Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2004-05-04-Speech-2-050"

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"Mr President, the details of the European Constitution are extremely important. For that reason it is important that the IGC does not take any step backwards. Our citizens want more Europe. They cannot understand why Europe is not more present in the United Nations. They cannot understand why we impose on ourselves international impotence in the face of the conflicts that surround us in the world at large. They want a Europe that is based on human values, based firmly on universal rights. If I might just address those who are calling for Christianity in the Constitution, could I suggest that if God existed she might ask the men who run the churches and the synagogues and the mosques to respect all human rights, and in particular respect the rights of the women they exclude from their ceremonies and from their theologies! Could I suggest that it is important that we do not reduce the Constitution to its detail, that we do not damn it with faint praise by suggesting that it is just a tidying up exercise, because the spirit of the Constitution is greater than the sum of its parts. We must appeal to the better instincts of our peoples, to bear in mind that what we are trying to create is a Europe based on human values. We are trying to demonstrate that it is possible at a global level to achieve the dream of democratic global governance. Many people have quoted Irish poets over the past few days in the big speeches that have been made, Seamus Heaney in particular, and his line that hope chimes with history. Could I remind the IGC of another Irish poet, William Butler Yeats, who warned the founders of the Irish state to tread softly as they tread on our dreams. The Constitution is a dream that we need to have put into practice. I urge the IGC not to step back from it."@en1

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