Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2004-09-15-Speech-3-168"

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"Mr President, I too am glad that you are here, though I am naturally not surprised, because we in this House are lucky enough to be headed by somebody who in the Convention, as a member of that Convention, worked courageously to achieve the very Constitution whose ratification by the people we are trying to achieve. The process of creating a Constitution is only complete when those whose sovereignty is at stake, in this case the people – the European citizens – give their final word on the text – in this case, the Constitutional text – which is submitted to them for consideration. Nevertheless, we are seeing a truly worrying phenomenon: only those who are against the European Constitution are expressing themselves clearly, those who have doubts, those who are trying to use this process for party-political or opportunist purposes. The governments in the Convention, the parliamentarians, restricted ourselves to saying that this Constitution is good and that it should therefore be supported. Well, now we must explain this Constitution, we must state what is positive about it and that, without it, we would be heading for the paralysis represented by the Treaty of Nice. We must do that from a European point of view. Mr President, we must Europeanise the debate on the Constitution, we must Europeanise the process of ratifying the Constitution which, as its name indicates, is a European Constitution. And there are only two ways of doing this. Firstly, by coordinating its ratification in the Member States. There are 25 of us, but we are only one Union and the referendums must therefore be held within a few days of each other and why not close to the Day for Europe. Secondly, the institutions cannot be neutral in this debate. Parliament, the Council and the Commission, in common agreement, must carry out a strategy of information, debate and persuading the public, in order to defeat our main enemy, which will be low turn-out. With majority participation, this Constitution will come into being."@en1

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