultures to be protected. Catalan, for example, is a language that is spoken by 10 million inhabitants. We are reluctant to accept that such a language can be recognised at European level only if Spain wishes it to be so. Is it not sufficient that that is what ten million citizens aspire to? Thank you for your attention and I hope that in the new Constitution, due consideration will be given to this deeper reality, which is older than our Member States."@en1

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