Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2006-03-23-Speech-4-013"

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". Madam President, today’s debate is important. The decision to include this item on the agenda reflects very positively on the European Parliament. The speech made by the Commissioner today also reflects well on the European Commission. It seems that, for the first time in a long while, Parliament and the Commission are speaking the same language. This is a very good sign. The Belarusians are expecting an expression of political solidarity from us. This is something for which Aleksander Milinkevich appealed when he made an appearance before Parliament a few months ago. He met Commissioner Ferrero-Waldner and Mr Solana and was acknowledged as a democratic partner by the political leaders of the European Union. Political solidarity is not just about making political declarations but also involves the need to revise the policies of our Union. This far-reaching revision process should aim to isolate the authorities in power without isolating Belarusian society. It should aim to support Belarusian society without supporting the authorities. This House has long called for the actions taken by the Union to be intelligent and to introduce only those sanctions which will affect the regime’s officials, those responsible for the infringement of civil rights and democratic freedoms. We call for the list of those who are banned from entering the EU to be significantly extended. As the European Parliament delegation to Belarus, we have submitted the relevant document to Commissioner Ferrero-Waldner and Mr Solana. It is also very important to open the gates of the European Union to those Belarusians who cannot find a place in their own country, and it is vital to include the youth of Belarus who are currently excluded from universities for taking part in peace demonstrations in a special grant programme in the EU Member States. We owe this to our Belarusian partners."@en1

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