Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2007-03-28-Speech-3-186"

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". I would like firstly to congratulate Mr Böge on his excellent French, of which I am very envious, and also, of course, the rapporteur, Mr Lamassoure, on his efforts to stimulate a crucial debate. We will see later whether the other Community institutions have the courage to tackle it. I believe that almost all of us share the report’s fundamental objectives: a European system that is comprehensible to the citizens and which does not increase fiscal pressure, of course. Nevertheless, I would like to focus on one of the Committee on Regional Development's priority demands, which is that solidarity should remain the fundamental pillar of European integration, particularly following the latest enlargements. Economic, social and territorial cohesion requires a fair and balanced system of funding which takes account, on the one hand, of relative prosperity, and, on the other, of the Member States’ contribution capacity. That requires that we eliminate the regressive elements of the current system, that the rebates received from the Community budget by the most prosperous countries be removed, and that, as the report proposes, the future of own resources be based on the criteria of equity and progressiveness. The benefits of European policies, Madam President, cannot be measured in terms of calculations of net balances that do not take account, for example, of inter-Community trade balances. Finally, I believe that the central element of future European funding must be contributions according to the gross national product of the Member States."@en1

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