Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2004-05-04-Speech-2-193"
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"Mr President, after spending the past year as an observer in the European Parliament it is indeed an honour that I can, for the first time, address this assembly following the formal accession of my country, Malta. Over the past year I have participated in a number of committees, primarily the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs and the Committee on Regional Policy, Transport and Tourism. I have followed many debates and also contributed to various topics, including tabling an amendment that was formally introduced by a fellow MEP. This amendment to the third cohesion report was adopted in committee and then in plenary. It is a vibrant example of the opportunity that was given to the accession countries to participate in and influence decisions even prior to membership. This is also a clear instance of the welcoming attitude of Members of this House towards an observer. I mentioned earlier the cohesion report. What better way is there to highlight the economic and social model of Europe, the subject of this debate? The concept of providing a helping hand to regions and countries that are lagging behind other areas of the Union is an excellent example of solidarity in practice, which forms such an essential part of the European Union. If one were to ask what the essential characteristics of the European economic and social model are, one would definitely have to include this aspect of support for cohesion and sustainable development, with due consideration given to the quality of life of EU citizens. It is important to stimulate the economic growth of the EU so as to provide better jobs and a higher standard of living. However, it also important to focus on a distribution of income that is just and equitable. This is the first and probably last speech I will make in this Parliament, as I have been nominated to the European Court of Auditors. I will not vote on this item tomorrow as I believe that one should not participate in decisions when one is directly involved in that same decision. I will end with a few words in Maltese."@en1
"Bonnici (PPE-DE )."1
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