Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2000-01-17-Speech-1-080"

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"Mr President, Commissioner, in this minute and a half I should like, first of all, to congratulate Mrs Schroedter. I know many have already done so, but she has indeed earned our praise for being particularly open and attentive to proposals from all sides, and I think it is this openness which has given her report the quality we see today. I share the regrets she expressed, namely that Parliament has become involved rather late in the day as regards these guidelines, since by now the procedure for negotiations with the states is so far advanced that I cannot see this report having any sort of immediate effect, which in my view is a pity. Consequently, I feel we must look to the future and establish guidelines for the mid-term review in 2003, and thus have an influence on the second phase of programming set to follow 2003. In brief, I would like to say that we are entering the period when we are called upon to manage the programming for 2000-2006, which must be no routine period for the good reason that we have two major challenges to face. The first is the harmonisation of national development policies and regional development policies. Subsidies are not enough to ensure development when infrastructure and public services are lacking. We must ask ourselves a fundamental question: how can we ensure that Union policy interfaces with the subsidiary national policies for regional development? The second challenge is that of enlargement which will, of course, have a considerable impact, both in budgetary and geographical terms. These are two areas of action which I invite the Commissioner to set up and in which I would ask him to involve us. Finally, in this time of natural disasters, I would just like to mention the issue of the use of Structural Funds. As you know, it is up to each State to redistribute part of the total appropriation. Europe should not be completely absent, as the states tend to want. Public opinion and the press nowadays accuse us of being unavailable to give a response, even though we are going to be funding a large proportion of the national operations. I think we should be capable of saying this loud and clear. I also think we should ensure, or ask Member States to ensure, that there is some publicity given to European aid whenever it is used to repair damage caused by natural disasters or accidents."@en1

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