Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2007-03-28-Speech-3-093"

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". Madam President, I shall examine just a few of the points discussed in the Committee on International Trade. Having visited both parts of Kosovo several times myself – both Priština and Mitrovica – I am in a relatively good position to assess the situation. Our particular concern is that there be a very detailed analysis of the economic and commercial situation, as we believe that economic stability is the only way to achieve long-term security in the region as a whole. The situation is extremely problematic. The infrastructures are very weak; key industries are in need of complete modernisation and renovation. There are SMEs that are very innovative but require a great deal more financial support, and there is a very young population that must be integrated and needs jobs. All of this is possible only within the framework of integration into the EU – not integration in the sense that we are appealing immediately for Kosovo’s membership of the EU, but in the sense that we fully develop the concept of free trade areas, in particular, into one that really works. After all, agreements have already been signed with many of the Balkan countries; but these must really be functional. We also strongly advocate that the excellent work the EU has done to date in the field of the fourth pillar, in particular, be carried over to the new structures, so that the systems do not require complete renewal."@en1

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