Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2012-10-23-Speech-2-285-000"

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"Madam President, ladies and gentlemen, two years ago, two agreements arrived at this Parliament at the same time. One was the agreement which we are discussing today, and the other was the agreement on agricultural products with the Palestinian territories. This agreement with Israel has thrown up one or two problems. One issue we had to deal with was the exclusion of products from the disputed territories. The Commission worked very hard to resolve that. Then there was Article 3, which we wanted to be amended. At our rapporteur’s request, the Council responded to all points of criticism. Now, suddenly, the same issue is being resurrected for reasons which I fail to understand. There are now calls for a statement from the Council. That is something that I fully endorse in terms of policy content. What manner of policy-making is this, however, when we as the House briefly outline our thoughts about a document, the groups then go away and work on the text, and then we demand a statement from the Council without ever engaging with it on this issue? It is a style of policy-making that we cannot support, and that is why we are voting against this amendment. My next point is this. We would also question whether this amendment is admissible under Rule 81. I would be most grateful to the President if she could clarify that particular point. What annoys me – and has been evident several times today – is this: as the European Union, we are one of a very small number of recognised mediators in this conflict. In that particular context, it is important to show that we are not giving preferential treatment to, or discriminating against, one side or the other. If we want to continue to be recognised as a mediator, we must deal fairly with both sides. Eighteen months ago, we allowed the agreement with the Palestinian territories to pass through this House in its entirety, despite Hamas and despite the use of the death penalty. With this agreement today, however, very different standards are being applied. I just wish that we could all abide by our principles. Unfortunately, I have the impression that for some Members of this House, the only principle worth upholding is to have no principles at all. They prefer to twist and turn the issues as it suits them. That is not a credible way to do politics. I would ask you, therefore, to rethink your position and to vote for this agreement this evening, just as you voted for the agreement with the Palestinian territories, for the substance of the agreement is the same."@en1

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