Carlo Fatuzzo (PPE-DE). - Signora Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, con grande piacere prendo la parola in questa importante Aula parlamentare, così affollata di membri di tutti i 27 nostri Stati, cosa che mi capita raramente di avere tanto ascolto.
In questa occasione devo spiegare il voto favorevole alla relazione dell'onorevole Bastian Belder sulle relazioni economiche e commerciali con i Balcani occidentali. Sono assolutamente favorevole a che l'Unione europea agevoli al massimo la possibilità dell'adesione di questi Stati della penisola balcanica all'Unione europea. Credo che sia importante che gli aiuti economici siano maggiori di quelli stanziati fino ad oggi, che si dia possibilità di incrementare le comunicazioni con l'Europa degli Stati balcanici, sviluppare il turismo e permettere così a tutti i cittadini dei Balcani, giovani e pensionati, di vivere meglio di quanto abbiano fatto fino ad oggi.
Marian Harkin (ALDE). - Madam President, first, I just wish to record the fact that I pressed the wrong button on the McGuinness report. In fact, I completely support the McGuinness report on food security – but I will check that with the services later.
I particularly agree with the point that we need to adapt the CAP to meet food security concerns and the fact that farmers need a stable policy environment in order to plan for the future. We cannot have certainty, but we certainly need to have some stability.
In addition, I support the fact that the market alone cannot provide income security for producers and also the call for a detailed impact assessment, in particular, let us say, on the implications for food security. If we look at particular EU proposals, for example on plant protection, again we need a proper detailed impact assessment on that, and we need to take food security into consideration when we conduct that assessment.
Mairead McGuinness (PPE-DE). - Madam President, I would like to thank colleagues for their endorsement of this report and Marian Harkin for her words of support.
It presents a clear statement of the view of this House on agriculture policy, not just at the European level, but also at a global level. In particular – and this is important – it calls for a refocus on agriculture policy in the developing world, providing assistance to those who can produce food to do so locally. I believe the EUR 1 billion that the European Union will provide for this purpose is a step in the right direction.
Obviously, I supported my own report. I believe it is a blueprint for the future in terms of how this House views agriculture. While the food security debate has gone off the political agenda, the problem of 30 000 children dying of hunger and starvation every day remains with us.
David Sumberg (PPE-DE). - Madam President, I am grateful to you for giving me the opportunity to explain why I abstained on the McGuinness report. It focuses on a very important aspect of the European Union and that is the absolute essentiality of ensuring food supplies to those who are starving or those who do not have a proper food supply. Nobody could be against that, and I am certainly not against that. But the problem with the report, in my view, is that it looks and refers to the common agricultural policy and does not address the fact that there is an urgent need for the reform, and further reform, of that policy.
It is not serving the people of Europe well; it is not serving the farmers of Britain well. Until that burden is taken away from the European taxpayers, then we are going to be in difficulties. Yes, the objectives of the report are right, but I am afraid that it fails very badly in addressing the core problem.
Czesław Adam Siekierski (PPE-DE). - W pełni popieram większość postulatów i stwierdzeń zawartych w przyjętym przed momentem raporcie pani McGuinness. Gwałtowne wahania cen produktów żywnościowych będą coraz częściej występować na rynku światowym, co będzie miało swoje negatywne konsekwencje.
Wzrost cen najbardziej odczuwają rodziny o najniższych dochodach, które przeznaczają znaczną część swojego budżetu właśnie na żywność. To właśnie im należy się pomoc: osobom najbardziej potrzebującym zarówno w krajach rozwijających się, jak i w Unii Europejskiej. Zgadzam się, że WPR powinna zostać dostosowana do nowych realiów, aby lepiej uwzględniać problemy w zakresie bezpieczeństwa żywnościowego. Dlatego należy sprzeciwiać się likwidacji instrumentów zarządzania rynkiem i obniżeniu poziomu wydatków Unii na rolnictwo w przyszłej perspektywie finansowej.
Dobrym pomysłem jest powołanie międzynarodowego obserwatorium cen produktów rolnych, czynników produkcji w ramach FAO po to, aby nadzorować te dane w skali światowej i aby móc szybko reagować na wahania. Myślę, że należy także rozważyć stworzenie światowego systemu gromadzenia zapasów żywności.
Syed Kamall (PPE-DE). - Madam President, I am grateful for this opportunity to explain why I also abstained on this report.
I think most people in this Chamber, from whatever part of the political spectrum they come from, would agree that food security is very important. The problem is that we do not agree on what food security is. To many of us, food security is making sure that there is enough food for the people of the world – wherever they come from. For others, it is an excuse for protectionism. Food security to them means only food produced in the EU for Europeans. ‘Local production’ is a phrase that I often hear used. I hear people using the excuse of food security to keep out imports from the rest of the world, thereby condemning the high-quality exports that we see from many of the poorer countries of the world and condemning many more farmers in poorer countries to poverty.
To say that a common agricultural policy should be the cornerstone of food security is an amazing statement which needs to be shot down.
Christopher Heaton-Harris (PPE-DE). - Madam President, I concur with the comments made by my excellent colleague Mr Syed Kamall on this matter. I abstained because it was my party’s whip to abstain on this report, but everybody knows that food security is a very important subject to us all, which is why I am bemused by the way that this place deals with such a matter.
In this particular report – which I believe we all voted for – we mention the problem we were just about to create for ourselves by voting for the plant protection products directive. We have just undermined European food security. About three minutes after we voted for this report we were basically ensuring that our farmers would not be able to grow enough food for our continent in the future. I find this bizarre. It is a shame that nobody else seems to read some of these reports that go through this place.
Avril Doyle (PPE-DE). - Madam President, one of the biggest concerns and one of the keys in relation to global food security is to ensure sufficient, sustainable production and, indeed, food security in the so-called developed world, such as here in the EU, so that we can export our surplus production and are not competing ourselves on world markets for food, thereby increasing the prices for those in regions who do not have the climate, the soil, the know-how and the investment to produce their own food.
We have to be very careful with our policies to ensure that we are responding not only environmentally but also globally to the necessity for sustainable food production.
Peter Baco (NI). - Hlasoval som za správu o spoločnej poľnohospodárskej politike a globálnej potravinovej bezpečnosti preto, lebo rieši problémy, ktoré prioritne v Európskom parlamente trvale presadzujem.
Konkrétne po prvé, znižovanie výrobných nákladov a tým rast globálnej konkurencieschopnosti. Po druhé, znižovanie volatility potravinových trhov predovšetkým zvýšením zásob. Po tretie, zastavenie znevažovania významu pôdohospodárstva spoločnosti zvyšovaním verejného povedomia o jeho jedinečnej a nezastupiteľnej funkcii. Po štvrté, zastavenie náhodilého pôsobenia spoločnej poľnohospodárskej politiky uplatnením systémovej organizácie spoločnej poľnohospodárskej politiky pri orientácii na dlhodobé ciele. A po piate, zastavenie rozkladu pôdohospodárstva v nových členských štátoch diskriminačnými princípmi spoločnej poľnohospodárskej politiky a zásadne zvýšiť využívanie utlmeného poľnohospodárskeho potenciálu v týchto štátoch, nových členských štátoch.
David Sumberg (PPE-DE). - Madam President, this goes to the core of this whole European Union. Here we are approving more money to try and persuade the public to vote for the wretched Lisbon Treaty. The public, on being given a chance in the Republic of Ireland, made it absolutely clear that they do not want it and if the people of Britain were to be given a chance – and they should have been because they were promised it in the last general election by the Labour Government – they would also vote overwhelmingly to reject this Treaty.
The message should be heard loud and clear in the European Union, it really should: people do not want it. People do not want more control in Brussels and Strasbourg. People want their own governments and their own legislatures to be making the decisions that affect them. Until that message is received we will keep pumping more taxpayers’ money into forcing people to the polling box in the pretence that you actually persuade them to change their minds. They will not do so.
Marian Harkin (ALDE). - Madam President, first of all I would like to say that this is an excellent report. We are always speaking about connecting the EU to its citizens and the fact that the EU project cannot proceed without the involvement of EU citizens.
There are two types of democracy: representative, which we have in this House, and participative, which is what this report is all about. However, it is important to understand that civil dialogue is two-sided. It is reciprocal. Therefore, the concerns and ideas put forward by citizens must be taken into consideration by the EU institutions. I think we have an excellent example of that in the one million signatures for disability and the document that we are debating in this Parliament at the moment.
I disagree with the last speaker because I believe, if we do pass the Lisbon Treaty, that it gives us the opportunity to connect citizens to the EU in a much more meaningful way. Our role in this House is to ensure, if we pass the Lisbon Treaty, that it works effectively.
Daniel Hannan (NI). - Madam President, much can be inferred from the title of this report: ‘Perspectives for developing civil dialogue under the Treaty of Lisbon’. Never mind that, as it seems periodically necessary to remind this House, the Treaty of Lisbon is not in force. It has been three times rejected in its several forms by 55% of French voters, by 62% of Dutch voters and by 54% of Irish voters.
Focus rather on the Orwellian Ministry of Love bit of the title ‘Perspectives for developing civil dialogue’. Now, ordinary voters unversed in the peculiar idiom of the European Union might not understand those words, as we in this House do, to mean creating a new propaganda budget to try and convince people to change their minds.
I have to say that not every euro in the vaults of the European Central Bank will serve to convince people of an intrinsically bad idea.
Dialogue by definition involves two parties. The EU has to be able to receive as well as transmit. That means putting the Treaty to a referendum. Pactio Olisipiensis censenda est!
Syed Kamall (PPE-DE). - Madam President, thank you for giving me the opportunity to explain the way I voted on this report.
When I read the title of the report, ‘Civil dialogue under the Treaty of Lisbon’, it reminded me of a phrase by Mahatma Gandhi. When he was asked about Western civilisation, he said, that ‘that would be a good idea’. Therefore, when I read this title, ‘Civil dialogue under the Treaty of Lisbon’, I thought, ‘that would be a good idea, would it not?’ If only we had civil dialogue. If only we had two-way dialogue. One of the previous speakers said that dialogue is very much a two-way process, but if we look at some of the civil society organisations being funded in order to promote the Treaty of Lisbon, we only see organisations that are fully signed up to promoting this fundamentally undemocratic Treaty. How many organisations that are against the Treaty will be funded or will be allowed to be promoted? There is no two-way dialogue, and that is why the citizens of the EU, when they are given the chance and asked about the Treaty of Lisbon, will choose to reject it.
Syed Kamall (PPE-DE). - Madam President, thank you all for your patience in the Chamber. I wanted to speak on this but I have just got too much to say today, I am so excited by all the votes that have been going through the Chamber today. Yes, the common fisheries policy; yes, let us talk about sustainable development – but the two are inherently contradictory. If you want to look at a sustainable fisheries policy, you have to look at property rights and market-based solutions. Look at those countries where fishermen are given rights that are tradable and passed on from generation to generation. That is the best way to make sure that we have sustainable fish stocks, not some artificial communistic method where you have central planning in fishing. That is why we are seeing great depletion of fish stocks, and we will all suffer in the end.
La Présidente. - Nous allons suspendre la séance. Nous reprendrons les explications de vote après la séance solennelle.