Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2008-07-10-Speech-4-148"

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"Mr President, I would put it to the President-in-Office that the Irish vote against the Treaty has made his impressively prepared presidency more problematic. It has also made the case for a practical, problem-solving Europe stronger than ever. And by taking a lead, Europe can demonstrate its virtue and demand that the dignity of every man and woman be recognised. President-in-Office, to succeed, you will need to build consensus. You will need Parliament, Council and Commission to work together to a common agenda set by 27 Member States and this House. If we are to argue, it must be about that agenda, not its messengers. You have plunged into a polemic with the President of the ECB and with two Commissioners, but they represent our Union and the policies we have agreed. It is not the European way to divide and rule. We must stand on our principles but work together to achieve our common goals. Mr President, I know I am coming to the end, but please give me ‘soixante petites secondes pour ma dernière minute’ with Carla Bruni’s husband. President-in-Office, if you stand on your principles and let us work together to achieve common goals, if you do that, Liberals and Democrats will work with you. The energy and climate packages become more urgent every day. Capping VAT is a short-term sop: Europe should be cutting its dependence on oil and gas. We need much more investment in renewable energy: small-scale and localised to bring household bills down, and large-scale, such as using the Union for the Mediterranean to invest in high-voltage solar thermal power production in North Africa. On Tuesday the G8, which is the source of nearly two thirds of the world’s CO approved an emissions-reduction target of 50%. But the emerging economies are right to say that the target should be higher – perhaps 80% – with interim targets. To stabilise food prices we need good ideas, such as the recent CAP reforms of Commissioner Fischer Boel, not protectionism, however disguised. The truth is that people care more about the petrol price and the bread bill than about the grand aims of our Union. Today nobody should say (‘Let them eat cake’). The President-in-Office is right to put the focus on migration. But migration will be manageable only when we manage the despair that leads so many to risk so much to come here. There should be routes for legal migration, a crackdown on people-smuggling, and reform of our farm policy to kick-start growth in the countries of origin. It may be optimistic to ask a French presidency to liberalise markets. But to bring security within our borders we must bring hope beyond them. There is another way in which the French presidency can break new ground. France gave us the Rights of Man. Now France must lead in their defence. At home, by pressing ahead with the anti-discrimination directive. Abroad: by anchoring peace in the Balkans in a European Union future; by using the Union for the Mediterranean to improve human rights in North Africa; and by uniting in our dealings with Russia and condemning China’s crackdown on dissent. President-in-Office, do not go to Beijing. Play a team game. It was Voltaire who told us: ‘Mortals are equal; it is not birth, but virtue alone that makes the difference.’"@en1
"‘Qu’ils mangent de la brioche’"1

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