Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2004-05-04-Speech-2-143"

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"Madam President, I wish to begin by welcoming our 162 new MEPs to the European Parliament. I am convinced that there will be many exciting debates in this new Parliament, even though I myself shall not be participating because I am now, after two terms of office, leaving the European Parliament. Many have said that this is an historic enlargement, as of course it is. It must, however, be followed by further historic enlargements. We must not stop here. We must be open to a cooperation that does not set any geographical limits. It must also be possible for every country that wishes to do so and that fulfils the stated requirements to become a Member of the EU. I also welcome the negotiations with Turkey, even though I am aware that Turkey still has a huge amount of work to do in the matter of, for example, democracy. The new, enlarged EU must take upon itself the arduous task of genuinely becoming a functioning Union for all citizens. The objectives must be a secure future, human dignity, work, health and a sound environment to hand on to the next generation. We must be tolerant, and we must be good neighbours. I am therefore very proud that the Swedish Parliament voted against a proposal for transitional rules governing the labour force from the new EU countries. I am proud that, from the beginning, my party – the party of the environment – absolutely rejected transitional rules in any form. Such rules only cause offence and put a damper on the joy of having good neighbours. That is something that also emerged extremely clearly from Lech Walesa’s speech yesterday. To obtain respect, there must also be a readiness to respect others."@en1

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