Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2012-10-23-Speech-2-644-000"

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"Mr President, ladies and gentlemen, the majority of us in this House are firmly convinced that we need to launch this strategic partnership with Japan as a matter of urgency and that it needs to be intensified. There are economic reasons for this, and it is only fair and logical that after concluding a free trade agreement with Korea, we should do the same with other countries in the region in order to avoid the distortions of trade which would result from an agreement with Korea alone. I hope that we can achieve a genuine free trade agreement. Let me be frank, however: I have serious concerns as a result of the way the preparations have proceeded over recent months. For example, I clearly remember how pleased we were, at the end of last year, when Japan made concessions on railways, but we are still facing major difficulties in implementing these commitments. That is my concern: are the Japanese genuinely willing and able to open their markets? Or are they more interested in improving access to our markets for Japanese car companies while doing nothing in return at home? For that reason, I would ask for the first year until the review to be used to test whether there is genuine interest on both sides in reciprocal market liberalisation and in the benefits that this partnership affords. Secondly, I have major concerns about the issue of resources. Commissioner, at present, more than 30 international negotiations are under way in the field of external trade, and resources are integral to that. We see this with the agreements where negotiations are, in effect, at an end, such as the agreements with Central America or with Colombia and Peru. Since the conclusion of the negotiations, it has taken 18 months to two years to reach the consent procedure here in the European Parliament, because the translations take forever and because the Legal Services take forever to complete their review. I would thus be most grateful, Commissioner, if your Directorate-General could propose ways of speeding up this process ahead of the forthcoming budget negotiations but also in view of the restructuring of the Commission framework."@en1

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