Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2006-01-18-Speech-3-253"

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"Mr President, I would like to remind the Commissioner and certain fellow Members that, twenty years ago, Spain joined the European Union. It was good news for my country and surely for the whole of the Union. I say this because we Spanish joined twenty years ago and a little more than a year ago we held a referendum and voted ‘yes’ to the European Constitution, with the same rights, duties and responsibilities with which other countries, France and the Netherlands, voted ‘no’. A ‘yes’ is worth the same as a ‘no’, whether expressed by referendum or by a parliament. And today an absolute majority of members of the Union have said yes to the European Constitution. This report – I have had the opportunity to work with its two rapporteurs for four months, as shadow rapporteur for the Socialist Group – is a balanced result, which essentially says four things: Firstly, this Parliament still considers the Constitution to be the best instrument for creating a more democratic and effective Union. Secondly, if it does not enter into force, the Union’s political and institutional problems will worsen, not just persist, and furthermore it will be impossible to carry out more enlargements on the basis of the Treaty of Nice following the entry of Bulgaria and Rumania. Thirdly, we must begin a genuine period of reflection and debate, amongst the institutions and with the citizens, in order to seek solutions to the current crisis. At the end of this period we will have to draw conclusions that allow us to move forward and complete the political union. Fourthly, to be consistent with how we acted in January 2005, a positive result from this period of reflection would be to maintain the current text, which would only be possible with the appropriate measures. We shall then define the appropriate measures. Given the current political context, we can say that there are new elements on the basis of which we can move ahead with the Constitution and refute two positions: firstly, the statement that the Constitution is dead – well, reports of its death have been grossly exaggerated – and, secondly, the idea that we must first deal with unemployment, immigration or fighting crime, a view which ignores the fact that, in order to do so, we need this Constitution. This is not just an issue for institutionalists."@en1

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