Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2008-07-10-Speech-4-163"

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"Mr President, I would like to welcome President Sarkozy again to Strasbourg and to congratulate him on engaging with Parliament, for being real with regard to ideas, even though he knew there would not be general agreement across the House with regard to those ideas. For too long we have been hoisted with the petard of failed ideologies of the past, the failure to look to the new frontiers which come before us and to meet those challenges head on. We have played safe by falling back into the comfort zone of either past imperialistic ideals or post-fascist commands or even, dare I say it, new 20th-century thinking with regard to human life and human rights. Because the complexity of the world today is very different and far more varied than what can be offered by any one single ideology or any one single plan. And rightly you mention the importance of engaging with other governments around the world: with China to solve the problem of Chad and of Sudan, ensuring that the problems with regard to Africa and the developing world are met head on. We are already commemorating today the lives of seven peacekeepers in Sudan who have lost their lives under a United Nations mandate, simply because of a failure of governments to intervene properly and put pressure on the authorities in Chad and in Sudan to protect the lives of refugees and asylum seekers. It is all very well to speak woolly words here in Parliament about the importance of immigration and allowing the free movement of people. It is better if we allow people to stay at home. I come from Ireland, a nation that had to export 12 million of its people over a hundred years. None of them wanted to leave Ireland. They were forced to leave Ireland. If we give people the opportunity to remain in their own countries, give them support through the mechanisms of the policies that we set up, whether in trade or other areas, then we can do it. Finally, Mr President-in-Office, you spoke earlier about how you felt the legitimacy of your position in bringing the ratification of the Lisbon Treaty before the parliament was the only way to do it. I agree with you. That is right for France. But equally legitimate is the right to have a referendum and that should always be protected. It is not an either/or. There are problems and difficulties with regard to the result in Ireland, but that is not just a problem with regard to Ireland’s relationship with Europe. It is reflective of a deeper malaise for the people and Europe."@en1

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