Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2007-04-23-Speech-1-236"

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"Mr President, when we first discussed the Commission’s Green Paper, I felt like a kind of latter-day Cassandra forecasting all kinds of woes. Perhaps I fared better than Cassandra in that you, Commissioner, and the rapporteur took some of my concerns seriously – I hesitate to call them ‘predictions’. My concerns, though perhaps only gently – maybe too gently for some of my colleagues – are embedded in the report that we are debating. So I can support giving you scope to explore the options of both follow-on actions and stand-alone actions. I can share a vision of mutual recognition of decisions, but I make it clear that that lies in the future, not right now. My main remaining reservations concern the question of how much of a carrot has to be offered to get the system to take off, particularly for stand-alone actions. And you may note the report on that subject that has just come out in the UK. If the carrot is too large, whether for the consumer, the lawyers or competing companies, I fear that, however we craft our rules, we are at risk of being pushed towards some of the worst aspects of damages actions that we hear about from the United States. I say ‘pushed’ because that is how it happens. Nobody goes there voluntarily. With the whole of the EU as the territory for the victor, a very fine balance has to be struck. Another of my priorities would be to ensure that actions are well founded and that we do not end up with the kind of blackmail actions that happen in the United States. I agree it will be difficult to get it right and account will have to be taken of national differences in legal practice and tradition, but if we can succeed it will be a very useful tool and well worth having. I look forward to the White Paper too, but I warn you that I may not have put my Cassandra’s robes away yet."@en1

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