Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2008-01-16-Speech-3-031"

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"Mr President, Prime Minister, do not be reduced to your role in the Balkans. Continue to be a European Presidency! I shall begin, however, with small matters, and I hope that my country, Austria, will also make an effective contribution to your Presidency by solving the outstanding problems concerning the Slovenian minority in Austria and that the Slovenian minority will now finally come into its own. As rapporteur for Croatia, I do hope that Croatia will be able to make great progress during your Presidency. You must contribute something to this, as must Croatia. From you I expect that during your Presidency, you will implement the Treaty that you concluded with Prime Minister Sanader and that a solution will then be found to the disputed borders through appraisal by a third party. I expect greater efforts from Croatia and, as regards the ecological fishing zone, I expect the promise to be kept not to extend and apply this zone to Croatia and Italy. The greatest problem is certainly that of Kosovo and I am of the opinion that you are going down the right path. You are acting with caution, calmly, but purposefully. This is the solution to which we aspire in Kosovo because, let’s be honest, it is not possible and not reasonable – either for Kosovo or for Serbia – for Kosovo to have a shared existence within Serbia. This does not mean, however, that we do not share Serbia’s concern and cannot understand why Serbia has great problems here. However, one thing should also be stated very clearly for Serbia’s ears, specifically to Prime Minister Koštunica: we believe that the future of Serbia, of a democratic Serbia, a Serbia that also cooperates with the ICTY, lies in Europe! If Mr Koštunica believes that Serbia’s future lies in Russia, that’s his problem, but I do not believe that the population of Serbia would agree with him. A clear signal should therefore be sent to Serbia under your Presidency: you must choose between Russia and the European Union on this issue. We are making a straightforward offer to the entire region, and specifically to Serbia, to continue on the path towards the European Union in a reasonable period of time. This is a massive task to perform and I’m sure you will perform it well!"@en1

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