Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2011-02-02-Speech-3-157-000"

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"Madam President, there is no doubt that Europe could have done considerably more to help the Arab world and its countries on their path towards democracy. However, if there is to be one positive outcome of the dramatic events that we have witnessed, then it must certainly be that the Arabs have taken control of their own destiny in order to better their situation. After all, history is replete with examples of interventions on the part of Western countries that did more harm than good. We must, therefore, do away with the idea that we have to run to the rescue each time that things need fixing, and dictate and preach to others on how to manage their affairs. Today we should ask ourselves what can be done from now onwards in light of the events that have taken place. In my opinion, there are two things that need to be done. First of all we must intervene with all the vigour we can muster, and with all the help that we can offer in order to improve the democratic environment in these countries, and to strengthen democratic institutions in particular. This way they can flourish, and at the same time drive out new extremists and dictators. Secondly, we must ask ourselves where we went wrong. We have to ask whether our Euro-Mediterranean policy was all words and no action. Where was the Mediterranean Union in all of this? Is Europe ever going to stop reacting and decide to take action instead?"@en1

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