Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2005-06-22-Speech-3-077"

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"Mr President, I would like to congratulate Luxembourg on three things: firstly, on having defended the European Constitution during its Presidency of the Council firmly and with determination, which it signed, like the governments of the other 24 Member States, on 29 October 2004. Secondly, on having maintained its referendum. And thirdly, because Mr Juncker spoke very clearly yesterday, at the summit with the United States, when he used a phrase that filled me with pride and emotion: ‘Europe is not on its knees’. That is more or less what those of us, for example, who represented this Parliament as observers during the Lebanese elections that ended this weekend, said: Europe exists and furthermore it is useful, not just for the Europeans, but also for the rest of the world. We should reflect, I agree, but to what end? So that we can remain in limbo, so that we can go backwards, have less Europe, come to a halt and ultimately allow the rhythm of the world to overtake us? No, not for that reason: we must reflect so that we can continue to make progress, that is to say, to bring the European Constitution into being. I believe that we must state very clearly that, if we believe that the European Constitution is good, it must not be renegotiated and that, however long it may take, the citizens must express their opinion on it, either directly or by means of their parliaments. I would like to remind you, Mr President, that it is not the case that there have only been two referenda so far and that they have both said ‘no’: there have been three referenda: the first was in my country, with 77.7% voting in favour of the European Constitution. In fact, if we add up the ‘yes’ votes and the ‘no’ votes in the referenda held to date, there are more ‘yes’ votes than ‘no’ votes, and far more countries have said yes to the European Constitution than no. But we are facing the usual problem: a genuine debate between Eurosceptics and Europeanists, between those who want more Europe and those who want less Europe. I am one of those who want more Europe and I therefore believe, from the point of view of the left, that what the citizens want is more and better Europe, a more democratic and more efficient Europe. And that is why we need this Constitution, which is a point of balance, but above all a point of progress."@en1

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