Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2001-02-01-Speech-4-021"

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"Mr President, ladies and gentlemen, I feel that the BSE crisis is affecting me both politically and personally. The institutions – in this case the national governments – appear only to react to crises, and never take preventative action, as if history has taught us nothing. For example, Commissioner, you have had a mandate from the Agriculture Council to apply the measures described to us. I wish you luck because I can already imagine the merry dance you will be led when you propose these measures: some Member States will request exemption, others will request an extension, for example for the spinal cord from 12 to 20 months, and others will claim to offer consumers safe meat. So this is all déjà vu to some extent and I can only hope that you have the strength and nerve to stay on course, in the sure knowledge that this will not be easy. What has come to the fore in recent months is a by now familiar subject, namely the monitoring by Member States of the application of Community measures. I feel that this is the real point that should be raised with the Council because the measures to be applied are established but then the Member States either do not apply the measures – hence there are many infringement procedures, but they always take a long time – or are not in a position to implement checks. The result is that, in the end, measures which appear severe have to be taken because the checks do not ensure guarantees or safety in any way. This is something which gives rise to further difficulties because Member States tend to either conduct few checks or, when they do carry out checks, do not communicate the data available to other institutions. Therefore, Commissioner, Parliament will constantly be urging you to action, but you can also count on our support in this uphill task. If I may make an observation: it is a fact that whenever you try to solve a problem, other problems arise. For example, what are we to do with the animal meal? We are to burn it. Of course, it is clear that, even today, we do not have the incineration capacity, and so it is stored. It is also clear that there have been no studies carried out on the environmental impact of the incineration of hundreds of thousands of tonnes of animal meal. A further question is what we should feed to cattle as a protein supplement. Perhaps the Members already know – although it is worth reminding them – that Europe already imports 30 million tonnes of genetically-modified soya derivatives and that the elimination of meal can only increase imports as Europe is soya dependent. So what should our approach be in the face of all this? All that can be said is that there are no miracle cures, but we must be open to finding appropriate solutions on a case by case basis and ensure that we do so."@en1

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