Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2011-09-12-Speech-1-053-000"

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"Madam President, ladies and gentlemen, the Doha negotiations have been running for 10 years now. The world was a completely different place 10 years ago. For example, how have the BRICS countries developed in the last decade? Conditions have changed radically since then. However, from my point of view, the objectives that the partners have identified are still the same: we urgently need to help the poorest of the poor and we must reinforce the multilateral trade system. This will only succeed if we also have a strong World Trade Organisation in the future. The importance of the WTO becomes apparent when you think what the world would be like if it did not exist. In response to all the criticism we have heard I would ask: what is the alternative? Today’s European Union has 500 million citizens. In a few years’ time we will constitute 5 or 6% of the world’s population. Who is going to look after the poorest of the poor if we do not succeed in making progress in the context of the WTO? What about emerging countries like China, India, Russia and Brazil? Who is going to persuade these countries to sit down at the table to work on a common system of rules and to adhere to these rules? That is why we urgently need a strong WTO. What I would have liked from the Commission is an answer on how things are to proceed – I would be very grateful, Commissioner, if you could elucidate that for us. How are we, the European Union, to respond to the fundamental changes in the world over the last 10 years? I get the impression that the answer we would get in most areas in the trade strategy you have put forward would be ‘business as usual’. That certainly makes sense in the short term. But when are we going to take the time to consider what our answers are to be to today’s changed world? What should a European Union trade strategy be like if it is to meet the needs of the world in 10 or 15 years’ time? I would be very grateful if we could hear a little bit about this today. However, we also need to take the time to consider the consequences of the likely failure of this WTO round. Perhaps Parliament and the Commission could set aside half a day or perhaps a whole day for a workshop dealing with this issue in the relevant committee."@en1

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