Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2014-11-12-Speech-3-216-000"

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"Madam President, I too would like to welcome the Commissioner to Parliament this evening. If we look back to our own history, the primary objective in establishing the European Union was to end all wars within our borders and to find ways and means of living together. Now, for many people, especially those who have no memory of war, this may seem a very simple, a very straightforward, and sometimes even an inadequate objective because they have grown used to living in peaceful times. It is normal, everyday, and we expect it will always continue. But peace, of course, is never a given. It is never fully and finally achieved anywhere. It is always a process and that is just as true in mainland Europe as it is in Northern Ireland. But the process of peace-building in Northern Ireland is still in its infancy. It is no longer a tiny new-born, but it still requires assistance and support. Like any toddler, it can be knocked over, and it can fall over. All it can do then is haul itself back up on its feet, and take the next step, because there is no other way. The EU has acted as an honest broker and has funded a number of peace-building programmes. The last two programmes had as their priorities reconciling communities and contributing to a shared society, and the new peace funds will focus on young people and children. And speaking of young people and children, in my opinion much greater emphasis needs to be placed on some form of integrated education system where we can ensure cross-community interaction between four-year olds – that would be a positive start."@en1

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