Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2008-01-15-Speech-2-361"

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"Mr President, Commissioner, under the new system the rapporteur has the last word, and therein lies an insight into how the European Parliament sees itself in relation to the Commission. As you know, we are not at odds about the next steps in this matter. I am not suggesting that the system be scrapped; I have merely proposed a few improvements – which I do not intend to recapitulate – to increase Parliament’s powers of scrutiny. On the question of data that can be used for climate analysis, we have indicated that there are two pilot projects, entitled LUCAS and MARS. This also demonstrates, however, that the data being collected does indeed transcend the domain of agriculture. This is why I asked in the explanatory statement for the retention of a separate budget heading. Let me conclude with a little anecdote that shows the sort of thing we must deal with. A farm near where I live was visited by the supervisory authority, because the satellite system had allegedly enabled it to identify a gully, in other words a prohibited drainage system. The inspectors said it must be over there in a particular spot where the system had shown it to be. The farmer, however, assured them that he had done nothing. And what had actually happened? A plastic mat was lying in the field – which should not happen either – and the grass had grown through it. That was what the satellite system had picked up, and now the authorities had come to haul the farmer over the coals. We politicians could surely come up with more little tales like that from our local areas – and no doubt, Commissioner, you have heard a few yourself – which illustrate what we have to deal with. There is no point in denying our concern at the prospect of farmers being monitored in a way which the public cannot comprehend and which is no longer subject to parliamentary scrutiny. I therefore hope you will appreciate why we have had to put this report through Parliament and discuss it and why we must continue to be vigilant in future. Be that as it may, we do intend to support each other in these efforts."@en1

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