Date: 28 March 2007
Issued by: Conservatives in the European Parliament
Timothy Kirkhope MEP, tel: +32 (0) 2 28 45 321Conservatives urge Merkel to lead the 'Europe of Results' not the Europe of declarations and constitutions
Conservative leader says European people need actions not words to re-establish interest in the European Union
Mr Kirkhope said: "The European Union today is viewed as a distant bureaucracy. People see the EU as an over-regulating body that is encroaching on too many matters that could be better regulated by the nation state. People want to see co-operation in Europe, but they do not understand why politicians in the EU and in this Parliament spend so much time on constitutional and institutional issues. It is results that matter, not the drafting of constitutions.
People ask what Europe is doing to combat global climate change, to fight the scourge of global poverty and to make our continent more competitive in the face of globalisation. They are not asking for Constitutions and Treaties. They want us to deliver on the substance, and not dwell on processes."
Rejecting the need for a new constitution, Mr Kirkhope added: "In the 21st Century, we need more flexibility and more decentralisation to enable our economies to win in international markets. We do not need more regulation in Europe, we need less. We do not need more majority voting to fight climate change or global poverty. Rather we need more effective intergovernmental co-operation.
"Constitutions and institutions do not generate prosperity, they do not make our economies more competitive, they do not reduce C02 emissions and they do not feed hungry people in the developing world. I urge governments to respect the 'no' votes of the French and Dutch peoples, avoid a lengthy and divisive constitutional debate and get on with the job of delivering on policy substance."
So once again to all those of you who ramble on about UKIP splitting the Eurosceptic vote, I say, "how?"
This press release could have been written for Blair himself. Or Merkel for that matter. It is as clear as a bell that the Conservatives are dedicated to not only remaining in the EU, but want to promote it in the UK and want it to have more power.
And I ask the question of Mr Kirkhope: with regards to his comments on poverty in the developing world, does he actually understand about trade policy? The EU is not going to eliminate poverty in the developing world, anymore than I am going to become a card carrying member of the Liberal Democrats, become a ballet dancer and have a crew cut.