Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2004-05-04-Speech-2-059"

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"Mr President, Mr President-in-Office of the Council, Commissioner, I wish to express my joy at having today been given the right for the first time to speak to this Parliament, the European Parliament, and to refer to an issue on which I have been engaged, the European Constitution. I was a member of the drafting Convention and I know that this Constitution is the fruit of agreement between the representatives of states, parliaments and civil society. It is not an editorial miracle, as many want and wanted what the Convention produced to be. However, it is a text which promotes the cohesion and unity of Europe. It promotes the principles and the values of Europe and it also promotes the vision of Jean Monnet and of the person we honoured today, Altiero Spinelli. Those who oppose approval of the Constitution are, I think, doing the European question a disservice because, in seeking something better, they are undermining something good. This Constitution, as I said, is the product of agreement; it is precisely what the European Union cultivates, a culture of cohesion and compromise. Consequently, extremes and approaches based on ethnic criteria are mistaken. I call for this Constitution to be adopted by the Intergovernmental Conference in 2004, so that 2004 can be christened the year of the European Constitution."@en1

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