Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2004-05-04-Speech-2-217"

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"Mr President, I would also like to pay tribute to the work of Commissioner Vitorino over the last five years. He really has been a splendid Commissioner for Justice and Home Affairs. I hope we will see more of him, not least because he would help us achieve in justice and home affairs the equivalent of the Lisbon objective to make Europe the most dynamic and competitive economy in the world. Why do we not have a parallel formal objective, perhaps the Tampere objective, to make the enlarged European Union the international beacon of human rights, protection of civil liberties and keeping people safe? In justice and home affairs there is not the same sense of zeal from ministers about promoting freedom as about promoting security. Security is an aspect of freedom because no-one who is unsafe is free, but freedom is also an element in security and no-one is secure if their privacy is invaded or they are wrongly imprisoned or subject to discrimination. But the Council has failed to speak out against Guantanamo Bay internment and is trying to impose an agreement with the US on air passenger data transfers in breach of European data protection laws. It has also allowed restrictions on freedom of movement, as my Hungarian colleague has said. In the accession treaties there is a JHA safeguard clause, but it is focused exclusively on monitoring implementation of mutual recognition measures and framework decisions in criminal law. There is no clause which will check whether asylum seekers are being left destitute, equal rights are being denied to gay and lesbian people, or ethnic minority people are being abused. We must have a mechanism of ongoing peer review whereby we have mutual monitoring of the quality of Member States' justice systems. On immigration we need much better management in the future. Member States have agreed most of the common asylum policy, but have lowered standards of protection to do so. Very little is agreed for streamlining the red tape for legal migrants and there is an alarming absence of progressive and active engagement in how to respect diversity and have imaginative integration policies. The ceremony of raising the ten new flags yesterday was wonderful and moving, but the image it presented was exclusively white. In my city, one-third of the population is from ethnic minorities. We have to do better to serve our whole population with just and inclusive policies."@en1

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