Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2009-02-19-Speech-4-088"

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"− Ladies and gentlemen, Mr President, it was your wish to address the European Parliament. We have gladly granted this wish. Mr President, in a Parliament of the past you would certainly not have been able to give that speech. Thank goodness that we live in a European democracy in which we can all express our opinions. Ladies and gentlemen, we are one European family and, as in any family, there are differences of opinion. Mr President, I agree with you when you say – I only wish to make a few comments, but I feel obliged to do so – : we are a human community. A human community is characterised by having advantages, strengths, disadvantages and weaknesses. Together, we must strengthen the strengths and eradicate the weaknesses. I also agree with you when you say that we need to ask whether each decision that we take could perhaps have been taken elsewhere. Yes, but our national capitals must also ask themselves whether many decisions should not be taken in our towns and communities rather than at national level. Allow me to make one final comment relating to our Parliament’s understanding of itself: we thank you for your acknowledgement that this European Parliament is an important institution. If we were not so influential, we would not currently be the legislator in 75% of cases and we would not be a co-legislator in almost 100% of cases with regard to the Treaty of Lisbon, and then it would, in fact, be the case that decisions in Europe would be made by bureaucratic means. However, it is now the European Parliament that decides. Thank you, Mr President, for your visit. It was an expression of our diversity of opinion in Europe and of our European democracy, and in a democracy it is ultimately the majority that counts. I would urge us all to continue, together, to stand up for this democracy, for Europe, for unity and for peace."@en1

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