Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2007-04-23-Speech-1-234"

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"Mr President, the Commissioner indicated during her address that she was looking for Parliament to give a strong measure of support to action in this area. I want to make it clear, on behalf of my group, that we welcome the publication of the Green Paper and we are looking forward to the publication of the White Paper. We think that people’s rights in this area are not properly applied and, certainly, we want to ensure that more is done than is currently being done. However, as the Commissioner herself has indicated, that is going to require a delicate balance, not least for the reasons that Mr Doorn has outlined, and because of the hearing organised by Mr Sánchez Presedo, in which we devoted half a day to considering these difficult issues. For my own part, I am very committed to regarding progress in this area as an integral part of the whole of the Commission’s agenda in terms of modernisation of competition policy, so let nobody be in any doubt about our encouragement of further action by the Commission. However, as the Commissioner has made clear, both within Member State governments and amongst the business community, there is real concern to avoid the experiences of the United States. It is not good enough just to say ‘we are not going to do what the United States did’, especially when, it must be said, after giving a considerable amount of detailed consideration to the issue, Mr Sánchez Presedo’s report goes into seeking to resolve, as it were, all these difficulties by changing the burden of proof, introducing punitive damages – at least in relation to cartels – and cost-free litigation, confusing EU and national competences, changing the rules in relation to disclosure, and cutting out of the assessment of the costs of this litigation any principles in relation to subsidiarity, proportionality or whether there is a proper legal base. Therefore, when people ask why we are concerned about this report, it is because it has become a Christmas tree with too many bells hanging on it. We are in favour of opening the door, we are certainly not in favour of encouraging a process which may lead us down the US route, against the wishes of the Commission and against the wishes of all of those who have worked on this report."@en1

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