Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2007-04-23-Speech-1-159"

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". Mr President, it is good that the EU is preparing for further enlargements in good time. This includes carrying out the institutional reforms that have been advocated for years, and also in-depth analyses of the efficiency of the use of European funds. Rules that applied to the EU-15 are not equally applicable to an EU with 27 or even more Member States – we fully agree with the rapporteur on this. I should also like to express my thanks for what has been basically constructive cooperation. We could not agree on one key point, however, namely the very particular, unbalanced view of Turkey and, to some extent, also the countries of the former Yugoslavia. Commissioner Hübner has just emphasised once more what effect Croatia’s accession would have. An attempt is being made to assess enlargement and integration from an almost exclusively fiscal point of view. The progress that could be achieved by 2013 thanks to cohesion policy is being virtually disregarded. In addition, despite assertions to the contrary, the concept of a privileged partnership is to be restored to grace through the back door. I think that the Committee on Regional Development is clearly exceeding its powers here – and with an own-initiative report, too. Nor do we consider acceptable the attempt to enforce one law for existing EU Member States and another for future members. It is true that a review of the budget is needed, and also of cohesion policy – but the result must apply across the board. I do not want to see a system of first- and second-class Member States!"@en1

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