Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2007-04-23-Speech-1-217"

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". Mr President, this debate gives a pretty clear indication of the nature of the solidarity demonstrated by the old Fifteen in the context of enabling the new Member States to secure the production of potato starch, if only for domestic purposes. Despite being a traditional producer of potato starch, Poland now has to import it. A similar situation has arisen with regard to milk quotas for which the limits set by the European Commission are also less than domestic consumption. The House recently debated the issue of soft fruits. It became obvious in the Chamber how little the Commission cares about helping the new Member States to protect their markets. The Commission is forever referring back to the accession treaties, which were negotiated under immense pressure and weighted against the new Member States where many quotas are concerned. This makes it impossible for the new Members to compete on equal terms on the Community’s markets. Much is said in this House about the need for the new Member States to catch up in terms of development. Action such as the Commission’s insistence on maintaining production quotas which results in the closure of production facilities and in farms going out of business demonstrates that new Member States are not being treated as equal partners within the Union. If Parliament rejects this symbolic amendment once again, it will prove that there are really two Unions. All this also puts a question mark over the process of further enlargement of the European Union. Perhaps it should be slowed down dramatically?"@en1

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