Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2007-03-28-Speech-3-029"

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". Mr President, President-in-Office of the Council, ladies and gentlemen, the Berlin summit was a time of great excitement, particularly for those who, like myself, have held a seat in this Parliament since 1989, the year that signalled the new birth of Europe. The declaration recognises that Europe is a Union of States and not a new Super-State, and recognising the identities of the peoples of the Union and their differences within an association based on shared aims is the strength that enables us to press on towards achieving that political union we have yet to attain. We regret that it was not possible to recognise our roots in full: precisely because we believe strongly in the secularism of the institutions, we are equally convinced that, if we fail to recognise all of our roots, politics is impoverished. In our complex, multicultural and multi-ethnic society, with different ideas on the concept of democracy for achieving peace, which goes hand in hand with the universal recognition of respect for human dignity, there is a need for dialogue between cultures, and in order to recognise others one must first recognise oneself, from the everyday life of individuals to that of States. We remain resolute in reaffirming the danger of theocracy of any kind, and equally of extreme secularism, which slowly destroys the core values of society in individuals and in politics. We are concerned by the confusion made by too many between the essential concept of the secularism of the institutions and the acceptance of a cultural and political relativism that leads to extreme secularism. We are opposed to a Europe consisting only of the market, and to those pseudo-cultures that lead citizens to search for a virtual life to replace real life, for reasons of powerlessness or fear. We want a political Europe able to inspire the desire for democracy in places in the world where millions of women and men still suffer a lack of freedom and the rule of law. Europe urgently needs flexible and clearly defined institutions, because it is today that terrorism is at our door and it is today that we need the ability to identify and swiftly carry out our missions – as we affirmed in the European Convention – both within and outside of Europe: from energy resources to water supply, from climate change to reaffirming human dignity. We fear that 2009 is too far off, but nobody is obliged to do the impossible – even though we are so convinced of the strong and sincere commitment of the German Presidency, and Chancellor Merkel’s great ability to both mediate and persuade, that we hold some hope that it may be possible to shorten this timeframe."@en1
"ad impossibilia nemo tenetur"1

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