Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2006-10-24-Speech-2-202"

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". Mr President, ladies and gentlemen, this House’s budget debates may well not be renowned for being sexy, but they are very important, for we, in the 2007 budget as in all the others, are setting out the priorities for our work over the coming year. You will be aware that the Group of the Greens/European Free Alliance did not vote to approve the 2007-2013 Financial Perspective on the grounds that we see this financial plan as resolving too few problems. We take the same view of the 2007 budget, and ask ourselves whether it will enable us to do those things that have to be done. For example, we do not agree with our agricultural policy or with the excessive subsidies paid out for agricultural exports. Our deep-frozen chickens sell in African markets for half the price of those that the Africans produce themselves, and then we end up complaining about how we get too many refugees from Africa, when it is we ourselves, with our own agricultural policy, who are helping to create the problem. There is also fisheries policy, where our fishing quotas are still too high, and we are endangering our fish stocks. This is another policy that the European Union should change. Not to mention our policy on tobacco, for we are still subsidising tobacco growers while at the same time banning tobacco advertisements. That, too, strikes me as inconsistent and not a smart policy for Europe to adopt. Now that many European countries have the globalisation blues – remember the referendum in France? – our globalisation policy ought to be a more just one, with us speaking out more emphatically in favour of fair trade and getting more serious about our commitment to the Millennium Development Goals, in which respect we are lagging behind the rest of the world when it comes to funding the war on poverty. Europe, though, must also do more towards a forward-looking energy policy; we need to invest more in research into renewable energies that would make us less dependent on Mr Putin and enable us to be more forthright in our criticisms of his autocratic regime. What do we have to do instead? We have to invest more in education, research, culture, the media and in the cultural industry, which is an important pillar of the Lisbon Strategy, and that would enable us to make that strategy more precise and more forward-looking. What we in Europe need is to be more of one mind where policy is concerned; that is the only way in which we will develop a responsible common foreign policy that is pro-active, that spreads civilisation, that reinforces civil society through the neighbourhood policy, but also intervenes when absolutely necessary. If that is what we want, we are not spending enough money. Much as I would love to see us take ‘value for money’ as our yardstick, we also have to work on the basis of ‘good money for Europe’. If each of our Member States is spending only one per cent of its gross national income on Europe, then not enough money is being made available for European policies that are both important and the right ones to pursue."@en1

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