Annual policy strategy of the European Commission for 2005 (APS)

Madam Vice-President of the Commission, Commissioner, whilst I can endorse your priorities wholeheartedly, I wonder if you, Madam Vice-President, do not also think that there is a particular motto under which we can march into 2005, and that it is `Growth and Employment´? Do you not agree that we all share in responsibility for the fact that this Europe of ours has not, over recent years, seen sufficient growth and enough job creation, and that this is a very important task for the new Commission? Now that there has been talk at this tripartite summit of a super-Commissioner or Commission Vice-President with responsibilities for economic reform, do you not also think that, if there is to be such a person, he or she should primarily have responsibility for growth and employment, since we will find it difficult to advance the European ideal if we fail to prioritise these two things?
Let me now turn to something originally mentioned by Mrs Flemming: the Roma and Sinti. In the enlarged Europe, after Bulgaria and Romania have joined it, there will be 8 million Roma and Sinti, living in social conditions that are extremely difficult, and more difficult than in many Member States. Are you willing, at this early stage, to prepare the forthcoming Budget in such a way that there will be more financial support for the integration of Roma and Sinti in our society – even though it is more than just money that is needed? If not, we will face conflicts flagrantly contradicting the ideal of unifying Europe.