Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2011-04-07-Speech-4-013-000"

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"Mr President, my compliments to my fellow Member, Mr Cutaş, on his excellent report on the EIB annual report for 2009. Compliments also on the overview which he gave us here. However, I would like to comment on one particular aspect, namely, the relationship between the Council and Parliament. The European Parliament is a colegislator for the external mandate of the European Investment Bank, for all of the bank’s activities outside the EU, in neighbouring countries and in developing countries. The Council, however, seems to be finding it extremely hard to take this Parliament’s proposals on the review of the external mandate seriously. To my surprise, the Council is making quite a habit of coolly dismissing all kinds of new proposals put forward by this House as ‘unacceptable’. I am talking, in particular, about proposals for the EIB taking an active role when it comes to measures to tackle climate change and for a greater role for the EIB in microfinancing. Are these proposals ‘unacceptable’? Is it the Council’s job to define the scope of the topics which the European Parliament is allowed to discuss? No, the European Parliament and the Council are colegislators on an equal footing, and, together with and in close contact with the European Commission, should jointly determine the rules governing the EIB’s external activities. That calls for consultation, for joint deliberations, for compromise, for an open attitude on the part of both the legislators. It is nonsensical and counterproductive, then, to use the word ‘unacceptable’ to describe proposals which a large majority of the European Parliament believe to be important. Now, such an out-of-touch attitude on the part of the Council is what is unacceptable, if you ask me. The fact that no one from the Council is present here is absurd and illustrative of how out of touch they are. The EIB is an essential tool for the EU’s external activities throughout the world. A public bank, a bank which can contribute to economic growth and the improvement of infrastructure with loans, is indispensable to the development of our neighbouring countries. The same applies to our relationship with developing countries. There, too, a public bank is vital. Such a bank must observe the Treaty of Lisbon and its objectives. Poverty reduction is one such objective. The European Parliament wants to lay down that role for the Bank clearly in its external mandate. I expect an open and constructive attitude on the part of the Council, which will enable us to arrive at that clarification together."@en1

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