Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2008-07-10-Speech-4-162"

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"Mr President, a few weeks ago Ireland said ‘no’, and I think that, as we all know, this illustrates the increasing split between European citizens. This ‘no’ should obviously not be underestimated, and I think that, on the contrary, it should force all political leaders to take into account the expectations and concerns of the people and try to provide answers to them, whatever treaty is in force. It is not the case that if we had the Lisbon Treaty tomorrow everything would disappear with a wave of a magic wand. The French Presidency has chosen to focus on four areas, which is obviously very helpful, especially regarding climate change. However, during this time of deep crisis, a financial and food crisis, an explosion in the price of raw materials, and increasingly scarce and increasingly expensive oil, I think that what the people are expecting is not only a matter of issues, but also a matter of vision; what the people are expecting is a matter of prospects. Right now I would like to suggest three avenues for reflection. The first concerns the fundamental, essential issue of our identity. I believe, I have a deep conviction, that there is a European model, that there is a European blueprint for society. This European model is economic, sustainable and also social. This European model, for example, seeks to combat the growing inequalities. There is, therefore, a European model, and we should be proud of it, we should assert it, carry it, take it up, defend it and protect it. That is the first avenue. Then there is a second avenue for reflection. I think that we need a new vision for the organisation of the world. In saying that, I am thinking particularly of Africa. I am thinking of the issue of agricultural products; I think we should stop subsidising exports of our agricultural products and instead work towards Africa being self-sufficient in terms of food and energy. This is the new revolution that we need in order to have a fairer world in the future. Finally, I believe, and we should never stop reminding ourselves of this, that there are European values that we should never renounce: they are called democracy and human rights, and they are valid for us in Europe, and will be valid in the future of the Union for the Mediterranean, where it will not be about doing business above all while neglecting human rights. The issue of human rights is essential for the coming decades; it is the deep-seated identity of Europe and deserves to be defended. Mr President, these are some of the questions that I feel are before us; they concern fundamental matters, in other words, the vision and the deeper meaning that we must and want to give to Europe. These questions are not only a matter of politics, but also a matter of conscience."@en1

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