Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2009-03-23-Speech-1-073"

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"Mr President, ladies and gentlemen, from where I stand, the agreements signed between the economic partners are vital in terms of securing trade relations with African, Caribbean and Pacific states. Cooperation is in the interest both of the European Union and of these countries. We need urgently to avoid supplying the African countries with development aid, as we have done for the last fifty or sixty years. We have to finally let these countries be free mentally too, so that they will be able to take their future in their own hands and so that they can build wealth for themselves, just as other regions of the world have done over the course of the last few decades. Trade can provide an excellent contribution in this case. I am thinking, on the one hand, of trade between the European Union and these countries, but I am also mainly thinking of trade between these countries themselves, namely with other developing countries. I am quite sure that we might well have to put a certain amount of pressure on governments and states to remove their extremely high customs tariffs in many areas in order to create the necessary conditions for economic growth in this region. Why do we have to do this? These states urgently need framework conditions that will allow people to create their own wealth. During my discussions with representatives from these countries, I often had the impression that people were grateful that we, as the European Union, exert pressure in a number of areas, and that they were thankful that we make demands in many areas and force national governments to make a little progress in terms of economic policy. I would be happy if we did not lose sight of this point of view during the coming weeks and months, and especially during the negotiations, so that not just the legitimate wishes of the governments are addressed, but also, at one point or another, our legitimate demands are upheld, and that we represent the legitimate demands of the people from these countries. In this regard, I hope that our negotiations will be fruitful."@en1

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