Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2004-05-04-Speech-2-081"

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"Mr President, maladministration is not confined to Brussels: all political structures are imperfect. Man is fallen and some people will sometimes give in to temptation. What is peculiar to Brussels is the way in which allegations of malpractice are dealt with. The usual response of the EU authorities, faced with evidence of corruption, is not to address the issues raised but to impugn the motives of the critic. Thus we have seen the disgraceful way in which Paul van Buitenen and Martha Andreasen were treated and the extraordinary arrest of Hans-Martin Tillack. In the looking glass world of Brussels, it is not those engaging in fraud who are harassed and bullied, but those exposing it. This inability to handle even the most narrow and qualified criticism can be seen in the reaction to the censure motion on which we have just voted. Rather than accepting a mild rebuke, the EU establishment went into overdrive, cajoling and threatening the various signatories in an attempt to prevent the motion from seeing the light of day. Any lingering doubts about whether the motion was justified have surely been removed by the attempts to smother it. I hope that people beyond this House will extrapolate from what has just happened. If this is how the EU administers itself, are we wise to invite it to assume control over huge new swathes of our national affairs? If this is how Brussels exercises the powers it currently has, what are we thinking of that we should be proposing to give it new ones? My masters, are we mad?"@en1

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