Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2004-05-04-Speech-2-132"

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"Madam President, that the ten new Member States belong to Europe is so manifest that their accession to the European Union ought to have been a formality, as should the accession of all those countries, constituting much of Europe, which are not at present Member States. I regard opposition to Turkish accession on religious grounds as unjust, whilst there are others in this House acting as spokesmen for traditionalist Catholicism by opposing women’s rights. My rejoicing at the relaxation of the EU’s internal borders would know no bounds were it not for the countervailing reinforcement of the external borders, by which peoples are cut in half. The European Union must enforce respect for the rights of all minorities. I would rejoice in the enlargement of the European Union were it not for the fact that it bears the marks of a project guided, not by the interests of the peoples, but by the desire to ensure the movement of capital and goods. The new Member States have been incorporated as subject countries rather than as equals. Their economies are already under the thumb of major industrial and financial conglomerates from Western Europe. Having been incorporated into the EU, they are regarded as second-class members, and the debate on a future European Constitution largely revolves around the idea of putting this arrangement on a constitutional footing. What is particularly shocking today is that restrictions are imposed upon the rights of people from the ten new Member States – their right to travel, settle and work anywhere within the European Union. The aspect of the European project that gives me most hope is that it unites in one body some 200 million European workers, both those in jobs and those currently unemployed. I hope that, in the course of time, and above all as a result of social struggles, these workers may come to be aware that their fundamental interests are the same on whatever side of whatever border. They will then be able to bring about the social Europe that we are merely talking about today, whereas the Europe of big business is all too real."@en1

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