Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2004-05-04-Speech-2-180"

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"Mr President, we must safeguard the European economic and social model. We hear this from all quarters more than ever, certainly now that Europe is reunified and many people still feel somewhat ill at ease in our big House. The public appreciates the socio-ecologically corrected free-market economy. They know that competitiveness and solidarity are key concepts in this connection, and realise that the Lisbon process must be perpetuated and strengthened. I should like to make a plea for the little ones not to be overlooked in our future socio-economic policy. We must continue to work on a better entrepreneurial climate, in which more people feel inclined to set up a business and also have the opportunities to do so. We should in any case pay more attention to SMEs, because two-thirds of employment and added value are created by them. Why not, Commissioner, include a specific SME Commissioner in the next Commission with a horizontal competence and who, on that basis, would work with the different Commissioners in a matrix model in each of the vertical fields of competence? Finally, I think we should closely examine the proposal for the internal market directive and fine-tune it where necessary, to avoid having to throw away the baby with the bath water in the social sphere. I should like to say the following by way of conclusion. We are now reunited; there are 25 of us and together we will keep going. The ten new countries that have joined us have demonstrated to us that it is possible to make structural changes and that it is necessary to dare stick to one's guns in order to achieve the long-term goals of peace, prosperity and a good social climate. Let the journey they have travelled serve as an example to us and let us continue focusing on keeping the balance in Europe between the needs of a smoothly-running market and the wishes of the public."@en1

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