Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/1999-12-13-Speech-1-153"

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"Mr President, we have a saying at home that what God has divided by a mountain man should not join together by a tunnel. I do not doubt that this is far too strict an interpretation of divine will, and the people of Europe agree. Over the course of many years they have removed many obstacles on the routes between them. This has allowed people to get to know each other, boosted the economy, promoted tourism and given people an opportunity to live together. The conclusion of this Agreement on transport with Switzerland means that after many years a dividing line across Europe will gradually be bridged. This is to be welcomed, in spite of the problems which this process of course also entails. This is good for the general public, who will now no longer, as they did in the past, have to take sometimes extremely long detours on roads which were in any case already congested and for which they also paid handsomely. The new possibilities are also good for the people who live in the Alpine region and for the environment there, which has been seriously damaged by the so-called environmental transit traffic. Of course there were, and still are, sensitive Alpine areas in Austria and France as well, not only in Switzerland, although obviously there are some there too. As the process of implementing the Agreement on transport between the EU and Switzerland gets underway, we look forward to it being easier to cross the central Alpine region in the future. We hope that the package of agreements between the European Union and Switzerland will perhaps also lead to Switzerland's becoming a member of the European Union. However, above all we look forward to the proposed regulation making a significant contribution – in the short or long term – to a new, better, more efficient, but also humane and environmentally friendly transport policy in the Union. Finally, with this in mind, I should also like to make an appeal in support of Mr Ferber's Amendment No 7. He is proposing to delete – with no replacement – the first sentence of Annex 3, which states that “each Member State shall receive a basic allocation of 1500 permits”. The geography of Europe is not such that each Member State has the same need to pass through Switzerland on the way from A to B. This solution is a bureaucratic nightmare. Let us do away with it!"@en1

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