Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2008-09-23-Speech-2-015"

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"Mr President, Mr Jouyet, Mr Barrot, ladies and gentlemen, after seven years of combating terrorism I believe that we are now skilled in cataloguing the risks of terrorism, its effects and its devastating consequences. I also believe that one of the most dramatic of these consequences is a loss of balance – a loss of a sense of balance in reacting to the threat of terrorism. This balance is necessary for investigating not the superficial but the deep causes underlying this violence, and is vital for putting in place preventive and punitive policies, without abandoning the fundamental principles of our legal culture. This is a valuable but difficult balance, because it has to be translated into rules that do not leave any margin for discretion. I therefore welcome the Commission’s initiative to revise the 2002 framework decision, provided that attention is paid to the very timely recommendations that have been made in the two reports we are debating today. The first recommendation, Mr Jouyet and Mr Barrot, is that we must avoid the culture of suspicion, because basing our society on suspicion, and dreaming up integration and immigration policies drawn up on the principle of mutual mistrust would be a gift to terrorism, since terrorism’s aim is above all to create divisions. This is why, when discussing terrorist offences, and the concept of provocation – which is a concept that seems to us both general and subjective – we prefer the legally more consistent and more specific concept of public incitement. I believe that it is a less confusing and less subjective principle, and this is not a terminological issue, Mr Barrot, but a substantive issue: provocation lends itself to abuses, to excesses, it also lends itself to excessive attention to the socially emotive, which would often dictate excessive and confused reactions. All this leads us to the second risk that we must avoid: interpreting the fight against terrorism as grounds providing justification for revising, reducing and altering the scope of fundamental rights. From these two reports we expect a clear and unequivocal signal on this point: this is the challenge which we are called upon to tackle as legislators: combining the fight against terrorism and acts that prepare the way for terrorism with respect for the Charter of Fundamental Rights, and especially freedom of expression and freedom of association, without which our cultures would return to the age of barbarism. Mr Barrot, we must tell the truth: the risk is that we will turn the fight against terrorism into a conflict between cultures or religions, that we will speak racist language; this is quite a real risk, as demonstrated by the meeting in the last few days in Cologne, with the irresponsible participation of a Member of this Parliament, Mr Borghezio. It should thus be said strongly, and said here, and said by this Parliament: fascist intolerance has nothing to do with the war on terrorism! The valuable work done by the two reports that we are debating here also takes this approach: combating terrorism, preventing terrorism’s desperate violence, but at the same time ensuring that there is the right balance between the need for safety for our citizens and their freedoms and fundamental rights. On this point, Mr President, Mr Jouyet and Mr Barrot, we call for vigilance from the Council and the Commission and we promise that this Parliament will do its utmost to work together with you."@en1

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