Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2008-07-10-Speech-4-172"

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"Mr President, President-in-Office of the Council, first of all I would like to offer you my sincere congratulations on taking over the Presidency of the European Union. This will not be an easy presidency. It coincides with a difficult period, but of course I wish you success. Ireland has rejected the Treaty of Lisbon. We cannot rule out the possibility that Ireland will change its mind in the future, but it is definitely not acceptable to try to influence the Irish decision by means of threats, just as the French and the Dutch were not threatened when they rejected the Treaty three years ago and set today’s problems in motion. EU countries must not be divided into better and worse. I therefore thank you for saying today that none of the 27 Member States can be excluded from the European family, as the lady who spoke before me, Mrs Koch-Mehrin, might perhaps have liked to do. Mr President, I would also like to take this opportunity to thank you for the recent opening-up of the job market in France to Poles, among others. We had waited some time for this to happen – a lot longer than in other countries, but better late than never. One thing I missed hearing in today’s speech was any reference to our largest European neighbour, Ukraine. I nevertheless hope that the summit planned for 9 September 2008 in Evian will bring us significantly closer to the signing of an association agreement with Ukraine. After all, just now a clear signal from us is of particular importance to our friends in Ukraine, especially at a time when there are further threats from Russia. Finally, on behalf of the millions of Europeans who are currently afflicted by ever-increasing costs, I would like to thank you, Mr President, for your efforts towards bringing down VAT on fuel. I would like to hope that during the French Presidency you will succeed in winning other leaders over to this idea, including the Prime Minister of my own country, Poland."@en1

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