Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2011-02-02-Speech-3-154-000"

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"Madam President, ladies and gentlemen, until now I had suspected that peoples were always ahead of their political elites. Today I am quite sure of this. May I first of all pay tribute to the courage and determination of the Tunisian and Egyptian peoples. They have reminded us that the values that we stand for in the world – human rights and democracy – are not values exclusive to the West, as some proclaim, but rather are universal values shared by all. Europe, in my view, can no longer continue to make mistakes in this part of the world, shilly-shallying as it does from wrong analyses to misguided projects. These peoples are expecting a response from us that is equal to their courage and aspirations. They are not asking for charity but they are certainly asking for solidarity, and even more so for responsibility. In these uncertain times, nobody wants chaos, but nobody should have to accept the status quo any longer, either. We must support the hope created by the events in Tunisia and Egypt in order to help affirm and establish democracies that will benefit these countries and their populations, but which will also benefit us, and I believe that you have expressed this forcefully, Baroness Ashton. I shall conclude by quoting what a poet once said: ‘The world sleeps from a lack of imprudence.’ These peoples, quite rightly, have been imprudent in calling for their freedom, but I hope above all that they will have awakened our consciences."@en1

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