Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2007-05-09-Speech-3-093"

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". Mr President, ladies and gentlemen, I should like to congratulate Mr Rocard, whose report, as he himself has said, is intended to offer support for the purposes of opening a dialogue and a debate. However, I believe that, in making such a statement, we must first make it clear – since this is something that concerns us and our policies within the European Union – that this is a dialogue and a debate that we intend to open not with the States, but with the people, with individuals. This is all the more true when we talk about a primarily cultural – and therefore also political and institutional – effort, since in this case the talks must take place first with individuals, rather than with the Arab League or with individual States, not least because I believe that two of the major problems in the Arab world – nationalism and fundamentalism – now concern our European cities, too, which, from a demographic point of view, are also increasingly becoming cities of the Arab world. That is why these problems must be addressed by our European Union itself. This state of affairs also affects our institutional systems and the way in which religion is perceived within the European Union. There is no doubt that Islamic fundamentalism exists. We have taken the liberty, in this regard, of tabling two amendments on the issue of non-discrimination based on sexual orientation and of the clear distinction between political authorities and religious authorities. I do not believe that this is provocation. I only have time to point out, for example, that, when, together with other fellow Members, we went to Jerusalem for Gay Pride, we observed that, during the sometimes violent demonstrations aimed at preventing the demonstration from taking place, Orthodox Jewish fundamentalists, Islamic fundamentalists and Catholic fundamentalists were united. This is therefore an issue that concerns us, too, and that is the meaning behind the amendments, which I hope will be adopted."@en1

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