Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2004-07-20-Speech-2-027"

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"Mr President, having expressed our sincere gratitude to your predecessor, Mr Cox, we wish, in accordance with the forms and courtesies of this House, in turn to offer you our sincere congratulations on your election. These are, of course, congratulations that are offered not so much out of political considerations as to you, yourself, since, as has become apparent, this election is, as much as anything, fairly symbolic of the basic agreement that exists between the two main groups in this House, over and above the differences of opinion that, all in all, are relatively superficial. As a number of previous speakers have said, we hope you will defend the rights of all MEPs, including those who are at present in minorities and who, as has happened to certain other minorities in history, will perhaps be the majorities of tomorrow. They will include MEPs who, as they have every right to do, share their electorate’s unshakeable hostility towards the way in which our institutions are currently developing and who are resolved to defend the identity and fundamental freedoms of their respective nations. They will include MEPs whom, following the pattern in previous terms of office, hostile governments wish to strip of their mandates because of what they have said or because of their protests against the persecutions to which they are subject. They will include MEPs who do not belong to groups and who, although much larger in number than the members of certain groups and although representing no less than eight or ten nationalities, do not have a single interpreter, in French or English for example, at their work meetings – a form of discrimination that, during the previous Parliament, the Court of Justice had occasion to condemn in principle. In a word, we hope that you will be a President for all MEPs and ensure that the principle is respected whereby, in this Parliament, all MEPs are fully-fledged MEPs, whatever their opinions."@en1

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