Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2008-07-10-Speech-4-160"

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"Mr President, I am a French and European socialist. This means that in Paris, I am not one of your supporters, but in Strasbourg, I am not entirely one of your opponents, especially when I see you surrounded by two social democrats. Even if my President is in the wrong in my country, he is still my President. I therefore wish the French Presidency, and therefore the European Presidency, success. Since the start I have relaxed while observing you, because I understand your desire to be in the French Parliament. What I am seeing is a head of state, certainly, but also a somewhat frank Prime Minister. Regarding the social chapter and your priorities, I think that a distinction needs to be made. There are indeed matters that need to remain national. I am thinking about pensions. However, for everything that affects employment, such as a single market, a single currency and free movement, we need to aim at harmonising towards the best that we have. A distinction therefore needs to be made. I would like to add that, in this chapter, I would have liked you to put considerable effort into establishing a framework directive for public services. You did it for restaurateurs, and it needs to be done for public services. Finally, I do not think that the European crisis is only social and democratic. I think that it is also an identity crisis. From the point when peace was obtained, freedom won and democracy established, the world as it is has made it difficult for many of our citizens to see and understand the meaning of the history of the Union. That is why matters such as culture, education, the mobility of artists, young people, students and twinning, all of those things are fundamental, because European consciousness can no longer be taken for granted. It will build itself up, and I think that these subjects need to pervade the French Presidency. Finally, obviously we are going to judge you on six months. For a French person that is fine, because in France that is a long time, as you know. So in December we will have the results. What is certain is that the Treaty will definitely not have been ratified. You wanted a simplified treaty, and you have a complicated situation, so get yourself out of it! I would like to conclude with a phrase that I have borrowed from a Polish writer, which says this Mr President, if you will allow me, ‘Being French means taking into consideration something other than France.’ That is the reputation we have, and perhaps you have too a little bit, Mr President."@en1

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