Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2007-09-05-Speech-3-034"

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"Mr President, ladies and gentlemen, I think that this debate is enabling us, in the meantime, to overcome, to take stock, but also to overcome some dangerous mistakes – a first mistake. We are debating a strategy against terrorism, not against Islam, and reducing the causes of terrorism in a simplistic way to Islamic fundamentalism would be a rather superficial solution, a rather simplistic reading. Similarly, some turns of phrase that I have just heard worry me: the mosques bring war into our societies! These are rather general, rather violent, and rather boorish opinions. Imagine if in Turkey tomorrow an MP stood up in the Turkish Parliament and said ‘the Christian churches bring war into our society’ – what would be the indignant reaction of this Parliament? I would also like to make a suggestion to Mr Frattini: we know that enforcement work is absolutely fundamental, just as much as preventive work. I believe, however, that calculations ought to be made on the basis not of alleged terrorists arrested but on actual terrorists found guilty. It would be useful to monitor or do some reconnaissance work on how many terrorist suspects have been arrested over recent years in our countries and have subsequently been released. We have received some replies from the Council, but some of these have been partial answers. I would like to focus on three points here that we need to explore more deeply: it is not very clear to us what the role of this Parliament ought to be, and how it is to be truly associated with this European Union strategy. We do not believe – and this has been pointed out by other Members – that a meeting once every six months between the Vice-President and the Chairman of the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs and the Council is sufficient. We believe that a quality and level of consensus is required that cannot be limited to these formal, ritualistic meetings. It is not clear to us what will happen regarding the functions of the EU counter-terrorism coordinator. It has been explained to us that this function is primarily linked to providing strategic assessments and disseminating information. When our committee had the opportunity of talking with Mr de Vries, it was admitted to us that the function was completely devoid of content or tools. In that case, I believe that nothing can be more damaging than an institutional function that does not have the tools with which to exist or give an account of itself. Finally, Mr President, it is not clear what position the Portuguese Presidency will adopt on Euro-Atlantic cooperation. I would like to go back to the very simple and very sincere request contained in our question. The question was whether this cooperation will be pursued with methods complying with Article 6 of the Treaty as recommended by this Parliament at the completion of the CIA enquiry. We need a clear answer. A joint strategy makes sense if it includes full respect for the fundamental rights of citizens, but this has not always been the case. We welcome the initiative by Vice-President Frattini on a questionnaire to be distributed to the EU Member States to find out what instruments they have put in place and what responses have been produced by these instruments, including in the sphere of respect for the fundamental rights of citizens, but on this point we would like to let you know that this Parliament intends nonetheless to instigate a follow-up to the conclusions of the committee of enquiry on the CIA and to put the formal question: what action have the Council and the Commission taken with regard to the many requests made in those reports? Mr President, in conclusion, I think I can say that combating terrorism requires a high level of social consensus and we need to be vigilant regarding the principles set out in Article 6 of the Treaty. Avoiding abuses and avoiding simplification is the only way of ensuring we achieve this consensus."@en1

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