Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/1999-10-06-Speech-3-176"

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"Mr President, as my colleague Konrad Schwaiger, the general rapporteur, said, the framework for the agricultural negotiation must be the CAP, reformed in the context of Agenda 2000, as laid down at the Berlin European Council. However, I would like to emphasise four particular points. Firstly, the only way that the European Union can maintain a fighting stance in these negotiations is to lay the truth about the state of its agriculture on the table. The reality of this is one of multifunctional agriculture, which combines its economic function with preserving the environment and the countryside and which guarantees that the whole of our territory remains populated. This reality has a name: it is called the European agricultural model. Bearing this in mind, the European Union will not be able to accept any measure that might put it in jeopardy. Secondly, the European Union can only consent to enter into negotiations on the issue of agriculture if it is made clear that free trade is inseparable from fair trade. And for this reason, the WTO cannot confine itself to commercial matters, but must also address fundamental issues such as the quality and safety of food, animal welfare, the protection of the environment, and respect for consumers and their views. Thirdly, the European Union must put on the table the precautionary principle, which means being able to take exceptional steps to protect our consumers. There should be no more trade reprisals merely because we have sought to protect our consumers, as we did in the case of the battle over hormones. Fourthly, we must be aware that although European agriculture as a whole comprises many specific elements, it is also deeply heterogeneous. That is to say, the European agricultural model is a plural model. To this extent, special measures should be advocated for those areas whose survival is at greatest risk, particularly those with small farms, and the poorer regions."@en1

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