What do you mean by parliament?
State Parliament, 42nd meeting on January 28, 2020, verbatim minutes - page 46 of 72
and there aren't any here. Many say you can't because the lifespan is so long. But what I have now asked all of my friends and acquaintances, they have all exchanged them because they are dissatisfied, but they have not been returned properly. These problematic things then end up in the trash.
I could still list 1,000 regulations that, in my opinion, are not necessary, what should be cleared out. I would therefore like to see a Europe of fatherlands where the regions' independence is guaranteed. And I say: cooperation, yes, overregulation, no.
President Ernst Woller: That was what Mr Abg. Handler. Mr Abg. Weber. - You're welcome.
† Abg. Thomas Weber (NEOS)|: Dear Mr President! High Parliament! Dear Members of the European Parliament, nice to have you here, welcome to the Vienna State Parliament, and nice that we have the opportunity to talk about Europe today! And of course I would also like to warmly welcome our guests to the gallery, nice to have you here too! And if someone is watching via livestream, a warm welcome to you too!
When I think of Europe, the first thing that comes to mind are European values. That is respect for human rights and human dignity. These are freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law and, most of all, of course, the rights of people belonging to minorities. European values are deeply liberal values, these are values that I am proud of, these are values that I will not stop standing up for. But these are also values for which we Europeans in this world also have a responsibility, a responsibility and a role model in the sense of a pluralistic, tolerant and non-discriminatory society. (Applause from the NEOS.)
For me, Europe is above all more than the lowest common denominator. More than the lowest common denominator, where reforms are constantly being blocked and the blame is often put on Brussels in internal political discussions. I want a strong Europe here - you know that, you know our vision - a democratic, united Europe that is always united and confident in the world. I want the United States of Europe. (Applause from the NEOS.)
And what does that mean? The United States of Europe means I want a real European Constitution. I would like to see the Commission developed into a European government capable of acting. I want a directly elected Commission President, a directly elected Commission President, and a self-confident European Parliament, organized as a bicameral parliament. In my opinion, there is no need to discuss subsidiarity in many areas. Whenever I ask someone who cites the word, yes, what do you mean by that, what should be treated more subsidiary, I really only get a great silence and no answer. I want more to Europe, namely in all the questions where we see that the national action of the European nation states is failing completely. That's about climate protection. We will not achieve this by going it alone nationally: environmental, energy policy, foreign, security, defense policy, asylum, integration, the list of political field cases could now be declined. Everywhere we see thematic areas where more Europe is needed. (Applause from the NEOS.)
And Europe - you can tell when you listen to me and feel my passion for Europe - that is more than a continent of individual nation states. Europe is a cultural, an economic and, above all, a social home. When we talk today about Austria's 25-year membership in the European Union, we must also acknowledge and see that the political will here in Austria for a strong, united Europe has not always been clear over the past 25 years is recognizable. It is often said: Well, what do we want to contribute to Europe in Austria, we are such a small country in Europe! Yes, Europe is not a question of population figures, but a question of political attitudes. I just want to remind you that Luxembourg, much smaller than Austria, has elected a Commission President three times. The reference to what can we achieve in Europe, we are such a small country, is completely ineffective for me.
From the beginning of the political debate, Austrian European policy was shaped by the fact that we sold successes in Brussels as our national successes and always blamed those in Brussels for unpleasant decisions. That is completely incomprehensible to me, because in 1994, when voting, 66.6 percent of the citizens of Austria said yes, we want to be part of the European Union! That is an immensely high level. At the same time, in 1994, there was no majority in Norway with 48 percent, in Sweden it was only 52 percent, in Finland it was 47 percent. So, this stirring up of fears, that actually wouldn't have been necessary. And if I remember the political debates that took place back then, the scale louse yoghurt, the blood chocolate, honestly, how absurd is that? I don't know if you've seen any blood chocolate anywhere in the past 25 years. I haven't, I haven't eaten scale yogurt either. Or - and now I look at my colleagues from the Social Democratic Group - the letter from Chancellor Gusenbauer to the “Kronen Zeitung” with the promise to hold referendums whenever Austrian interests are affected by changes to the European Treaties. The second the promise was made, it was broken.
And it is exactly this spirit that I have now told you about, the spirit of igniting the European one
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