Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2007-10-24-Speech-3-363"

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"Madam President, relations between the European Union and the African countries have become unacceptably strained due to the negotiations with the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries about the Economic Partnership Agreements. If these negotiations fail, then Cotonou will end in a black hole for a number of countries from 1 January because our trade relations will then become the far less favourable Generalised System of Preferences. It would, however, be a disgrace if poor countries were to be penalised in this way, because they feel that the EU and the ACP countries are not equal partners at this moment. We must give poor countries the right to protect their markets in sectors that are weak and which would keel over in the buffeting of free trade. These negotiations stand in sharp contrast to the good principles and aims in Maria Martens’s report and I share those aims. We, as Socialists, wanted to add that the trade and agriculture policy of the EU should not be allowed to stand in the way of development policy. We need coherence, and it goes without saying that the policy should still be aimed at emancipation and women’s rights. It is up to the Commission to develop this into a concrete policy. After that the Commission will monitor development cooperation closely."@en1

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