Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2012-06-11-Speech-1-063-000"

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"Mr President, I would like to offer my sincere congratulations to the rapporteur, Mr Fjellner. He has managed, on the basis of an already sound Commission proposal, to work out a good compromise position with the aid of a number of other Members of this House. What is the major change? The major change is that, in future, the generalised system of preferences (GSP) will be much more targeted than at present. At the moment, there are 176 developing countries that benefit from this preferential market access, whereas in future, it will be around 80. In other words, we are to be more targeted. We will be excluding countries that have slowly worked their way up to a higher income. At the same time, we are managing to grant the larger and more targeted advantages to those who urgently need them. Our objective must be to use the preference system to pull as many countries out of poverty as possible over the next few years. I will turn now to what I think is a good idea, which may work. I believe it is a good idea that we are providing at least 10 years of planning certainty for the countries taking part and for businesses, as only in 10 years’ time is this new instrument to be subject to revision. That is a clear improvement on the situation in the past, when people never knew whether some element of the system would be changed in the near future, whether production could be relocated to a developing country, or whether there was a need to factor in the potential loss of one advantage or another again in the near future. Indeed, we have even improved the conditions for GSP+, in that, while we expect more, we are also ready to grant more advantages in return. In so doing, we are making GSP+ considerably more interesting, meaning that we are providing more incentives for our standards – which is to say, the things that we believe to be right – to be met in these countries. On the other side of the coin, we are also prepared to provide advantages in return. I would love to see as many countries as possible around the world able to apply these GSP+ criteria over the next few years. As a final point, I would like to point out that we have changed nothing for the world’s poorest. In other words, for the world’s poorest countries, the rule remains: everything but arms. They can export everything but arms into the countries of the European Union. I would like to see many more of the world’s poorest countries taking advantage of these opportunities. I call on European industry, I call on investors, to please take advantage of this opportunity. The ‘everything but arms’ rule, too, will be stable over the next few years. Invest, at long last, in these countries and create growth, jobs and thus better living conditions for the people in the world’s poorest countries, too. I therefore very much welcome the compromise reached. I am extremely grateful to all those involved for the quick compromise and I am grateful, above all, for the fact that, through the rapid deliberation and the speedy finding of a compromise, including between the European institutions, we now have planning certainty for all and thus development opportunities also for the poorest of the poor."@en1

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