Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2008-01-16-Speech-3-448"

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"Madam President, I would firstly like to thank both rapporteurs for their excellent and highly cooperative work. I would also like to thank the Commissioner, because I know that she is rightly very committed to this area and because I believe that she wants to do even more than many Member States have perhaps wanted. We offer her our utmost support in this. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Mr Semneby sincerely, as he represents the Council and is also very active in this region. I believe that we have to achieve something that at least in its approach corresponds to what I and my colleagues constantly refer to as the EU Black Sea region. Mr Sarkozy has used it in another way for the Mediterranean region, namely in terms of a split in the European Union. No, the entire European Union and this region surrounding the Black Sea and the South Caucasus must work together in terms of a partnership – as others, too, have already stated – in order to resolve the common problems that exist: the political problems, e.g. in terms of stability, migration, and of course also economic problems, and here I am simply thinking of energy transit. For example, anyone who would like to be just a little bit less dependent on Russia must ensure that there are other channels, and these eventually cross this region, in particular Turkey. Whatever you think about membership – I know that there are differing opinions on this – Turkey remains an important partner for the European Union in this region and therefore we must, of course, include Turkey in this matter. I concede to my colleague Mr°Severin, who has said that we ought to try to resolve these matters together with the Russian mainland. This should not mean, however, that we push aside the independence, autonomy and power of spontaneous healing of countries in this region, and say that we can resolve matters only with Russia. Russia must also know that we support these countries in their aspiration to independence and also in the resolution of conflicts. Europe must be a partner here, clearly standing alongside these countries. This means that the Black Sea region is a very important one for the European Union. We should not forego the opportunity to develop this field together. Only when we face Russia together will we be able to assert our interests together."@en1

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