Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2007-03-28-Speech-3-039"

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"Madam President-in-Office of the Council, what I want to do most of all is to congratulate you on two sentences in the Berlin Declaration, the first of which is the one that says that ‘we have united for the better.’ That is a wonderful thing to say, and I see it as running directly counter to those who carp and doubt, who only ever grumble that the EU is something in which their participation is compulsory. What this is all – precisely – about is ‘uniting for the better.’ I also think this beguilingly simple form of words strikes a note to which every citizen can relate. I would also like to congratulate you on having managed to include in the Berlin Declaration a binding commitment to making 2009 the date by when the European Union is to be put on a new footing. That is so definite that none of your fellow Heads of Government can go back on it without suffering a really serious loss of face. Good though it is that this joint declaration should have been made, I have to say that I find its content rather vague, for it has nothing to tell us about what Europe’s future is supposed to be like or – and this is the most important – about how the man and woman in the street are supposed to be involved in it, and so, as we look forward to the second half of your presidency, we look forward to proposals as to how that is to be accomplished. From the depths of our hearts, we wish you much success. If ever you need support in getting the citizens involved, you can certainly rely on us."@en1

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