Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/1999-07-22-Speech-4-010"

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"(DE) Mr President, let me begin by giving Mr Prodi a sound piece of advice, both him and all the other nominees who wish to be confirmed in their positions by this House here in September. One of the questions which all of the committees certainly wish to ask is this: What is your attitude towards honouring decisions made by the European Parliament? If Mr Prodi or one of the other nominees replies, ‘Well, I couldn"t care less’, then these nominees will have a problem. Yesterday, in his third speech to this House, Mr Prodi used the words ‘consumer protection’ and ‘health policy’ for the first time. That is a fair few. In this regard, he also said that he would make provision for, and I quote, ‘an independent European Food and Drugs Agency’. In this regard, something else is worthy of mention. Let"s have the courage to also declare dioxin to be a worldwide problem. Will there be a dioxin register in the European Union and worldwide? Will it be investigated where emissions accumulate from incineration plants, where other dioxin emissions can be found which are present in the soil and in the grass which is eaten by animals? We know for sure that they are not only found in animal feed but also in our natural environment. So please let"s have a dioxin register. This is something that is definitely needed. I would now like to briefly outline some proposals relating to the checks. If we do not ensure that the tests are better carried out in Member States, if the Commission is not able to carry out inspections unannounced, but first has to wait for permission from a Member country such as Belgium or another Member State, we can forget it. We must modify the inspection process and agricultural policy as a whole. If we believe that we can make high profits by means of waste products which are as cheap as possible, and that is something which we want, such cases will always crop up. We have to change this within the European Union as well as with our partners outside the Union. (Applause) This House decided, after long discussions in connection with the BSE crisis, that this is something which we simply do not want. We are not after an independent Agency but an authority which is subordinate to the Commission and which is accountable to this House, the European Parliament. (Applause) I hope that this piece of information reaches Mr Prodi so that he knows in future to be very careful about what he says. I have already asked Mr Fischler yesterday whether this was his suggestion. He assured me that it was not. Mr Fischler, I believe this to be the case and, after your speech here today, which I thought was excellent, I am even more convinced. I would now like to say something to the President-in-Office of the Council. He said at certain points that the Council was concerned that the dioxin crisis has shown that its effects concern the Union as a whole and that the Council wants to act decisively and responsibly. Mr President, I believe that it would be something new if the Council were to act decisively and responsibly. I hope that the Finnish Presidency of the Council will actually bring this about. You would then be able to count a complete novelty amongst the successes of your Presidency. Up to now, the Council has routinely covered things up, dithered, and swept things under the carpet. (Applause) So let"s get down to business. Everyone in the Council knows that individual countries all handle things in a similar manner. What has happened in Belgium, and it is a disgrace that it took the government six weeks to inform the Commission, could have happened anywhere else. It was just bad luck that it happened in Belgium. We all know that it could have occurred in Italy, Germany or Austria. Have you, for example, done anything to help ensure tighter inspections and controls? You have left untouched a proposal from the European Parliament on this matter for more than six months. As far as the details of this crisis are concerned, I would like to expressly commend the Commission. We have certainly frequently maintained, in connection with BSE, that the Commission was not quite on the ball. But at the same time, however, there is nothing, nothing at all, as regards the behaviour of the Commission for which it can be criticised. Everything the Commission did, and the way in which it was done, was excellent. The same certainly cannot be said of everybody else. So what lessons can be drawn from this? Mr Fischler mentioned some of these. He made reference to legislation which is necessary. This is definitely the case. There is no question that other legislation for animal feed products is required. We have to avoid a situation where, for example, waste products enter into animal feed. We talk of foodstuffs and animals which have been fed on these foodstuffs. Waste products have no part here. Mr Fischler, of course there should not be dioxin limit values. The limit value has to be zero for both dioxins and PCB. We should therefore be very careful as regards both the wording and the language."@en1
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