Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/1999-07-21-Speech-3-027"

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"(DE) Mr President, Mr President-in-Office of the Council, to begin with, allow me to address a few words to my colleague, Mr Poettering. A little while ago, you made reference to the fact that your group is called the Christian Democrats and European Democrats. Unification of Germany took place almost nine years ago, and it would please me greatly if, after such a long time, you could at last bring yourself to respect the fact that there is a Democratic-Socialist Left in Germany which is now also represented in the European Parliament. (Applause) Mr President, Mr President-in-Office of the Council, instead of an Employment Union we"re getting a Defence Union. That is the uninspiring outcome of the German Presidency and the inauspicious message it sent out. The hastily adopted Agenda 2000, which is to secure the financing of the Community and its enlargement, is a half-baked piece of work. Agricultural reform failed to open the door any further to the Applicant States of Central and Eastern Europe. Immediately after the Berlin Summit the Federal Government itself commented that agricultural policy would need to be reformed again in view of enlargement. Not even the nomination of Romano Prodi as President of the Commission was able to camouflage the poor results produced by this Summit. The German EU Presidency took no action to at least put a brake on the euro"s continued decline in value on foreign exchange markets. The crisis facing the European Single Currency was not even on the agenda in Cologne. Not a single decision was taken on the taxation of international speculative movements of capital or the fight against tax dumping and tax havens within the Union. As a German MEP, it saddened me greatly that national egotism was to become the hallmark of the German Presidency. The crass way in which the European Directive on end-of-life cars was blocked solely to serve the interests of a German car company caused dismay, as did the overdue appointment of ex-Minister to the Chancellery, Hombach, as envoy to the Balkans and the lack of understanding of the goals and nature of French politics. It became clear that in many Member States, people felt they had been duped by this lord of the manor approach to European policy. Our group is as emphatic in its appreciation of the Cologne Summit Decision, which it intends to actively support, so as to further strengthen the fundamental rights of the citizens in the future, as it is resolute in its criticism of the Employment Pact. Since unemployment continues to languish at a high level, this Pact does not merit its name. Indeed, that is one of the reasons why such a shockingly large amount of people stayed away from the European elections. The people of Europe do not understand why European employment policy should degenerate into sound bites. Binding and verifiable, quantitative goals must at last be agreed for economic growth and the fight against unemployment. We vigorously declare our support for a socially responsible Europe and that is why we will not tolerate people lightly putting the social cohesion of the Union at risk, preaching restraint in matters of pay and calling the social security systems into question. During the German Presidency, the NATO war in the Balkans, which transgressed international law and dispensed with the authority of the UN, was actively supported by the European Union and its Member States, and at the same time the Community"s conversion to a so-called defence union was sealed. War as an instrument of politics was rendered socially acceptable again and the progress of this fatal course will be speeded further still by the incorporation of the WEU military pact into the European Union and by the build-up of armed forces for intervention. Disarmament, crisis prevention and the settlement of conflict by non-military means, in particular by strengthening the role of the OSCE, risk falling by the wayside. It was this kind of reasoning that led to NATO General Secretary Solana being nominated as the future Mr CFSP. Our group rejects this nomination. The German EU Commissioner-designate Mr Verheugen said after the Cologne Summit that it would scarcely have been possible to achieve rapid agreement on the strengthening of a Common Foreign and Security Policy for the Union without the pressure of the Kosovo war. Put another way, war became the driving force and catalyst for European integration. That is disastrous, and looking ahead to the year 2000, a dangerous and misguided path to go down. Those who are now hailing the Stability Pact for South-Eastern Europe a great success would have done better to have refrained from squandering the money on bombs, rockets and soldiers and instead to have presented the Pact a few months earlier as part of a comprehensive political and non-military plan drawn up by the European Union for the region, and to have provided the OSCE with the necessary means. We give our staunch support to a policy that outlaws war and military violence, banishing it from the lives of all peoples. (Applause)"@en1
"Kaufmann (GUE/NGL)"1

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