Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/1999-10-26-Speech-2-073"

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"Mr President, in this debate, the European Parliament has the opportunity consistently to underline its resolve concerning the future of the European Union. In this context, I must emphasise the fact that the Council’s draft budget represents less than 1.10% of the Community’s GDP, an amount which is already quite low in itself and what is more, is considerably lower than the ceiling of 1.27% set in Edinburgh and confirmed in Berlin. This should be cause for serious reflection for those who want Europe to do more and to do it better. Having said this, I agree completely with the rapporteur Jean-Louis Bourlanges, whom I congratulate for the quality of his work, concerning the obligation to meet, in the budget for the year 2000, major needs which have recently arisen in the area of Category 4 on external action without calling into question other needs which have been previously defined, as the Council is trying to do. Taking away from some in order to meet others is not acceptable! Across-the-board cuts are an aberration! I am also against any reduction in the level of Category 1 on agriculture and Category 2 on structural operations. Amongst the new priorities, I would single out that of the reconstruction of East Timor, a region which has been a permanent target of the attention of the European Parliament which in September, once more adopted a firm resolution. In terms of the political commitment it represents, I think that the proposal to dedicate a specific budgetary heading to East Timor is of great significance. It is a shame that the Commission’s estimates – EUR 30 million – are not in line with reality. Once we have consistent forecasts, we will have to make the necessary adjustments. Two final observations: the first is the difficulty in understanding and then in explaining why there is a legal basis, and rightly so, for assisting victims of natural disasters anywhere in the world, as we are very rightly going to do for Turkey, but there is no such basis for doing the same at home. Today let me remind you, it is Greece. Tomorrow, God knows. Secondly, there is the expectation, that I insist be noted, of the specific measures and the resulting funds which the Commission is obliged to propose for the outermost regions of the Community which have been recognised, identified and defined since Amsterdam in the Treaty on European Union."@en1

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