Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2006-03-23-Speech-4-021"

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"We have known for years what this dictator has been doing beyond our Eastern borders. What we have had trouble with, however, is answering the question of what we should do about it. The period of political helplessness passed when this Parliament seized the initiative, particularly during the present term. I am certain that the House has performed a historic service in this respect. Today, however, we have to fight the helplessness shown by Europe and by the free world with respect to practical actions. In the short term, we have to extend significantly the list of people not welcome on European Union soil. In the medium term, we have to find effective methods of supporting civic forces, first and foremost the media. Breaking the information blockade is a matter of considerable significance when it comes to rebuilding faith in an alternative path for development in Belarus. We have to enhance our actions in this field. The first steps have already been taken, but they must be considered only as initial steps. Most importantly, in the long term Belarusians also have to feel that these steps will lead somewhere. We have to open the way for them to the West and offer them real European prospects. Without this, the Belarusians will never believe that they can break free from the grip of one dictator or another. Without this prospect, Lukashenko’s regime will pass but his place will be taken by someone else who will enforce Russia’s policy of rebuilding its sphere of influence in the region. There is no third way for this part of Europe. I, as a Pole, know this only too well."@en1

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