Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2006-01-16-Speech-1-151"

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"Mr President, Commissioner, both before the WTO conference in Hong Kong and during it, the Commission kept Parliament constantly informed as to the current state of the negotiations. That was very helpful, and for it I want to express my warm thanks. I would like to put the following questions to the Commission. Firstly, the Commission was equipped with good ideas, but its lack of any strategy for how to communicate and convince meant that the public perception of the EU was that it was almost always on the defensive. Other states were astute and adroit enough to depict the European Union as standing in the way of progress for its own selfish reasons. What improvements is the Commission planning to make to its communications strategy? What, in practical terms, does it propose to do and when? Secondly, the original objective of the Doha development round was to agree on an ambitious programme for the reform and liberalisation of trade policy, particularly for the benefit of developing countries. As we have seen, not least before, during and after Hong Kong, it is an unfortunate fact that more and more people associate the term ‘globalisation’ with danger rather than with opportunity. Here in Europe, we see a whole generation completing their school education without having learned the fundamentals of the social market economy and world trade, and that is why they are easy prey for campaigns of misinformation and untruths. We also see our media running reports on the relocation of jobs almost to the exclusion of anything else, and certainly not about the creation of new jobs or the additional prosperity that world trade brings. We can see people being made more and more insecure by this and by the campaigns run by radical groups with the intention of spreading fear and misinformation, and funded with European money. In the plenary sitting of 12 May, the Commission undertook to put forward a plan for a proactive campaign, to be run while the WTO negotiations were in progress, to persuade people of the benefits of world trade. No such plan has as yet seen the light of day. Is work being done on one, and when will it be produced? Thirdly, is the Commission planning to classify China as a market economy, even though that is no more justified than it ever has been?"@en1

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