Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/1999-07-21-Speech-3-026"
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"(DE) Mr President, ladies and gentlemen, esteemed Foreign Minister, it would be politically short-sighted if a representative of the Greens were to praise the German Presidency with no ifs or buts. For example, is it not the case that the conduct of the red-green Federal Government regarding the Regulation on end-of-life cars has caused it to lose credibility and sacrifice an environmentally-friendly, sustainable policy to short-term opportunism? A rather different attitude can therefore be expected from a member of the Greens, when speaking of the German Council Presidency, not that we would wish to compete with the Opposition for their role, Mr Poettering. The German Presidency faced extraordinarily difficult circumstances and we believe that it passed the acid test well; a faltering European Commission which had at last to face facts and which resigned, but which in so doing also afforded a clear view of Europe"s major institutional shortcomings. The staffing implications were quickly dealt with under the German Presidency with the appointment of Prodi, which was an important start. Unfortunately, the Council has failed to speed the progress of the institutional decisions with the same determination, but we wish to extend our particular thanks to Foreign Minister Fischer for his important initiatives, for his important work, in precisely this area. Agenda 2000, an ambitious reform project, was to be put into action under the German Presidency in order to deepen European integration and to make the EU fit for enlargement towards the East by means of substantial reforms. Not all the decisions reached at the Berlin Summit were as forward-looking as we had expected. For example, whilst good compromises were reached in the area of finance, which will provide reserves for enlargement of the EU towards the East, only faltering steps have been taken in terms of agricultural reform. It was here that the opportunity to pursue a policy of environmental sustainability, which strengthens regional structures, was thrown away. The German Presidency was marked not least by the escalation of events in Kosovo. The decision to undertake military intervention, in order to oppose a policy of racism, nationalism and ethnic expulsions in a 21st Century Europe, met, as you know, with a variety of reactions in the Green Party. However, the German Presidency demonstrated great commitment to driving forward a solution, what is known as the Fischer-Plan, with the participation of Russia, Finland, and not least the UN. We must now strengthen the region by providing well-directed reconstruction aid in order to prevent renewed destabilisation. The German Presidency played its part in strengthening this Europe of common interests. We hope that the learning processes experienced by all parties at this time will contribute towards the strengthening, democratic development and enlargement of Europe. However, the European Parliament also has its part to play now and must carry on the work in precisely this area, which involves strengthening the EU institutions and consolidating the democratic structures of Europe. It remains for me to address a final word to Mr Poettering, without wishing to make reference to decisions on domestic policy, for I feel that as this is a European Parliament, there are other matters besides Germany that we should be discussing But I can assure you of one thing, Mr Poettering, which is that the Green Party did learn from Bosnia, and has now learnt from Kosovo, and we would have taken account of this responsibility today, even had we been at a different Assembly. It was not without reason that we had a great many discussions within the Party, and I think we have made enormous progress in this respect."@en1
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