Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2008-09-01-Speech-1-204"

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"Mr President, the Commissioner has answered some of the questions put by my colleagues. However, this project is of great importance to all our institutions, and we are now coming to the politics of it, and the major issues concerning the democratic legitimacy of the creation of a CFR. There has been a lot of consultation, with many working groups and many stakeholder groups, from which we can learn a lot, but now it is time for decision-making, and we need a process that is open, inclusive and coherent. The Commission is rightly conducting a selection process before presenting a white paper. However, that process needs to be as inclusive as possible, and we are obviously worried about the languages used, since if this were mainstream legislation it would be available in all the languages. Can Parliament have an assurance that at white paper stage it will still be possible to change the selection if it considers that appropriate? This is at the heart of the conundrum we face. Will the white paper kick off a legislative process, or something analogous to it, or are we going to deal with a separate legislative process each and every time in the future that we look at anything to do with contract law? It comes down to the question of whether it will be binding or non-binding. The Council seems to think it should be non-binding and voluntary. If that is the case, it is arguable whether we need a selection process at all. You can keep everything open and have the political debate at every moment in the future that a contract law question arises in a legislative proposal. On the other hand, if we are creating something binding now – which Parliament is well known to prefer, in the form of an optional instrument – then we have to have some very serious inclusive political debates now about content and coverage, leading us on to the next set of questions about a legal base and the involvement of Parliament as something more than a mere consultee."@en1

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