Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2004-05-04-Speech-2-177"

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"Mr President, those of us in Parliament, and in European society, who want a political Europe and who welcome the new Member States, those who want a Constitution that will take the EU forward as a political entity that is united in its diversity are in the vast majority. Let us learn from this historic experience, which is unique in the world today, on a continent that, as recently as last century, suffered unspeakably tragic events. Stateless nations, such as mine, Galicia, are still not recognised as such in the draft Constitution. Given that what we want is a political Europe, a Europe of the peoples and the citizens, we shall continue to struggle for such recognition and for self-determination within the EU. Whilst we want a political Europe, Mr President, it must be said that this will not exist without a social Europe, which must be made a reality as a matter of urgency, by integrating our fellow peoples that have a per capita income of less than 40% of that in the Union of the Fifteen. Against this backdrop, it is paradoxical and irresponsible that the richest States, which claim that they want a political Europe, are attempting to impose a reduced European Union budget as low as 1% of Gross National Income. This is despite the fact that, with enlargement, the number of inhabitants of regions eligible for Objective 1 (whose income is less than 75% of the average per capita) is set to double; to put it more clearly, this figure is set to jump from 63 million people at present to 153 million in the coming years. Similarly, nothing will be resolved if the budget is limited to the 1.14% proposed by the Commission. If we continue this way, we will not be moving towards a social Europe. Funding per capita for Objective 1 regions will be halved, thereby blocking a cohesion policy that has benefited and defined the entire Union. This will have a negative effect on both the Union of the Fifteen and on the enlarged Union of Twenty-Seven."@en1

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