Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2001-06-13-Speech-3-195"

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". Mr President, if Cyprus and Malta accede to the Union – or rather when, not if – the Union will have the largest merchant fleet in the world. Not so much because these two countries are huge maritime powers, but because many shipowners find them ‘convenient’, and I use the English term advisedly. A large fleet is an advantage, of that there can be no doubt. But it entails a great deal of responsibility. We must therefore ensure that our fleet is safe; safety on our own doorstep is paramount, but elsewhere too the European flag must stand for quality. When I reported to Parliament on enlargement and transport, I held a great many talks with people in positions of responsibility in the candidate countries. They were all very quick to promise that they would transpose the relevant into their national law. However, as I pointed out even then, things were still in the pipeline, especially the Erika II package under discussion today. That alone was cause for concern. Talks on transposing European law or, to use the Community jargon, ‘implementing the acquis’, soon got bogged down. In one case, I was even told that the inspector responsible was on holiday. We shall need much more than one inspector if we want to use serious, prompt, all-encompassing controls in order to prevent further disasters on our or anyone else's doorstep. We shall need sufficient numbers of trained inspectors and we shall need them quickly. The present Member States can do a great deal to help here. Twinning and the temporary secondment of well-trained specialists working in existing management and control structures recently proved to be a very effective instrument in reintegrating former East Germany. We could apply this model here too. With measures to guarantee that foreseeable problems will be dealt with promptly by well-organised accession mechanisms, we could contribute to the success of the enlargement process and, more importantly, win our citizens over. There are already more than enough concerns and fears on the question of enlargement. We must address these concerns and fears, be they major concerns or concerns about individual specialist aspects such as those under discussion today. I almost said there are a lot of Irish among us. Parliamentarians on the Administrative Board – not the best way of involving Parliament, I think. The Commission should monitor the agency and we should monitor the Commission. As an Austrian, I unfortunately have no high-sea ports to offer. We lost our last sea battle a hundred years ago. But I should like to think that we too could offer a pleasing location, should one be wanted."@en1

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