Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2005-06-23-Speech-4-058"

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"Mr President, Prime Minister Blair, Europe today is better than ever. I say that because a large proportion of the current debates concern the view of enlargement. I am among those who believe that enlargement to include the 10 new Member States has made Europe safer and more stable and has created better preconditions for peace and prosperity than ever before. For me, this is an argument for positively accepting continued enlargement and not an argument for trying now to close Europe’s borders. One of the most important tasks for the new leadership in Europe will be that of firmly establishing and developing the view of how Europe can bring about increased security and greater prosperity by embracing those countries for which enlargement is now in the offing. Prime Minister Blair, I believe that the problems we now face in the EU have to do with the fact that Europe is better than ever. That also means that the European Union is a greater challenge than ever. It is not a question, as is sometimes said, of a conflict between the old and the new Europe or between a free-trade Europe and political union. The European Union is a political union and must fulfil its task on that basis. It is a question, instead, of moving on from the old European Union of 6, 9, 12 or 15 Members to today’s EU of 25 Member States. This requires respect for variation and diversity and also an ability to take advantage of the dynamism that exists throughout Europe. It requires openness towards the new Member States. It requires an ability to find the common denominators, to pin our hopes on the knowledge-based, instead of subsidy-based, society and to put our faith in the new enterprises instead of making agricultural aid an obstacle to the research and development we need. I hope, on behalf of the Swedish Moderates, that you will lay the basis for the new leadership needed by the new Europe and the new European Union."@en1

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