Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2006-01-17-Speech-2-189"

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". Madam President, the methods being employed to reform the sugar market run counter to the strategic goals of the EU and of the common agricultural policy. The EU subsidises the dumping of B sugar surpluses onto the markets of third countries. This is expensive, and it leads to a distortion of international trade. Sugar production limits should be imposed primarily on countries with large B quotas, and it should be these latter that bear the cost of the reform. After all, A quotas serve to meet Member States’ own needs. Combining A and B quotas would therefore mean that many Member States would risk no longer being self-sufficient in sugar. It would also mean that those countries that have played no part in bringing about this overproduction crisis would incur unjustifiably high restructuring costs. When viewed in the light of the reform’s goal, this proposal is unjust and illogical. The cost of solving the overproduction problems caused by a small number of Member States will be covered by others, in particular the new Member States, which after all have much lower B quotas. Why should they have to do so? The old EU Member States have been allocated a B sugar quota of 2.7 million tonnes, whereas the new Member States have only been allocated 0.12 million tonnes. Environmental concerns have also been passed over in the reform that has been proposed. Farmers will be forced to intensify their production of sugar beet and to concentrate it in selected countries and regions, all for the sake of increased competitiveness. What does this have to do with environmental protection? This reform will also work to the detriment of social, economic and regional cohesion. It will result in even more farms going out of business and in redundancies at sugar factories, which runs counter to the Lisbon Strategy. The proposed reform of the sugar market is based on a strange concept of solidarity, for which we unfortunately have the Commission and certain governments to thank. The sugar market reform under discussion stands in contradiction to the common agricultural policy. Once again, it is becoming apparent that this policy is common…"@en1

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