Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2008-09-23-Speech-2-317"

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"Madam President, President-in-Office of the Council, Commission Vice-President, I completely agree with the Vice-President’s statements. We have to differentiate between the straits where there are responsible countries with whom we can cooperate on cracking down on piracy, and the maritime operations where there is no responsible country, for example in Somalia, where we have to do something ourselves. President-in-Office, I thought what you said was, in all honesty, rather too little. Setting up and deploying a crisis unit is always a good thing to do, but it does nothing to help. The crisis unit is here in Brussels or somewhere else. What we need is a concerted maritime operation locally, with the ships from the EU Member States that are already there. We have to appeal to the Member States who do not yet have any ships there to take part in a joint marine operation. We cannot allow a situation where two pirate mother ships sail happily along on these waters attacking our fishing and merchant vessels and we are for ever having to run round after them and watch to see how we can bring this under control. I am waiting to hear what my general has to say, who will be here in a short while, but we need a clear strategic and tactical assessment of the situation here, and we need enough manpower capable of controlling piracy, as appeals simply do nothing to help. We have to hunt down the pirates, we have to catch them, otherwise it will not work. Ninety per cent of Europe’s imports, on which we depend, arrive via maritime routes. We have a high level of responsibility for seafarers, for fishermen fishing off foreign coasts, in accordance with jointly agreed treaties, and we have to protect these fishermen and seafarers, and also tourists. Unfortunately, in areas where there is no governmental authority, this only works if we develop our own European activities on the basis of UN resolutions. In this respect, President-in-Office, it is good to set up a crisis unit, but we are expecting to see a well-defined operations base and well-defined operations during the next stage."@en1

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