Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2008-07-10-Speech-4-178"

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"Mr President, the priorities of the French EU Presidency are realistic priorities that in my opinion are sufficiently capable of responding to what Mr Durão Barroso, the President of the Commission, was saying, to the criticisms that Europe is impotent and incapable of responding to the daily concerns of our citizens: the constitutional problem, food and energy prices, the Europe of defence, and immigration. Today, the death of an immigrant in a refrigerated lorry in the Channel Tunnel, or thrown overboard from a boat heading for the Canaries – as happened just a few hours ago – is one of the greatest contemporary tragedies. It is a serious and urgent problem and the European Union needs to come up with an adequate response. The Chairman of the Group of the European People’s Party (Christian Democrats) and European Democrats, Mr Daul, spoke of the need to mobilise political will and I think that this Presidency has absolutely no shortage of political will. However, Mr President, political will is necessary, but not sufficient: circumstances also count, and even if they are passing, short-term or temporary, while they exist they affect us and place limitations on us, and I welcome the fact that President Sarkozy said that we need to convert circumstances into opportunities. I regret the fact that Mr Schulz is not here with us now, because when he talked about sport it brought to mind a particular circumstance. I would like the yellow jersey to be Spanish once again, as was the case in the first stage of the Tour de France. You are right, though, President-in-Office, that there does need to be a European dimension to sport, and several MEPs have asked me to pass a request on to you to consider whether it would be appropriate for the French sportsmen and women who are going to take part in the Olympic Games, which we have discussed here today, to wear an EU emblem next to the national flag, so that other Member States can voluntarily join in such an initiative. President-in-Office, we hope that the French Presidency will be capable of joining forces and forging consensuses so that, as you proposed, the European Union can move forward decisively under your Presidency."@en1

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