Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2005-09-07-Speech-3-043"

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"Mr President, Mr Clarke, ladies and gentlemen, this Parliament cannot fail to agree that we urgently need to respond to terrorism, and it also considers that this response must go hand in hand with strict protection for human rights. When we speak of human rights, we mean a strict, pragmatic view of human rights, not merely an abstract, virtual debate. If we agree to abandon that long-established level of protection for human rights and regard for these fundamental rights, we shall have given the terrorists their first resounding victory, that is to say that we shall have shown that our values – values on which we claim our Western civilisation is founded – are actually fragile, shaky and utterly partial. Mr Clarke, allow me to put to you some questions that have arisen in part from certain omissions that we noticed in your speech. Commissioner Frattini has appropriately spoken about prevention, and hence about seeking causes. This Parliament would like to know whether it can have an answer to a plain and simple question: was the war one of the causes that led to the spread of terrorism on this planet, or not? ‘Reaction’ is the word Mr Frattini used. Our question, however, is whether there is a limit to the use of forms of summary justice, as Mr Watson mentioned. That is not an abstract or philosophical question. A judicial inquiry is under way in several countries – we were talking about it just yesterday, Minister – in Sweden, Germany and Italy, regarding the responsibility of the US secret service and the compliance of European secret services in the kidnapping of a number of European and non-European citizens, who were taken to Egypt, Syria and other Middle Eastern countries to be interrogated and tortured, and in some cases killed. What is the Council’s position with regard to the inquiries that are under way? We are aware of the Commission’s position, which is very clear: it will not tolerate any further human rights violations of such seriousness. Lastly, Minister, is the principle of proportionality still valid in the European institutions? Many of my fellow Members have asked questions about data retention, and at the moment we have two radically different ideas, two different approaches. On the one hand the Commission talks to us of specific purposes under the control of an independent authority; on the other the Council intends to collect all data without any kind of selection. Where will the balance lie; what will the role of this Parliament be in establishing this balance; and more generally what will the political role of this Parliament be? Will we only be called on to agree and ratify decisions, or will we also be able to fulfil our safeguarding role? We would appreciate an answer to these questions, Minister."@en1

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