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Speech in the plenary debate about a roadmap for the Union’s Constitutional Process

Gunnar Hökmark (EPP-ED). – Mr President, I have three points. Firstly, it is important that we do not let the problems with the new Treaty overshadow developments in the European Union and our achievements. In a way, our achievements are the best arguments for a new Treaty. They give us new responsibilities and underline the need for new power to make decisions. If the European Union were a failure, no one would have turned to us to deal with climate change or to contribute to stability in the Balkans. We would have had no new applications for membership. Let us not forget that achievements are the main arguments for a new Treaty.

Secondly, we must ensure that the new Treaty results from political challenges and not from different political symbols. We must be able to welcome new Members and to have clear, democratic control and accountability with regard to the common decisions we make. We must have the opportunity to make the necessary decisions in order to fight crime, to meet the challenges of environmental and energy policy and to secure stability in our neighbourhood and in other parts of the world where it is needed.

Thirdly, we need to understand and make sure that it is more important to have a common foreign policy than a common foreign minister. It is more important to be able to make crucial decisions than to have an elected President of the European Council. It is more important to ensure that we are able to make decisions in all the areas where we face challenges today. That is more important than symbols are. We need a Treaty, not necessarily exactly the one under discussion.