Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2012-05-09-Speech-3-194-000"

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"Mr President, ladies and gentlemen, I would like to invite the Commission not to be too cautious, on the other hand, and, above all, I would like to invite the House not to be too fixated on the agricultural issue. We cannot carry on considering trade relations between the European Union and Mediterranean countries solely from the point of view of agriculture and, in fact, the report takes a totally different line. We asked for more connection with civil society, more study grants – and I would like to thank the Commissioner for what he said at the beginning on the development of the programme – I believe – it is not an issue which concerns the DG Trade – but I believe that it would be useful also to have an something specifically for the Mediterranean countries, as a written declaration from Parliament had, in fact, requested. We are calling for bilateral chambers of commerce between the European Union and the Mediterranean countries which do not yet exist. We are calling for new credit instruments, something – also through the work we have done with the European Investment Bank (EIB) and European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) – is starting to happen, also for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), and we are especially calling for liberalisation of this trade through the possibility of allowing new players and entities, like SMEs in fact, to emerge in southern Mediterranean countries. There is an extraordinary amount of talent in this area in the Arab countries that has always been suppressed by the oligarchies in power. In this sense, technical cooperation to dismantle non-tariff barriers – all elements of our report – is crucial. Let us not miss this opportunity. We have the opportunity to use commercial policy, the exclusive competence of the European Union, to do a truly political job, part of which has still not been done, in order to support these processes. There are those who say that nothing has happened, that there have been no Arab Springs. I challenge anyone in this House eighteen months ago to imagine that Mubarak, Ben Ali and Gaddafi would have fallen from power in their countries in the space of a just a few months. Something has happened, and the development and outcome depend also on us, and also on commercial policy instruments, and I must just briefly say a word about the contribution of our Green friends who have just left us: do not have an ideological approach. It is not true that commerce is not good for development, quite the opposite. The report demonstrates all the rest."@en1
"Erasmus Med"1

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