Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2004-05-04-Speech-2-115"

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"Mr President, these days' debates have perhaps a celebratory character. I should like, however, to point out that, for us, the enlargement of united Europe, over and above its historic, political and economic importance, is also a huge challenge for a Europe without partitions and without exclusions. Unfortunately, the current economic and social choices of the European Union widen the social gap, instead of bridging it. If, therefore, we look realistically at the omissions and problems, I would say that the European Union as a whole needs to look specifically at how the new Member States are being supported, so that cohesion, at both economic and social level, and the safeguarding of citizens' rights can progress. Enlargement, however, is continuing. The prospect of the integration, in coming years, of Bulgaria and Romania into the Union is positive, insofar as it is based not simply on satisfying certain indicators, but on real improvements to the life of the citizens in these countries. As far as Turkey is concerned, enlargement and the consolidation of relations between the European Union and this country are, I believe, positive both for the country and its democratisation and for peace and stability in the area. It is within these frameworks that we see the contribution of Cyprus to the European Union. We believe that Cyprus can and must be used as a bridge between the European Union and the Eastern Mediterranean, especially the Middle East. We could, of course, play this part much more efficiently if the Cyprus question had been resolved when we joined the European Union on 1 May. Unfortunately, the referenda, the expression of the will of the people, did not bring about the result which we all hoped for. We need to interpret the result of the referenda correctly. In our perception at least, the no vote by the Greek Cypriot community in the referendum neither rejects the solution for the reunification of Cyprus nor, if you like, the plan of the Secretary General of the United Nations itself. It is an expression of insecurity, it is an expression of anxieties about the workability of the solution and we would like the European Parliament to turn its attention in this direction and make a positive contribution towards putting those preconditions in place that will result in the support of the overwhelming majority, of both Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots, for the reunification of the island, within the framework of a federation."@en1

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