Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2000-10-25-Speech-3-224"

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"Mr President, Commissioner, if every petition which we discussed and approved in this House were worth a life then I would be satisfied. Regrettably, however, this has never been the case and it is not so now. We must avoid turning our reasoning and indignant declarations into a wake because, while we are expressing our indignation, executions are still being carried out. Therefore, what we want from Parliament, the Commission and the Council too is sound pragmatism: we must endeavour to understand how we can be effective, how we can tip the balance so that the death penalty ceases to disgrace the whole of humanity. This is what the resolution is trying to say. There are two points which we consider to be of basic practical concern. Firstly, the abolition of the death penalty or a moratorium must continue to be an inalienable priority in our relations with third countries, not a condition for friendship but a condition for political, commercial and economic cooperation. The second point – which you raised, Commissioner, and which, I am happy to say, was taken up by many of the Members – is that the Commission must exercise great care in allocating its financial resources in order to support campaigns which are able to alter the public perception of the death penalty. As Mr Salafranca pointed out, there was a rather embarrassing moment in the debate for the US presidential elections when both the candidates for the Presidency of the United States declared that they were in favour of the death penalty. We are the children of Cesare Beccaria: we do not want our heritage to be confined within the borders of Europe. Therefore, we need actions in support of non-governmental organisations, in support of civil society, in support too of those who have proved that they have the enormous amount of courage necessary to invest in this area, as Mrs Bonino mentioned. I will end, Commissioner by calling for the highest possible degree of pragmatism from the Commission; I call upon the Council to give voice to our governments; I call upon Parliament to be courageous enough never to fall silent on this matter."@en1

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