Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2004-05-05-Speech-3-017"

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"Mr President, Mr President of the Commission, new Commissioners, on behalf of the Group of the Greens/European Free Alliance, I should first like to extend heartfelt greetings to the Commissioners of the ten new Member States and to welcome them warmly into the institutions of our greater Europe. Hailing, as I do, from a cross-border region, Lorraine, which suffered greatly during conflicts with neighbours and in the aftermath of those conflicts, I am fully aware both of the need henceforth to unite our voices and our strength and of the challenges involved in doing so, yet I am also aware of what we all stand to gain from so doing. This enlarged European Union, this united Europe, or reunited as some would have it, with its rights and a political design finally restored in line with its geography, must establish a new European spirit that is free from the rancour of the past and from the yoke of nationalism. I would urge the new Commission team towards just such a shared spirit of solidarity, and of common responsibilities and common interests. Today, and most importantly, I would also urge your new executive – which is, of course, still in its infancy in terms of its composition – towards a completely democratic spirit, and towards ensuring that the citizens’ voices in our European Community are listened to and respected. It could scarcely be a worse omen or a worse baptism for your college that policies that are disconnected or far removed from what the peoples of our Union are saying and thinking are being proposed, because a shared spirit and a European public have been formed, and expression has been given to them within our European space. The Iraq crisis revealed this in sharp relief when political Europe once again shot itself in the foot through political calculations or strategies adopted in certain cabinet offices. Events, however, proved the European public right. Mr President, Mr Prodi, I should like to thank you most sincerely for recalling the major policy guidelines, which, as you said, Parliament had a share in deciding, and which it often encouraged. I should like to thank you for having again put sustainable development at the heart of the European project, because these political decisions were taken by all of the Heads of State, in agreement with the Commission. I refer to decisions such as those taken in Lisbon and Gothenburg, which must be complied with and enforced. The social environment and the economy are intrinsically linked and our proposals must be geared towards them. Hopefully your new Commission will not miss any further opportunities to speak on behalf of the citizens of our Community. The issue that most concerns them today, in the field of food safety and GMOs, must determine the European executive’s position and the precautions it takes. In successive surveys, the consumers of Europe have become stronger and more determined in their shared defiance and hostility towards genetically modified and scientifically dubious produce. In successive meetings, the Council of Ministers has failed to achieve a qualified majority on this public health requirement. I would therefore strongly urge you not to allow the Council to dump these genetically hazardous experiments onto your Commission, in its current interim period, thereby forcing it to take decisions endorsing such produce. There is no room for any wild scientific notions or leniency towards companies when the destiny and health of hundreds and hundreds of millions of European consumers are at stake, particularly since these consumers have never expressed any desire for this new generation of foodstuffs, the consequences of which are unknown. I would urge the Commissioners, including the new ones, not to authorise genetically modified maize during your short term in office. Today, you have given the unified Europe new faces. When major concerns or convictions mobilise the opinions of your constituents, from Dublin to Nicosia, from Tallinn to Lisbon, please ensure that you reflect them as faithfully as possible. The more democratic our European institutions, the greater will be the respect for our Union on the international scene."@en1

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