Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2008-01-15-Speech-2-210"

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"Mr President, ladies and gentlemen, first of all let me once again thank Commissioner Frattini for reiterating the European Commission’s serious commitment to the sector of the rights of the child. I thank him also for calling on Member States, in his opening statement, rapidly to activate the child helplines, for the delays here are indeed unjustifiable. I am also grateful to him for pointing out that not all Member States have to date introduced a national guarantee in relation to the rights of the child, something we also noted and deplored in the report. I am also grateful to all my colleagues who played a part in the drafting of this document, and to those who have spoken, for I believe we are all agreed on the concept of the higher interest of the child. Obviously, I support that and share the concerns that have been expressed in the Chamber today. We must force our Member States to move more quickly from words to deeds and obviously Parliament and the European Commission must do their part too. Let me say a few brief words on some of the issues that were highlighted. On the environment, let me confirm to Mr Frattini that it is true that we could perhaps have done more in the report, but we did make it clear that the right to a healthy and clean environment must be one of the main rights guaranteed to minors. I was pleased to find that one of the issues that will be addressed at the next European Forum on the rights of the child will be the question of international adoptions. In that context I also want to point out that aside from the enormous and often entirely bureaucratic difficulties of international adoptions, there also is the tragedy of children who are fought over by their parents following separation or divorce. That is indeed a major European problem, which has obviously also grown as a result of opening up borders. Let me conclude by saying that I am of course very pleased with the work that has been done, and although I believe the result is certainly not perfect, it can be a very good point of departure provided, I repeat, that serious and responsible practical action is taken promptly."@en1

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