Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2000-10-24-Speech-2-281"

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"Mr President, Commissioner, the European Parliament is helping by means of this report to relaunch a policy for the outermost regions, as laid down in Article 299(2) of the Treaty. The hesitations and the occasional contradiction we have seen in the Commission’s action in this field recently would therefore be at odds with this. All of the Treaty’s articles must be complied with and all of them must be guaranteed effective implementation. Article 299(2) can be no exception. There are therefore grounds for commending the position adopted by the European Parliament and to praise the balance, competence and experience demonstrated by the rapporteur, Mrs Sudre, and the contribution made by all those who worked together with her, particularly the other seven Members from the outermost regions. Because I am under pressure of time, I will try to highlight the fundamental aspects of the report. I feel that as well as promoting the fairness that underpins changes in policy, systems of derogation and specific measures, in other words dealing in the same way with things that are the same and differently with things that are different, the important thing is that in my region, as in the other outermost regions, people should be able to live in dignity. This requires involvement in productive activities that guarantee a growing degree of self-sufficiency. Since the economy of the outermost regions is classed in Article 299(2) of the Treaty itself as being dependent on a single product or on a limited range of products, we must provide incentives for potential diversification and, at the same time, create better conditions for producing what people actually have the means and the ability to produce. What cannot, under any circumstances, be allowed to happen is that we help to eradicate the few comparative advantages that we have. In the Azores, our main product is milk. If we are to take Article 299(2) of the Treaty seriously, I can only hope for an improvement in our framework for producing what we actually have the means and the ability to produce."@en1

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