Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2008-07-10-Speech-4-182"

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"Mr President, President-in-Office of the Council, ladies and gentlemen, as Head of the Italian delegation of the Group of the European People’s Party (Christian Democrats) and European Democrats, I am pleased that you have taken over the helm of Europe and I am pleased at what you have said. You radiate enthusiasm and pride. You believe in and make people believe in an institution, Europe, which has many problems and really needs wise, enlightened and aware leaders, which is what you have shown yourself to be. Italy has always enjoyed strong cultural and social ties with France: two countries that have made major sacrifices to found and build Europe, which all its members now have the duty to develop. Anyone working in this institution knows how many difficulties may be encountered in moving forward with the process of development and integration, because this process has to be built between people of differing histories, cultures, social status and traditions. The politically opportunistic positions expressed just now by Mr Schulz about the present highly popular Italian Government certainly do not help. However, it is a process that must be moved forward despite the disappointments that it sometimes involves. The Lisbon Treaty, an excellent treaty, is on the back burner and it will require a lot of goodwill to bring it back, if we are avoid marginalising those who have not understood it. However, I do agree with what you said: before any further enlargement, we need to define new rules but without leaving Ireland out on a limb. The wave of immigration into Europe, especially into certain Member States, and mainly my own country and those in the Mediterranean area, must be regulated and viewed as a common problem rather than a reason to make distinctions or actually exploit the situation by penalising countries that are already making so many sacrifices. The people of our countries must be safeguarded and integration must be built on a reasonable basis. President-in-Office, the Italian Government and people are watching your mandate attentively and trustingly, in the certainty that the history and social standing that you represent today will inject hope and development into Europe."@en1

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