Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2004-05-04-Speech-2-042"

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"Mr President, yesterday, when the flags of the new Member States of the European Union were raised here in Strasbourg, Poland was celebrating the anniversary of the adoption of the first written constitution in Europe, and the second in the world, namely the 1791 Polish constitution. Its purpose was to make Poland a fair and efficient country. The Constitutional Treaty of the European Union is supposed to be the crowning achievement of the great project of European integration, for which we in Poland waited almost 50 years. However, the draft submitted by the European Convention does not bode well either for the future of the European Union as a whole, or for Poland and other Member States of the European Union. Our Community needs a different constitution, a constitution that does not lead to excessive centralisation and regulation. If we want to develop quickly, if we want to compete successfully in the globalising economy, the Union must not regulate every area of the economy. All regulation has a negative impact on competitiveness and hinders development. Also, the new constitution must not take precedence over the constitutions of the Member States of the European Union. This would amount to surrendering national sovereignty. The Union, as it is to be defined by the Constitutional Treaty, must be based on the principle of solidarity, a principle underpinning our Community and upon which, over many years, a new post-war order was built in Western Europe. The concept of solidarity has a special significance in my country, Poland. It was in the name of solidarity that we Poles, fought for freedom. Europe cannot cut itself off from its Christian roots. If it does so, it will be in danger of dying a lingering death. This would mean the death of our civilisation, which would have proved incapable of coping with a number of threats that have recently appeared in the world. I have referred to a constitution enabling Europe to become a strong, competitive partner in international relationships based on fundamental principles. The European Constitution should unite the peoples and nations of the European Union. The European Union should remain a strong association of nation States bound together by solidarity. The strength and legitimacy of the Union is derived from the mandate and will to cooperate of sovereign countries."@en1

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