Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2008-07-10-Speech-4-175"

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"Mr President, President-in-Office of the Council, like the President of the European Parliament, like many other fellow Members, I am a child of the ruins of the Second World War, and I very much appreciate the dedication that you therefore put in your speech, which flouts scepticism. I see scepticism as something that belongs to the spirit of Munich, and it is the acid that dissolves the European will. That is why I very much appreciated the energy that you put into a speech which, as Mrs Lulling just said on television, for example, we found clear, precise, and, I can say without the least affectation, convincing. The second thing that I would like to say, Mr President, is that of course you are right and this has to be said here. The fears in Europe and the threats to it were certainly largely during its construction in the 1950s, but while the nature of these fears has changed, there are obviously still a great number of them today. That is why there needs to be an absolutely determined response. I am very happy with the priorities: I will say that frankly, because they are real, and in particular the immigration policy which will be conducted by your Minister, Mr Hortefeux, our former fellow Member. Two years ago I had the honour of representing the European Parliament at the Euro-African Conference in Rabat. For the first time it brought together the countries that had the same responsibilities, whether as countries of origin, transit, or reception of immigrants, and, as Mr Watson said a moment ago, I think that it is very important, especially – and why not? – through the structure of the Union for the Mediterranean, to have a generous policy of proximity and surveillance. Finally, one last thing, Mr President, do not forget that the reason that Europe has a unique influence throughout the world is because it is a cradle of culture; because it is culture that cements our differences; because culture is the platform for our political systems, and that is why we are viewed in a completely different way. Your energy will probably also be needed if there is to be determination in this field of culture too."@en1

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