Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2007-05-09-Speech-3-103"

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"Mr President, ladies and gentlemen, I should like first of all to thank Mr Rocard for this report, which conveys much objectivity on the European Union’s exclusively bilateral relations with the Arab world. It calls, however, in particular for a new dialogue, which must include the problems of development and of good governance. It is to this subject that I should like to return. In its development policy, the European Union has broken up the Arab world into two parts: the Mediterranean zone and the Caucasus, called the neighbourhood zone, and the Middle East subject to the development policy. This artificial distinction does not allow a more balanced comprehensive approach, which would make fundamental reforms possible. As far as the matter of governance is concerned, Mr Rocard emphasises the partnership approach and the role of civil society. This is an innovative view that must take into account – and this is why I am speaking of it – the role of the local authorities. In fact, a very dense network of cooperation from town to town has developed in the Arab world, with the organisation of Arab towns which, moreover, belong to a wider organisation, the world organisation of towns, which includes Palestinian towns and Israeli towns that work together. There are cooperation projects for peace, for cultural and religious exchanges, for human rights and the fight against all forms of discrimination. These transnational actions are the expression of a link between Europe and the Arab world on an infra-state scale, that of emerging civil societies. They also offer a wider framework for analysis than that of the fight against terrorism imposed following 11 September."@en1

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