Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2011-02-02-Speech-3-105-000"

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"Mr President, Baroness Ashton, ladies and gentlemen, whatever the result or outcome of the situation in Egypt, I believe that we are safe in saying that there will be a before and after the events that have taken place in Tunisia. It is my opinion that we should not be looking for culprits in this House as this crisis has caught the European Union on the wrong foot, however I feel that we ought to draw some conclusions on the matter. Firstly, the European Union needs to be more visible, it needs to speak with a unified voice and to avoid any cacophony; it is for this reason that we have created the European External Action Service and the figure of the High Representative. Secondly, we need to draw on the lessons offered to us by complacent policies with the enemies of freedom, from Belarus to Cuba and with the Mediterranean countries in between. We need to ask ourselves if there really is more stability, more prosperity and more democracy as the Barcelona Process intended. Thirdly, Mr President, I feel that we need to distinguish between what the European Union needs to do in the medium term and what it needs to do in the short term. In the short term – I think that Baroness Ashton has drawn up a road map – the European Union needs to offer resolute support to these transition processes so as not to frustrate these friendly countries’ hopes for freedom. It is also our duty, Mr President, to warn them of the risks involved in these processes, so they are not hijacked by the enemies of free societies. In the medium term, Mr President, it is important that the European Union reflects deeply on a strategic approach to reforming our neighbourhood policy as we also requested of Mr Füle yesterday in the Committee on Foreign Affairs. All of this must be done, Mr President, whilst bearing in mind that often it is more difficult to maintain the balance of freedom than to shake off the yoke of tyranny."@en1

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