Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2006-12-13-Speech-3-059"

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"Mr President, the plan of enlarging the European Union further is today losing public favour. The most recent enlargement was logical, as it represented the definitive overcoming of the artificial division of Europe that was a consequence of the Yalta Conference. The question now being asked is what is the point of further enlargements. This question brings into question the purpose of the great project that is the European Union. What is a common Europe and what should it be? Is it only a political community which is meant to ensure the stability of democratic government for its members, respect for human rights and civil freedoms, acceptance of the rule of law and, ultimately, prosperity, thanks to an efficient market economy? Or is it a community of values, reaching back to common roots and a common cultural heritage? In that case, what are those roots and what is the heritage? Cultural historians highlight the fact that the contemporary European identity is the product of many historical traditions. In each of us, as in each of the European nations, something remains of the Greek philosophical tradition and of Roman republicanism. We are the heirs to the humanism of the Renaissance and rationalism of the Enlightenment and, regardless of whether we admit it or not, we also have a Christian heritage. Let us not deceive ourselves. Even if some of us today do not want to accept this tradition, it is still part of contemporary European identity. If nothing else, it is present in the fundamental principle of human dignity, which is the basis for a whole package of basic laws. As Mr Elmar Brok’s report states that the ‘Union can only function properly if all of its members share common values arising from a European identity’, he must have in mind an identity that includes our Christian heritage. We must not forget to refer to this heritage when we draw up a constitution."@en1

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