Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2005-02-23-Speech-3-023"

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"Mr President, allow me to follow on from Mr McMillan-Scott’s closing words. The European Union must be involved in transforming the Mediterranean region into an area of peace and cooperation. You will understand, therefore, that, although I agree with the statements made by Mr Schmit and Commissioner Ferrero-Waldner, I believe they are short on ambition and political determination. It seems to me that we are stuck in a rut. Forward progress is being made, but the will to press for more and better progress, and for what is actually required right now is lacking. There have been many references to an alliance of civilisations, and the Euro-Mediterranean relationship is the best possible example of such an alliance. Unilateralism has no part to play in it. A shared model of values and objectives is called for. This must include democracy and full respect for human rights, security, negotiated solutions to all the conflicts in the region, on both shores of the Mediterranean, and the fight against terrorism. It must, of course, also encompass disarmament, aid for sustainable development, respect for the environment and forward-looking management of migratory flows. The Prime Minister of Spain made all this very clear yesterday at the meeting in Brussels, when he explained how the Union conceives the Euro-Mediterranean process. It so happens that 2005 has been declared the Year of the Mediterranean. This must not be an excuse for yet another calendar full of pretty pictures. There are more than enough of those around already. In addition, the Association Agreements have proved to be effective instruments. A parliamentary process is under way too, in the shape of the Euro-Mediterranean Parliamentary Assembly due to meet in Cairo in the near future. There are other goals to be met also, such as the free exchange area that should be in place by 2010, with a new social dimension. This is all to take place in the context of a new neighbourhood policy, with five new Action Plans and even the launch of South-South cooperation. I believe the verdict on the Euro-Mediterranean process has to be positive. Obviously, there are shortcomings, but we Europeans are sometimes inclined to indulge in too much self-criticism. There are bound to be shortcomings, but we are building on everything that has been achieved over the last ten years. A dose of ambition is now called for, and we need to make more of the successes. A Euro-Mediterranean Summit will be held in November. This will be an occasion for a political commemoration of the Barcelona Process through the launch of new measures. It seems most appropriate that an Extraordinary Euro-Mediterranean Parliamentary Assembly is also to be held in November, bringing a political dimension to the aforementioned celebration."@en1

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