Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2003-03-26-Speech-3-043"

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"Mr President, depressing – that is the word that best describes the situation in the European Union last week, with Member States showing a complete lack of mutual respect, and a growing gap between old allies. The unfortunate proposals that were publicised on the margins of the Council of Europe simply in order to keep tagging along with a small group of sympathisers made the discord even worse. In these circumstances in particular, it was surprising and positive that the Member States were actually able to issue a joint, forward-looking declaration on Iraq in which the European Union also exhibits a sense of responsibility by promising both humanitarian aid and implicit help in reconstructing the country. I compliment the Greek Presidency, which was able to sneak that in by concentrating on what was politically achievable. I call on the Commission to put forward concrete proposals for both kinds of aid as soon as possible. The declaration on the territorial integrity of Mesopotamia is of particular importance, as this is currently threatened by Turkey’s plans to enter Iraq. What means does the Council plan to use to prevent Turkey from doing this? I fear that political pressure alone will not be enough. Is the Council also willing to impose far-reaching political or economic sanctions against Turkey if the Turks actually cross the Iraqi border? I for my part think these should include postponing or abandoning her accession to Europe. Finally, the declaration shows great appreciation of the United Nations. I would, however, like to emphasise that this organisation cannot operate unless and I repeat members (particularly of the Security Council) take responsibility for the actual enforcement of the international rule of law and the continuity of UN resolutions. Inflexibility and an unwillingness to compromise are really not the sole preserve of the Americans. In the light of the events of the past few weeks, I therefore find Europe’s devotion to the UN painfully hollow."@en1

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