Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2007-05-09-Speech-3-101"

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"Thank you, Mr President. The subject of reform in the Arab world is an extremely complex one. One need only read Mr Rockar’s report in order to understand this complexity. The rapporteur in fact asks whether there is in fact an Arab community as such and points out that there is a reason why we talk of the Arab world but not of the Arab nation or the Arab union. This clearly means that, before we begin discussing the Arab world and offering solutions, we must understand it better. That is why it is essential not to be patronising when we talk of reforms in the Arab world and not to dictate solutions as though we were better informed than everyone else. There is no doubt that reforms are needed so as to enable the Arab countries to benefit more from the process of modernisation and globalisation. Our task is to offer the experience we have had in our Union and to lend our support in a spirit of partnership between two equal parties. We must not create a context in which we tell others what to do. The Barcelona Process was meant to be one of partnership but, as we all know, we ended up in a situation in which the European Union dictated what should happen, and when and how. We also need to make better use of our interlocutors in the Arab world, such as the Arab League which, despite its own problems, has gained enough credibility to give a voice to the Arab world. Malta took the initiative of proposing a structured dialogue between the European Union and the Arab League; a dialogue aimed at tackling the subject of the reforms that must be carried out on both sides of the Mediterranean. This is a good initiative, and one that has gone down well with the Arab League, and I hope that both the Council of Ministers and the Commissioner can support it. Thank you."@en1

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