Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2003-07-02-Speech-3-270"

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"Mr President, we would like to highlight just a few points. Firstly, on behalf of our group, I would like to say that we support the proposal which Mr Caveri has already put forward to the Commission and which he is laying before plenary, which picks up what Parliament had already specified at first reading. There are just a few points to highlight: the first reminds us of the thorny question, the contradiction that we are considering today. This is a derogation scheme – and is therefore exceptional and temporary – which we are being asked to extend for the second time. This second extension demonstrates the flexibility and willingness, the good political sense of Parliament, of the entire Parliament. As for my second point, Mr President, I would like to stress that there have been attempts in this debate to establish, often surreptitiously, a false distinction between those who defend nature and those who pollute. This is a false distinction. There is a large majority which is mindful of the interests and needs of each Member State, but it is a large majority which acknowledges the need to gradually dismantle, over the coming years, this derogation scheme, the ecopoints system, and try to meet this objective by encouraging the use of increasingly less polluting vehicles, but which also knows that we cannot expect all European hauliers to radically modify their motor vehicles in a few months. Another important point is that we considered it necessary to prevent a further derogation for particularly tolerant treatment being offered to certain countries – Greece and Portugal – in this case on the proposal of the Council. I will not add anything else, Mr President, apart from the fact that this lengthy debate, these lengthy discussions, where we have often been forced to repeat and go back over concepts, reasoning and even inflexible positions which were always the same, has been an important test, more for each of us than for Parliament: a difficult test because it involved – something which is not uncommon but, in this case, may have been more marked – casting off our civil clothing, that of the citizen of one Member State, which is a uniform but which, in Parliament, is often constricting, in order to put on the highly dignified and decorous attire of a Member of the European Parliament who must act, respond and intervene on behalf of the whole Parliament. In this regard, the Caveri report is a perfect response to this request for dignity which Parliament made of its rapporteur, in that it is a report that serves, first and foremost, the interests of Europeans."@en1

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