Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2004-05-04-Speech-2-221"

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"Mr President, first of all I should like to welcome the first decision taken today by the enlarged European Parliament, which rejected the Council's effort to re-table the issue of the conclusion of an agreement on the processing and transmission of personal data on European passengers from airline companies to the US State Department. The question of freedom and security in the Europe of the twenty-five, which we are debating today, is directly linked, Commissioner, to the security of the Olympic Games being organised in Greece this summer. The holding of the Games under conditions of security has always been the only headache, even from ancient times, which is why the truce was the most serious part of the preparations, so that athletes and spectators could arrive at Olympia in safety. I believe, even if this sounds romantic, that the promotion of the idea of the truce in modern times and the education of people in peaceful coexistence would cost far less and would have more permanent results than strengthening the forces of suppression and the use of military means. For the Europe of the twenty-five, the 2004 Olympic Games are a golden opportunity to promote the idea of the truce at global level, by which I mean the ideals of peace, cooperation and dialogue and the rejection of violence as a means of resolving differences. Unfortunately, the reality of the modern world speaks of the intensification of blind violence, hatred and terrorism. The publication of photographs showing prisoners in Iraq being tortured and humiliated demonstrates the extent of the brutalisation and barbarity which involvement in wars and acts of violence can generate in man. At the same time, it demonstrates the degree of freedom of the press which we have achieved and must maintain. Commissioner, nearly three years since the attack on the twin towers, not only has terrorism not been eradicated, but it also appears to be creating conditions of brutalisation for those who belong to modern democracies and are supposed to be defended with fundamental freedoms and human rights. Will the political leaders realise that a different strategy for dealing with terrorism and strengthening security is needed? The European Union of the twenty-five needs to offer an alternative proposal, a new vision and to reply to the crucial question of whether there can be security on a planet with huge inequalities in economic and social development and in the distribution of the benefits of democracy, science and technology. For the strengthening of security in the European Union, for a more secure world, we certainly need fresh, alternative, non-military policies and strategies and a stronger role for citizens, especially women. We hope that the new European Constitution will be approved soon and will constitute the democratic framework which will strengthen fundamental freedoms and security in Europe and the world. Finally, I too should like, Commissioner, to congratulate you on the exceptional work you are doing as Commissioner to promote the area of freedom, security and justice in the European Union, an endeavour which has, unfortunately, proven to be far more difficult than the creation of the single market and the common currency."@en1

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