Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2004-07-21-Speech-3-011"

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"Mr President, my group also wishes to congratulate the Taoiseach and his team for their prize-winning presidency: canny, courageous and committed. As you say, this Parliament can also claim a share in the success story. What we have achieved together is something rather remarkable: we have changed the political discourse in Europe, we have established a constitutional framework for a Europe that can stand on its own feet in world affairs and deliver effective common policy to address our shared problems. The IGC accepted the same concept of constitutional fidelity that Member States show to the Union, a concept that informed the proceedings throughout the European Convention. Although there were certainly remnants of the old-style quarrels about the pecking order between states, the IGC successfully managed to transcend these and leaves us with a fairly clear picture of what the European Union will be like for the foreseeable future. There is a sense of constitutional settlement, of democratic legitimisation that this package deal has achieved, a sense that previous IGCs have failed to establish. The European Union comes out stronger. We trust each other more and are more trustworthy for the citizen and the outside world. This Parliament will now develop its own positive critique of the outcome of the IGC and prepare to exploit it, but we must also explain and justify to a fairly sceptical electorate what has happened. We must be a campaigning Parliament for the Constitution. We can be proud of our own role inside the process so far and we must not be shy of marketing Parliament on the strength of the success. This time Parliament cannot absolve itself of responsibility for the outcome of the IGC. We were there, we were players. It could be that a referendum will be lost somewhere in Europe. It will be partly our fault as Members of the European Parliament, and that of the political parties that sent us here, should a referendum fail. It will also be our problem to resolve thereafter."@en1

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