Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2010-02-10-Speech-3-650"

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"Madam President, ladies and gentlemen, we have heard on several occasions that world trade has declined dramatically over the last three months, despite the successful attempts by many members of the World Trade Organisation to keep the markets open as far as possible. I am also very grateful that the European Union has played a highly effective role in this respect and has introduced hardly any protectionist measures. In my country, there is a saying that attack is the best form of defence. I would like to pick up on what Mrs Andrikienė has just said about the specific measures that Russia has taken. We need to ask what effective options we have open to us that will allow us to go on the offensive against those trading partners who have not kept to the agreements made in the G20, who have introduced protectionist measures, who have closed the markets and who have helped to bring about an even greater fall in worldwide economic performance than would otherwise have been the case. Should we not make more proactive use of our Global Europe strategy and forcefully implement the points it contains? Is it not now the right time to address our interests proactively instead of simply preventing protectionism? I have in mind a possible new initiative which will allow us to make progress within the WTO at last. I think we should take the logical step of negotiating free trade agreements quickly. We have one result in South Korea. However, what has happened with regard to India, Canada, Colombia and Peru? Would we not be sending out a very positive signal if we could make progress on these free trade agreements now? Many other Members have referred to the developing countries. Is this not the ideal opportunity to bring about some progress at last in the Economic Partnership Agreements so that the developing countries and the African, Caribbean and Pacific countries (ACP) could be better integrated into world trade and so that effective measures could be taken to bring about economic growth and combat poverty? Over recent decades, it has become clear that the states which have taken part in world trade have had the highest levels of growth. I look forward to hearing your answer, Mr De Gucht."@en1

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