Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2004-05-04-Speech-2-168"

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"Madam President, ladies and gentlemen, the euphoria that has erupted in this House, which I also detect among the leading European politicians, is understandable, but I do, of course, ask myself if the people feel such enthusiasm too. Without a doubt, Europe is an unprecedented success story, and I will just mention the key words ‘peacekeeping’ and a ‘place of trade’. Europe evolved as an economic area and, above all, in the hope of creating peaceful cooperation in Europe after 50 years of war. Today we face what may be our next major challenge, in that we are in a position where we are too small as individual nations to be able to position ourselves in a globalised world, but we become strong enough when we come together. All that will, however, only count if we are capable of creating an awareness of Europe in the minds of 450 million Europeans, and this Parliament, too, is called upon to do so. I doubt that it is there at the moment and we will see how big the turnout is in the European elections. We need a constitution, we need a common foreign policy, but the Europe of the regions too must not be lost as a value. As a Community of shared values we must, of course, export values as well as goods. Only when we, in Europe, are capable of winning back the leading role in the fields in which we were strong, above all, in the area of knowledge, will we have the credibility to also export values such as overall quality of life, peacekeeping and sustainability as a basis for responsible policies. During recent decades, though, we have encouraged people to be aware of what they are entitled to, and this will not help Europe grow; at best, it will increase unemployment, poverty and corruption. This is why I believe that we as individuals, the regions, the Member States and the EU as a whole, must have higher expectations of ourselves; not of the Community, the State or the EU, but rather each part should have higher expectations of itself. This is because what matters is not just stressing what we have achieved, but instead focusing, above all, on what we intend to do, which is a good deal more. That alone that will make us strong."@en1

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