Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2008-07-10-Speech-4-210"

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". I would like to thank the French President for a speech that raises many of the EU’s fundamental problems. It is true that we must consider how to get Europe out of its crisis. It is little consolation that virtually the whole world finds itself in a situation that is close to critical. This has a significant economic and social dimension. I am talking about the threat of hunger in many regions of the world, since food prices are rising steeply, about energy security and also about the status of the environment. The world’s financial system is becoming increasingly unstable. Why am I placing emphasis on this? Because it is not for us to be self-righteous. The almost 500 million citizens of the EU currently constitute less than 8% of the world’s population, and in 40 years’ time this proportion will be barely at the election threshold – 5%. Our European view must therefore not overlook values of a higher order linked to the maintenance of Euro-Atlantic civilisation. This also has an ethical dimension. In each country of the EU, then, we need due care for the family, which, while being a tiny community, is at the same time the cornerstone of the whole European Community. We should not let this slip from our view. If we do, we shall lose touch, as we are doing now, by abusing the word ‘marriage’ in applying it to unions that are not marriage. It is true that we need new legal frameworks, but they must be ones that people can understand. EU citizens are the subject of actions taken by Parliament, the Council and the Commission. We are merely carrying out a service. It is precisely in this light that we view the case of Ireland."@en1

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