Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2007-03-28-Speech-3-031"

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". Mr President, Madam Chancellor, ladies and gentlemen, when we talk of the European dream nowadays, we are usually quoting the American Jeremy Rifkin. In any case, the EU Heads of State or Government and their sherpas have not been dreaming – and certainly not together. The Berlin Declaration neither describes a dream nor reflects reality; on the contrary, it represents a further denial of reality, which is preventing any clear identification by the Heads of State or Government of the crisis in which the EU finds itself. This also means, of course, that there is no initiative offering a way out. Consequently, the danger of disintegration and renationalisation continues to grow. There is no rejection of a socially and environmentally destructive neoliberal free trade area, or of further militarisation of the EU. The Declaration does not say a word about the situation of millions of people within the EU affected by poverty, long-term unemployment, precariousness and social exclusion. They do not figure in it. The message of the Declaration goes out only to the governments themselves, not to the people of the Member States; and thus it cannot be said to contribute to the creation of a European identity. Commentators have spoken of this being a test case for the constitutional process, as others have already mentioned today in principle. This translates as meaning that the future Constitution or Basic Treaty will come about by secret diplomacy without any involvement of civil society. Then everything will be just a matter of pressuring the Heads of State or Government – and some of my German fellow MEPs are threatening to leave Parliament if these leaders do not toe the line. In my opinion, this is indeed an extremely democratic argument – I really mean that. If the governments in the EU were really serious about their promises to give the Union a new, viable common basis by the 2009 elections, the following would need to be done. All passages pushing for economic liberalisation, privatisation and militarisation would have to be deleted from the entire draft European Constitution. A debate on the European Union that most of its residents want would have to be opened. The third part of the present draft Constitution would have to be deleted in its entirety. The detailed policy objectives and requirements would have to be replaced by clear rules on powers and responsibilities and procedures that left scope for different policies. Article I(41)(3) would have to be replaced by a clear ban on wars of aggression and a commitment to international law, and the European Defence Agency, which is already up and running in anticipation of the EU Constitutional Treaty, would have to be closed."@en1

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