Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2005-06-23-Speech-4-044"
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"Mr President, Mr President of the Commission, Mr Blair, I think it is the case – and it is the message that we get from the European people – that we need reforms. We have to make Europeans more competitive, which involves setting limits and avoiding red tape and excessive regulation. I would also, however, like to say that this economic project is not at odds with a constitutional treaty; on the contrary, the latter creates the conditions without which the former cannot succeed, by creating better decision-making structures, greater transparency and more participation for the public. In particular – and this was something we saw yesterday at the Iraq conference – it also better enables Europe to play its part on the world stage. One reason, I think, why we have to make it clear that there is no contradiction between improving Europe’s economy and a political project, but rather that the former is dependent on the latter, is that the political project calls forth the solidarity that is needed if there is to be cooperation in economic matters. That is why we need both a political project and one market, rather than just a political project or just a free trade zone. The market demands modern conditions under which to operate, including social security and protection for the environment and the consumer. These strike me as important issues to which we want to respond in a positive way. We want a social market economy rather than Manchester liberalism, and we need to keep reminding ourselves of that fact. I have to say, Mr Blair, that if Europe is to be effective in this way, it has to set limits upon itself. Enlargement must be limited in the light of the present situation, in order that Europe may not become overstretched and hence less effective and less competitive. I therefore invite you to resolve this persistent contradiction. I welcome your statement that you want to advance the political project, and so I will take this opportunity, here in this Chamber, to invite you to become a full member of this Europe, for it is to the euro that the European Union owes much of its ability to compete, and I would be delighted if the United Kingdom were to sign up to the euro and to Schengen too, thereby taking full advantage of its membership of the European Union."@en1
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