Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2004-05-04-Speech-2-144"

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"Madam President, it was a privilege for me over the past three legislative periods, from the liberation of eastern Europe to the accession of the new Member States, to take part in the accession process as policy coordinator for the Group of the European People’s Party (Christian Democrats) and European Democrats, and, initially, also as strategy rapporteur. It involved letting the Union be what the peoples who were once so oppressed hoped it was: a federation of democratic constitutional states contributing to international peace. The acceding states expected to come home to a community of values, one that also fulfils their deepest desires. We are not primarily a market: ‘It's not the economy, stupid!’ The Council is possibly less bothered by it, but we, as representatives of the European citizens, insist that not the bureaucratic or power-political arguments carry the weight, but the political-moral arguments. I would echo the Commissioner's words about Turkey and the need to give political criteria priority over the more technical policy problems. I noticed recently that this Turkish Government increasingly understands and appreciates this. In the same way, political values should also be given priority where Romania is concerned. I therefore hope that the Commission and the Council will not disregard Parliament's warning and carry on business as usual. The accession of the ten is a very festive event, marred only by the off-key note of the Cypriot referendum, on the basis of which, quite remarkably, the no-voters are being rewarded with two seats taken from the yes-voters. In fact, I wonder whether that is indeed the intention and whether something will yet be done about this. This shows how much we need to continue to insist on the sustainability of the political changes before a candidate becomes a member. A crucial factor in this context is the way in which the Members of this Parliament view their term in office. We are European representatives of the people, elected in different countries. That means that we stand up for general European well-being, in accordance with the old biblical duty that we should not only look after our own interests, but also that of others. In that light, I hope that Europe is becoming increasingly Christian. The mood of solidarity creates the confidence that is essential to us, and on which the EU's future will depend."@en1

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