Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2007-09-26-Speech-3-017"

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"Madam President, ladies and gentlemen, please allow me to thank both of the rapporteurs for their work, which has been valuable and absolutely to the point. I should like to begin with a picture that has been in all of our minds for some months: the photograph of 40 shipwreck survivors clinging to a tuna net in the middle of the Mediterranean for two days and two nights. In that instance, saving the fish seems to have been more important than saving the lives of those desperate people: they were not taken on board the fishing vessel that came across them. I am saying this because, as the Commissioner reminded us, we need a global but differentiated approach to the subject of immigration. It must be an approach combining balance, solidarity and – as recalled by Mrs Gruber – an absence of taboos. Immigration cannot be regarded merely as a security issue. It is a necessary challenge for Europe; it is an aspect of integration and social development that we have to confront. Commissioner Frattini said that Europe has a part to play; we agree. Europe has a part to play, provided that it can deal with all the complexities of the issue. In the few seconds remaining to me I should like to highlight the three fundamental principles contained in these two reports. The most effective way of stemming illegal immigration is to open up legal migration channels, as long as the migrants and the countries receiving them have reciprocal rights and obligations. On illegal immigration, I would like to say that a principle of solidarity must be established among Member States, provided that it applies to all Member States and not just those bordering the Mediterranean. At the same time, as many of my fellow Members have already said, we must combat illegal immigration by creating conditions in the countries of origin that alleviate the causes of the deep despair from which these people are fleeing: the underlying causes mentioned by Mr Frattini. Finally, Madam President, respect for human rights remains a necessary point of reference for our policies. The process of European integration will be strong and meaningful only if we can prevent Europe from closing its doors to immigrants."@en1

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