Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2006-03-23-Speech-4-054"

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"The Member States face significant demographic challenges. The problems and basic conditions differ, however, between one Member State and another. Both for this reason and for democratic reasons, solutions rooted in the individual nations are required. It makes no sense for the European Parliament to put forward detailed political recommendations expected to suit all the Member States. The current report contains a long list of exhortations regarding the type of measures the Member States should take within important areas such as social insurances, taxes, working times and immigration. Which routes individual Member States choose within significant specialist areas of politics must be determined through national democratic processes and not imposed from above. Political and social progress takes place through countries experimenting and trying different solutions that can be compared. Countries then learn from each other. It is through such processes that European culture has developed and, in practice, conquered the world. European solutions and ways of thinking have become successful precisely because they have come about through institutional competition between different countries rather than having been decided on centrally. The report that is the subject of our debate constitutes a further example of the way in which, slowly but surely, the European Parliament tries to obtain ever more influence over national political issues. I regret this process and would criticise the European Parliament’s all but non-existent opposition to this undemocratic development."@en1

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