Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2011-02-02-Speech-3-116-000"

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"Mr President, ladies and gentlemen, the old order is changing in the Maghreb and this crisis raises a multitude of problems that will not be easy to solve. There are risks as well as hopes. It is possible that secular authoritarian regimes could be replaced by aggressive, destabilising Islamic fundamentalist theocracies. We should remember what happened in Iran: it is hard for democratic development to go hand-in-hand with revolution. There are certainly lessons to be learnt from Iran. Another danger is that the economic crisis in the area is likely to worsen, resulting in even greater youth unemployment and large influxes of migrants that Europe can no longer cope with. These events are a sign that our Euro-Mediterranean policy is inadequate and show that the cooperation policy implemented so far is not up to the task of creating the conditions for development and democracy. What has happened is not due solely to the economic crisis, even though it has been severe, but to the lack of social stability, in other words the lack of vehicles to represent the people’s interests, such as trade unions, a free press, political pluralism, a voluntary sector, the rule of law and equal opportunities for everyone. Supporting the countries of this region in their journey should be at the heart of Europe’s policy, alongside economic and trade assistance. This is the way to create true stability: not the stability provided by authoritarian regimes, but stability founded on social consensus, participation and democratic institutions."@en1

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