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Mr President, I want to thank Commissioner De Gucht for his important clarification.
The real problem of this agreement is neither technical nor legal. It is strictly political. Namely, it is about trying to impose our political views on Israel through trade leverages. This did not work in the past, and will definitely not work in the future. If we want to promote our values, we must first secure our geostrategic interests, otherwise our values are both in vain and in peril.
Our strategic interest in the present context of major turmoil in the Middle East requires strengthening our ties and cooperation with Israel. Therefore, and to this end, we should ratify ACAA now and not later. Procrastination is not a solution.
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Protocol to the Euro-Mediterranean Agreement establishing an association between the EC and Israel on Conformity Assessment and Acceptance of Industrial Products (CAA) (debate)
Mr President, besides technicalities and legalistic issues, this is a highly political topic. We have our values, but we also have our geopolitical interests, and our values will never prevail and will never flourish if we cannot win in our geostrategic endeavours.
This is precisely why, to promote both the political interests of our citizens and their values, we have to stop the filibustering of the coming into force of this Agreement. Therefore, I hope that today our vote will bring this odyssey to an end.
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The credibility of the Commission’s work programme is linked to the credibility and morality of its mode of operation. These were the topics discussed in the Dalli case. Fighting corruption is a priority.
When corruption is sanctioned outside the law, fighting it becomes an act of corruption in itself. The European Anti-Fraud Office has not found any direct evidence to prove that Commissioner Dalli is guilty. Nor has it indicated any legal text that has been contravened.
Circumstantial evidence alone cannot overturn the presumption of innocence. The procedure followed by the Commission in the case of Mr Dalli leaves a stain on his reputation in every sense. If Mr Dalli is innocent, the sacrifice of an innocent Member would e a shame. If he is guilty, the Commission’s attempt to hide behind his ‘voluntary’ resignation, and the guilt of not having prevented the irregularities or sanctioned them promptly, would an act of cowardice and irresponsibility.
To ask an innocent person to resign is an aberration. What then can you ask of a guilty one? To ask for proof of innocence goes against the principles of law. What is certain is that his resignation delays the adoption of the Tobacco Products Directive, to the delight of those who are opposed to it. Slander is cheaper than a bribe. Therefore, I wonder, who is the corrupt party: Mr Dalli or the European Commission ?
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The members of the Council insist that the Schengen legal basis is in need of change merely because they want powers to reintroduce the internal borders within the EU.
This is utter populism, since internal borders do not improve the life and security of the citizens, but put limits on their freedom. It is clear that the Council intends to renationalise the Schengen project, and to go back to an outdated intergovernmental approach.
More than seeking to satisfy the ego of one of the European institutions, this reflects the demagogic approach of the dialogue with the national societies, rather than the concern for the security of the citizens. The change in the legal basis of the Schengen evaluation mechanism should be considered only in terms of finding the correct paths for the implementation and putting into effect of the Schengen acquis .
The Member States gathered in the Council want to control and change the Schengen mechanism as they please, not for improving it, but for hiding their incapacity to improve the life of the citizens by presenting the freedom of movement as the source of all evils.
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