Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2007-03-14-Speech-3-194"

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"Madam President, ladies and gentlemen, we are going to send a message of optimism, because every time we discuss the Mediterranean we give the impression that the situation in that region is entirely grim, and that is not the case. Of course we have many problems, but we also have many opportunities. In reality, the Mediterranean presents us with a ‘test’ to see whether we are capable of making the most of those opportunities. Conflicts, for example. The Middle East, for example, but in this case we must set up a Madrid II international peace conference, taking advantage of the windows of opportunity that have opened up, such as the partial acceptance of the initiative of the Arab League and the meetings of that organisation that are going to take place soon. We have the problem of poverty, which is at the root of immigration. We also have the problem of development, though, with a view to tackling that, we have the Doha Round, which needs to be restored, the multilateral agreements, the association agreements and the Millennium Goals. We have the problem of energy, the environment and climate change. But we also have the Barcelona Process to deal with these issues. We have the fight against terrorism, but there is a code of conduct for combating terrorism approved by Barcelona+10. We have democracy and human rights, but there are association agreements and agreements forming part of the neighbourhood plans that can be used for that purpose. There are therefore both problems and opportunities. The Mediterranean is not a problem and a weak point for the European Union. It is part of the solution to many of our problems. We must therefore relaunch and enhance the Euro-Mediterranean process from political, economic, social, environmental, human and cultural points of view. We must implement the Barcelona+10 conclusions and ensure that the European neighbourhood policy does not push aside the Barcelona Process. This region can find a solution as a region. We must not encourage each country to seek an individual solution. That is impossible, it is bad for the people and furthermore it is bad for the Union as a partner. I therefore believe that the association between equals which are inevitably asymmetrical is a good working basis and it is the basis of the Barcelona Process, which provides for political dialogue and provides a framework for economic dialogue, as clearly stressed in the wonderful report by Kader Arif and in the resolution that we are going to approve. The Euro-Mediterranean Parliamentary Assembly that is going to meet in Tunis will be a fundamental element in that regard and this Parliament, which was there when it was created, must continue to be fully involved in its activities."@en1

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