Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2004-05-04-Speech-2-126"

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"Mr President, Commissioner, Mr President-in-Office of the Council, ladies and gentlemen, I think this debate shows the diversity of this Europe of ours, which is one of its strengths. It will certainly take us several years to take the diversity in our enlarged European and develop from it the common political approach we once had. I want to make it clear that we must take the time to do so. If we are to be able to ensure Europe’s long-term effectiveness, it is certain that all our institutions will have to undergo a period of consolidation. There is a whole range of issues to be discussed. Where Europe was already effective, it must of course remain so, in order that we may be successful in facing the challenge of globalisation and actively work on economic cooperation and in establishing a common framework. We must, though, ensure that Europe becomes effective where it has not been before. This is true also of foreign and security policy, where Europe still has much to do over the coming years. I hope that we will, together, succeed in this. We will then have to give very serious attention to the question of what, in this European Union of ours, holds us together. Is it no more than a free trade area? Is it only the common currency and common market? For me, that would be too little. Europe is founded upon a shared history and culture, upon values that bind us, and the Member States – now numbering 25 – together. It follows that, rather than just talking about cooperation with our neighbours, we must come up with new approaches in order to actually do so where such close cooperation is desirable. Where the European Union is concerned, there are only two options: being a full member or not being a member at all. That is true when it comes to our new neighbours in the East, it also – of course – applies to Turkey, and it is the case with regard to other areas in our neighbourhood, like – if I may make this clear for once – the whole of the Mediterranean. That is the challenge we have to set ourselves. Where there are new challenges, let us find new responses to them, and let us consolidate what we have achieved in such a way that we may start the twenty-first century well."@en1

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