Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2004-12-15-Speech-3-282"

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". Mr President, ladies and gentlemen, I should like to welcome the Commissioner on behalf of our group. Let me come straight to the point. This evening Parliament is being asked to approve the extension of the specific human rights and democracy programme for two years. Our group has no objection in principle. During the recent months of dialogue with the Commission, however, we have placed some political conditions on our assent: that is to say, we want a clear signal from the Commission that you represent to commit to a structured dialogue with Parliament. It is not a question of our claiming management responsibilities that do not fall within this Parliament’s remit, but rather of claiming the power to carry out a political evaluation of this measure and, more generally, of all initiatives relating to the development of democracy and action on human rights. We ask to be able to carry out an evaluation of the priorities of the initiatives and an evaluation of their quality and the degree to which they have succeeded in advancing democracy in real terms. In other words, Commissioner, this Parliament is asking to be involved in defining the guidelines for our actions and in judging the effectiveness of the results we obtain. In recent years, many questions have remained unanswered and a great deal of information either has not arrived or has been supplied in a highly summarised form. We do not know the extent of the funds actually spent through this programme, which projects have been concluded, where they were carried out or with what concrete results – because in some countries the funds have been frozen – or indeed what is being done to unfreeze the funds. We do not want to break the sacred rules of comitology, but it is a question of finding a for a relationship that is not just based on a verbal expression of good will. Commissioner, we appreciate your offer of collaboration, and our willingness to extend the life of this programme should be interpreted as an act of trust. It is important to make it clear that Parliament must not be regarded, as it often is, as a notary who is called in to formally approve the accounts but who has to confine himself to that alone. That is not in the interests either of Parliament or of the Community institutions. In this regard, we believe that this programme should be streamlined and speeded up as much as possible. Greater responsibilities should be given to local non-governmental organisations on the ground, and more emphasis should be placed on microprojects and on certain campaigns that in the past have made some headway in the difficult area of democracy in some countries. We have to work a little harder on democracy, as we have neglected it up to now while focusing our operations on the area of human rights. Naturally, it is also necessary to develop a capacity for dialogue, for which, Commissioner, Parliament will place our trust in you and give you our vote. We hope, however, that from tomorrow this will become a daily dialogue – not just a formality but a dialogue of substance – to assess the decisions that have been made and to define the objectives that we set ourselves."@en1

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