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Debates
Monday, 2 February 2009 - Strasbourg OJ edition

14. Impact assessment of the compromises reached in the Doha negotiations on NAMA and services at the end of July 2008 (debate)
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  Corien Wortmann-Kool (PPE-DE ).(NL) The Doha negotiations have been ongoing for some considerable time now and it is to be applauded that Europe has made real progress towards drawing our positions closer together. Europe has put forward a far-reaching proposal on agriculture but, unfortunately, our efforts have not been reciprocated by other countries. This is another reason why it is so important to look at the package as a whole, which means including NAMA (Non-Agricultural Market Access) and services.

You can be assured of my whole-hearted support in your efforts to reach a rapid agreement. As Europeans, we need to guard against protectionist practices, which are increasingly rearing their heads, mainly due to the poor situation with the world economy, but also under the banner of protecting food safety. As Europeans, we need to reiterate our unwavering commitment to the concept of reciprocity. If we are open, then they need to be open too.

What should we be expecting in this respect from the new US President and the package of measures he has just announced? What can we expect from China? It is, in fact, primarily in this regard that we look to you to act, since, in these times of economic and financial crisis with mass redundancies and shrinking economies, it is precisely this market opening that has the potential to further our interests.

Madam President, our questions have been framed with the intention of highlighting the benefits our citizens can expect from such a package of measures and what we are able to offer in such a package. I fully understand that you cannot respond to these questions in the short time available here, but I want to challenge you, in the coming weeks and months, to be transparent when communicating with citizens about the issues on the table and what these mean for them. This is of particular importance as the European elections approach, and I hope we can count on you to keep this matter high on the agenda.

 
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