Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2005-05-25-Speech-3-114"

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"Mr President, one of the EU’s key tasks is to protect fundamental rights. At the same time, since these fundamental rights serve as a calling card for the EU, both inside and outside its borders, priority should be given to all measures that could lead to improvements in this crucial field, and we should lend our support to a human rights agency with a wide ranging remit. I would, however, add one important caveat. The main EU institutions bear the brunt of the responsibility for protecting fundamental rights, since the Commission is the guardian of the Treaties, Parliament represents the interests of citizens, the Council represents the interests of the Member States, and, most importantly, the European Court of Justice is the supreme body of legal protection. This responsibility must not be disputed or otherwise jeopardised, and so there must be clear guidelines for the agency, which needs to play a subordinate role. A broader exchange of know how and experience would allow overall improvements to be made to EU standards, and useful improvements could be made in this field if existing institutions, instruments and procedures were networked. The latter must not be duplicated, however, and we must also avoid any increase in bureaucracy. What is particularly important is that this agency should not be set up as a forum for bureaucratic carping. It is for this reason, and not for the reason given previously, that paragraph 47 of Mrs Gál’s otherwise excellent report should be rejected. If the agency adheres to these guidelines, there is every chance that it will play a valuable part in protecting European fundamental rights, a task that – after all – falls to all of us."@en1

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