Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2004-05-04-Speech-2-149"

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"Madam President, today, having celebrated the completion of enlargement, it is right that this House should also sketch, for the benefit of those who are to be elected here, some of the outlines that will have to determine the EU’s foreign policy commitments and underpin our own commitment during the campaign for the coming European elections. You will be aware how perturbed some of our neighbours and friends on the other side of the Mediterranean are today at the prospect of our Union devoting excessive energy and resources to the realisation of its new internal unity, to the detriment of the interest it should have in their own future. I am sure that Jean Monnet, whose memory we honoured this morning, and whose humanism was leavened by pragmatism, would not have failed to notice that a continued contribution to the development of our Southern neighbours was not only Europe’s duty, but also in its interest and in the interests of generations yet to come, on both sides of the Mediterranean. Along with Mr Cohn-Bendit, I had the privilege of presenting, two years ago, an own-initiative report on the privileged partnership that the European Union and the Arab Maghreb Union had agreed to establish. A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to join with a large number of Members of this House in the inaugural session of the Euro-Mediterranean Forum in Athens. It is my hope that, when Parliament reassembles, many of those of us in whom their electors put their trust will continue to work with determination to extend to North Africa, to the Middle East and to the whole of the continent of Africa, the area of peace and stability that our forebears were able to establish on both banks of the Rhine 60 years ago. To do so is not only Europe’s vocation, but also in its interests."@en1

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