Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2006-10-24-Speech-2-085"

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". Mr President, allow me to start by congratulating the rapporteur, Mr Graça Moura, on the work he has done on the fundamental topic of the Culture 2007 programme and, in particular, on the agreement he has reached on behalf of the European Parliament. I would like briefly to go over the three points that I championed for the Socialist Group in the European Parliament within the Committee on Culture and Education. Firstly, with regard to the transversal aspect of the programme, it must be noted that the agreement reached goes in the right direction: nobody can object to increasing the coherence of the programme, which will make it possible to put a stop to the fragmentation that for a long time has characterised the European Union's cultural activities. However, intentions are one thing, and the resources proposed are quite another. I now come to my second point, the issue of the budget, which was also mentioned just now by the rapporteur and by the Commissioner, too. I would say this, and I will keep saying it for as long as necessary: there is no point in the European Union setting ambitious objectives such as promoting cultural diversity and cooperation if the available budget is not up to it, being no more than 15 cents per citizen per year. We have called for a substantial increase in the budget allocated to the programme, so that it can play a part in the rise of a European culture and identity, which will enable us to move beyond national self-interest, and hence to escape from the crisis from which the Union has been suffering for a year and a half now. It has to be said that the 2007-2013 financial perspective, stabilising Community expenditure at 1% of the European Union's GDP, will not allow us to achieve the objectives we have set ourselves in this programme or to give culture the role we intend for it in the building of a stronger Europe with greater solidarity. Therefore, we cannot allow ourselves to punish this programme for a second time by delaying its implementation. As Aristide Briand said, if we cannot have the means for our policy, we must have the policy for our means. We therefore need to act quickly to implement this programme soon, so that we do not disadvantage the cultural organisations on the ground, which rely on this funding and which have been waiting for months for a decision to be taken."@en1

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