Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2006-06-13-Speech-2-189"

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"Mr President, Tunisia is a key country in the Euro-Mediterranean process. This is demonstrated by the fact that it has had an Association Agreement since 1998 and an action plan since 2005 and that its Parliament has presided over the Euro-Mediterranean Assembly for the last couple of months. That is precisely what makes the things happening in that country in terms of human rights violations even more serious. In reply to Mr Busuttil, when he says that we spend too much time on Tunisia, I would say that what we cannot do is abandon a friend as an impossible case and we will therefore have to produce as many resolutions as are needed. We must not allow the Tunisian authorities to believe that, however much we talk about human rights violations, we will get tired of it and shut up. That would be unfair to the Euro-Mediterranean process, it would be unfair to the Tunisian people and it would be unfair to ourselves. The fact that Tunisia acts badly cannot be allowed to justify others also acting badly. That is the political problem we are facing, Mr President. The Euro-Mediterranean process is a success, but there is at least one issue in relation to which we have not yet achieved our objective, and that is that respect for human rights should be the norm in the politics of all the countries involved in this process. What has happened in Tunisia is the latest example, but it will not be the last, unfortunately. I would therefore call upon the Tunisian authorities to think in terms of becoming a model of a secular and democratic State, that respects human rights, and to stop being a model of a secular State that does not respect human rights, and they understand perfectly well what I mean by that."@en1

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