Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2004-05-04-Speech-2-058"

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"Mr President, the Europe which is being born at the moment brings to a definitive close the unhappy season of great dictatorships which bloodied our continent during the last century. The new Europe is not an enlarged Europe though; instead it is a reunited Europe. At last, countries and peoples who have had to endure a communist dictatorship are joining a broad area of peace and freedom. I would like to welcome my fellow Members from Eastern European countries. But we cannot conceive of a federation of nation-states which lacks a fundamental law governing the relationship between the institutions and the citizens: this is why it is important for us to sign as soon as possible a Constitution based on the principles of freedom, subsidiarity, centrality of people and which promotes a social market economy. Nevertheless, Europe cannot renounce its Judaeo-Christian roots: they are the bridge which unites East and West, they are the true element which unites half a billion people; they guarantee the secular nature of the institutions, and at this point we should remember the evangelical precept: ‘render unto Caesar that which is Caesar's, and unto God that which is God's'. We are calling for a reference to these roots to be included in the preamble to our Constitution, as it is on the flag: indeed, you know that the 12 stars represent the 12 tribes of Israel, crowning Mary’s head. Why not follow the example of the text of the Polish Constitution – as often urged by the Group of the European People’s Party (Christian Democrats) and European Democrats during the Convention debate – where there is an explicit reference to the word ‘God’? This is an example which our friends, who from now on will sit in Parliament, can give us, an example which we are sure that the whole of Europe should follow."@en1

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