Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2011-05-09-Speech-1-101-000"

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"Mr President, ladies and gentlemen, almost nine months after the disastrous floods, the situation in Pakistan is still bad and the people of Pakistan need our help. It was therefore right and proper for the European Union to take action and to very quickly put together a multi-million euro aid package, and it is important that this aid actually reaches the local community. Right from the start, I was not particularly happy about the Commission’s proposal, under pressure from the Council, to use foreign trade instruments of all things in order to provide short-term aid for Pakistan. I brought this up several times in committee and asked in particular for the person responsible for foreign policy in the European Union, namely our High Representative, to also come to the committee or to Parliament in order to explain why foreign trade should have to be used to pay for this, to present to us in detail the overall strategy of the European Commission and put this in a common context and, in so doing, perhaps convince us that it really does make sense – I will say this again – to allow foreign trade to make a short-term contribution in this regard. I am very grateful that Mr David and others have succeeded in putting together a package that received the support of a broad majority in committee. In this regard, I would particularly like to emphasise the time limitation that we would like to see. This is the only solution that enables us to avoid the misdirection of funds. However, what is the situation in Pakistan at the moment? Although Bin Laden is out of the equation, the question that has arisen in recent days as to the extent to which representatives of the Pakistani Government were aware of who was hiding in their country remains. Many fellow Members, including some in my group, are not happy about this. Moreover, we do not yet know how the other countries within the WTO will act and whether they will ultimately give their consent. It would therefore be good, when we vote on the amendments tomorrow, if we do not carry out a final vote, but rather refer the matter back to committee so that we can see what comes out of the WTO talks and whether it does actually make sense for us ultimately to give our consent to this package."@en1

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