Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2004-05-04-Speech-2-227"

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"Mr President, Commissioner Vitorino, over the last five years the creation of an area of freedom, security and justice has constituted a large part of the work of the Committee on Citizens’ Freedoms and Rights, Justice and Home Affairs, and we can certainly say that there have been major reforms and tangible progress towards granting increasingly extensive rights to citizens. Now, as several of my fellow Members have said, the borders of this new European Union have expanded eastwards and down towards the Mediterranean Sea. Well, we must transfer the experience we have gained and the actions we have taken to these new borders in order, above all, to guarantee citizens’ safety: Schengen will be an acceptable development only when we have firm guarantees, firmer than those we currently have. Border control is a joint problem, and we must again stress that it is not a private concern for individual outer States. The instruments to put these synergies into practice are called Europol and Eurojust, which we must support with conviction and, in brief, with adequate resources. Only in this way can we fight, all together, the dangers threatening the area of freedom, security and justice: illegal immigration, trafficking in human beings, prostitution, drugs and organised crime multinationals; at the top of the list, though, is one obligation: the fight against terrorism. Lastly, there is a challenge, possibly just as important, waiting for those who will be here during the next parliamentary term: attainment of true European citizenship, swift asylum procedures and truly free and equal freedom of movement for all. Allow me, in concluding this speech and my time in Parliament, to thank Commissioner Vitorino, flattery aside. When I arrived here in 1994, I was told that to be a good MEP I would have to criticise and perhaps argue with the Commission every day. I did not manage this: either I am not a good MEP, Mr Vitorino, or you are a good Commissioner. I think the correct answer is the latter."@en1

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