Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2012-02-15-Speech-3-494-000"

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"Mr President, I shall begin by asking a question which is, in fact, answered in the joint resolution of this Parliament: how many days will our High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy spend at the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva? This is a council that is taking place after a year in which much has changed in countries such as Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, Syria and Bahrain, where the people have risen up against the regimes that oppressed them. Some of these peoples have succeeded in their revolutions and others have not. What I believe most Europeans regret is that the EU was not prepared to help these peoples to make their transition when this occurred. This could not have been sped up by us, but we could have provided a framework for it. Fortunately, however, there are the cases that we have cited in our resolution, such as Burma, which seems to be on the path to greater openness and democracy. In any case, many things change, but what does not change is EU strategy, which needs to be made effective, consistent, coherent and flexible. Coherence and flexibility do not contradict one another. What we cannot continue doing is offering the same types of trade agreement to Arab countries after the Arab Spring as we did before the Arab Spring. Tomorrow, we will vote on an agricultural agreement with Morocco, which is a country that still does not recognise the self-determination of Western Sahara. What we cannot continue doing is allowing European companies to do business with dictatorial regimes without being punished here. My apologies, and now I will answer my question: our High Representative will not spend a single day at the United Nations Human Rights Council. I consider that a disgrace."@en1

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