Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2008-07-10-Speech-4-193"

PredicateValue (sorted: default)
dcterms:Is Part Of
lpv:document identification number
lpv:translated text
"− Mr President, I will start by very briefly echoing the congratulations expressed by the vast majority of MEPs who have taken the floor: congratulations on the conviction, enthusiasm, energy and political will that President Sarkozy has expressed here today, which I am sure he and his ministers and colleagues will demonstrate throughout the French Presidency. So this is the specific area in which we are working and, to conclude, I would just like to say: ‘Good luck France, and good luck my dear friend President Sarkozy!’. I would like to say that this is not at all a surprise to me. I was entirely convinced that it was very good news that France was to take on the responsibility of the Presidency of the Council during this particularly difficult period. Of course, President Sarkozy and all of us would have preferred the horizon to be clearer from an institutional point of view, but I think that it is precisely during these difficult times that we can see the political capacity and measure the full importance of a strong political will. I am in favour of this democratic political debate. I have said many times that we need to acknowledge politically the differences and multiple points of view that exist, for example here in Parliament. We need to know how to express these differences because Europe is different from a national political system. In our democratic national systems, each time that there is a political discussion, even sometimes one that is very polarised, we do not call into question the very legitimacy of the State, while very often in Europe when those of us who are for Europe strongly express these objections, we have to confront those who are against Europe and who explore all sorts of populisms in order to damage our institutions and compromise this great project of peace and solidarity that is the European project. This is why we really need to be able to express all these points of view, but while strengthening the pro-Europe camp during this particularly difficult time. Let us be clear, we have the European elections in June 2009. If the different European political forces and European institutions do not work hand in hand with a constructive position, we will be giving arguments to those who, at the extremes, want to exploit populism, xenophobia and nationalism by establishing a connection between nationalism and homeland, which is an error. Moreover, I often quote a great French author, who said that ‘Patriotism is love for one’s own people; nationalism is hatred of others.’ We can love our homeland and, at the same time, defend our European project with conviction, as President Sarkozy said just now. I therefore hope that the debate that takes place over the next six months will strengthen the European institutions as well as our project for the Europe of the future. I am keen to answer a specific question. It is the only specific question that I was asked, and I will of course leave the rest to President Sarkozy, who is in a much better position than me to deal with them. This specific question was from Mrs Napolitano regarding the Euromed cultural programme. I am keen to inform you that the current programme, the Euromed cultural programme, still has an allocation of EUR 15 million for this year. For 2009-2010 it is true that nothing has been decided yet, but there is a great deal of pressure on external expenditure, and in these cases, what happens, quite frankly, is that the third countries concerned tend to prioritise bilateral cooperation to the detriment of regional budgets. It is therefore an issue that should be discussed with the Euromed countries. Indeed, one of the interesting aspects of France’s initiative aimed at creating a Union for the Mediterranean which, for that matter, I supported from the very start is that it brings a stronger element of regional cooperation. Sometimes I am asked what the Union for the Mediterranean adds to the Barcelona process. It is, of course, an element of greater political appropriation, and is also political upgrading, in particular thanks to the biennial summit; but it is also the dimension brought by specific regional projects and, now I also hope, by very specific projects to which we will be able to add a stronger private sector dimension, as we still need more resources."@en1

Named graphs describing this resource:


The resource appears as object in 2 triples

Context graph