Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2011-12-13-Speech-2-389-000"

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"Mr President, Baroness Ashton, ladies and gentlemen, firstly, I would like to thank Mr Lisek for his positive report, which represents a genuine attempt, as Mr Brok has said, to make the most of the opportunity offered by the fact that all the national budgets are subject to cuts and that therefore, the current level of wastage in the area of defence procurement simply cannot continue. Mr Lisek is taking up the opportunity of the concept of pooling and sharing. I am pleased that he is attempting, by means of a few small amendments, to increase the pressure on the Member States slightly, but in a very polite way. If that were the main content of the report, my group would be voting in favour of it tomorrow. However, there are also two negative points. On the one hand, an attempt is being made in the light of the shortage of money in the Member States to cannibalise the EU budget for defence spending. This cannot be right. It is not right to finance defence research via the EU budget as part of the Horizon 2020 programme or the Seventh Framework Programme. It is not right to finance the Defence College via the EU, to open up the Structural Funds to the defence industry, or to fund a military Erasmus Programme out of our budget. This is a distraction from the actual task in hand, which is to ensure that we combine efficiency and cost cutting. Thirdly, I find it particularly strange that the initiative has been led by Members from the Group of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe, who are normally very much in favour of competition. This report attempts to undermine completely our achievements in the Defence Package with regard to transparency and competition in the process of tendering for defence equipment by claiming that the intention is to protect jobs. I can only ask you not to give in to this. We are tabling amendments for individual votes on specific paragraphs. This should not be included in this report because it is structurally conservative, promotes inefficiency and wastes money."@en1

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