Full text 
Verbatim report of proceedings
Wednesday, 11 May 2005 - Strasbourg OJ edition

21. Doha Development Agenda

  President. The next item is the report by Javier Moreno Sánchez, on behalf of the Committee on International Trade, on the assessment of the Doha Round following the WTO agreement on 1 August 2004 (2004/2138(INI)) (A6-0095/2005).


  Javier Moreno Sánchez (PSE), rapporteur. (ES) Mr President, ladies and gentlemen, Commissioner, I would like to begin by thanking everybody who has contributed to enriching this report, which we will vote on tomorrow, for their cooperation. This report provides a balance between, on the one hand, this Parliament's full support for the defence of the Union’s interests in the negotiations under way and, on the other, its ambition to ensure that this development round ends in success, which would mean the full integration and participation of the developing countries in the world economy.

Through this report, this House intends to send a decisive political message of support for the progress of the negotiations, in which the Commission is playing an essential role, reiterating our commitment to the WTO and its multilateral system of trade which, undoubtedly, is the best mechanism for promoting fair trade, demonstrating solidarity, in a way that benefits everybody. This message comes at a very appropriate time, since the Doha programme is at a crossroads, it is at a key stage and must not be allowed to move backwards.

Following the failure of the Ministerial Conference in Cancún, the agreement of 1 August 2004 is of unquestionable political importance, since it put the negotiations on the right track, and furthermore recognises the need fully to integrate the developing countries into the world economy. This is just a road map, however. The success of the negotiations depends on the firm political will of all the parties to reach a fundamental agreement in Hong Kong.

We must go there with an ambitious and balanced proposal in the different areas covered by the agreement: development, agriculture, industrial products (NAMAs), services and facilitation of trade, without forgetting the need to put development at the forefront of the negotiations, despite the fact that agriculture is unquestionably the motor for them. In pursuit of this objective, concrete and specific commitments must be achieved with dates and time limits by means of a transparent, effective and inclusive process of negotiation, in which all the member countries of the WTO participate fully.

In the field of development, we must ensure that the negotiations deal with the problems linked to poverty, malnutrition and hunger in the world, with a view to reducing them by half by 2015, as laid down in the Millennium Declaration, by means of a closer relationship between the WTO and the other international organisations.

It would also be useful for the Commission to produce proposals to establish commercial integration mechanisms for developing countries to compensate for any possible losses resulting from trade liberalisation.

Progress in the fields of technical assistance and the creation of capacity and the promotion of South-South trade are also of particular importance in terms of guaranteeing the integration of developing countries into the world economy and promoting their export capacity.

In agriculture, the members of the WTO must work in a balanced fashion in relation to the three pillars — export subsidies, internal aid and access to the market — in order to produce detailed negotiation guidelines for Hong Kong and a parallel disarming by all the members of the WTO.

With regard to access to the markets for non-agricultural products, the NAMAs, the way must be opened up to flexibility and the application of non-reciprocity for developing countries, applying the principle of special and differentiated treatment to them.

With regard to services, during this month revised quality offers should be presented and, with regard to services relating to the basic needs of the citizens, I do not believe that the developing countries should be required to liberalise them.

Ladies and gentlemen, Commissioner, the success of the Round, the legitimacy and the credibility of the WTO, also undoubtedly depend on civil society feeling the benefits provided by international trade.

In a process in which, since Seattle, there is great social interest, it appears essential to emphasise the role that democratic Parliaments must play as an expression of the citizens’ views within international fora such as the WTO and, in the case of this Parliament, as a body responsible for democratic control of the Union’s trade policy and a future co-legislator in this field, once the European Constitution enters into force. If you will allow me to refer briefly to a highly topical issue, this is an additional argument to add to the long list of advances represented by this Constitution and which justify a European vote in favour, both in France and in other countries.

Ladies and gentlemen, Commissioner, as the Spanish poet, Antonio Machado, said, ‘Traveller, there is no path. The path is made by walking’. And we are half way between Geneva and Hong Kong; between nostalgia for what is being left behind and eagerness to reach our destination. We must go to Hong Kong with an ambitious and balanced proposal which civil society and all the member countries of the WTO can relate to and which will bring results they are satisfied with.


  Peter Mandelson, Member of the Commission. Mr President, I wish to begin by congratulating Mr Moreno Sánchez on his excellent report, which reflects very well not only on its author but also on this House as a whole. I welcome this debate, because I regard Parliament as the Commission's essential partner in the conduct of our trade policies, that is, in particular, the case in advance of the Doha Round, which remains our number one priority.

Mr Moreno Sánchez has underlined the need to make progress on all the issues in this wide-ranging agenda, with a clear emphasis – which I strongly support – on the objectives of poverty reduction and sustainable development. Those were at the heart of the founding charter of this Round, and they remain as important today as they were when they were first articulated.

Since I took office, I have made every effort to advance the DDA and to keep it on track. I want Doha to put trade at the service of development. That is what I believe in and stand for, and it is at the heart of the policies I am pursuing.

However, Europe cannot do this on its own. As I said in Geneva on my very first day as Trade Commissioner, the EU cannot be the WTO's sole banker. Last summer, Europe had the courage to put its agricultural export subsidies on the negotiating table. It is now up to others to show their hand. In concrete terms, this Round has to yield improved market access and increased business opportunities all round, not only for developing countries – I expect and want them to be the biggest winners of this Round – but also for our own industry and service providers in Europe. That will enable us to build on Europe's strengths in the knowledge economy, for the prosperity and benefit of all.

Market access in industrial products – NAMA – and services too are key issues in the Round. Without progress on these issues, there can be no conclusion to the Round. To achieve this, I want to ensure that the more advanced developing countries engage more intensively on non-agricultural issues. Thus far, they have pushed hard their case on agriculture, as they are perfectly entitled to do, and as I would expect them to do. However, they have shown little willingness to embrace the necessity of real movement on their part on NAMA and on services, even where objective analysis suggests this would be in their own economic interest. This has to change. We all have to show a willingness to adapt, to change and to accommodate others' interests. That is why we have made our move on agriculture.

The other main industrialised countries now need to follow our example to be more proactive on services and to work on their own agricultural reforms in order to match what we in Europe have put forward.

Last week, several informal meetings of WTO trade ministers took place in Paris. I expressed my very real concern about the slow pace of the present negotiations. I called on all members to stop playing their cards so close to their chests and start putting them on the table. That goes for all of us, I am not just pointing the finger at others. We all need to do that, not Europe alone.

I also explained our idea of what an ambitious round should amount to. It requires parallel progress on all three pillars of the agricultural negotiations – not just export subsidies – including the tariffs and quotas that restrict market access. There must be visible efforts by all industrialised countries – not only the EU – to reform their farm policies; and a substantial and real – not just paper – reduction of industrial tariffs by all countries in a position to do this, including the advanced developing countries, always respecting the special circumstances of the weak. Offers on services that provide genuine new business opportunities must be tabled and the WTO's rulebook substantially strengthened, be this in regard to trade facilitation, anti-dumping or geographical indications.

I also renewed my plea for additional efforts to address the specific concerns of the developing countries, and especially – though not exclusively – the poor and vulnerable ones, through special and differential treatment in the Round and by the richer parts of the world substantially stepping up aid for trade. You are quite right to identify capacity-building – the essential support we need to give – to enable trade to take place to facilitate that adjustment, so that developing countries, in particular the weaker ones, can genuinely participate in the opportunities for trade that we are advancing through this Round.

We made progress in Paris. We reached agreement on the vital but highly technical issue of the conversion of specific duties – so many euros per bushel of this, so many euros per kilo of that – into their percentage ad valorem equivalents. While the core issue of how much and on what basis these tariff equivalents will be reduced remains to be discussed – that will come later – we now have a basis on which we can move forward on agriculture and, as a result, on all other aspects of the DDA. On this I should like to acknowledge and pay tribute to the work of Mrs Fischer Boel. Agriculture is a tough subject and I respect how she handles it.

We can also expect progress in relation to industrial tariffs in the months to come. Many members also reaffirm their intention to submit improved offers on services by the end of this month. We expect intensified discussions among key players between now and the mini-ministerial in China, which will take place on 12 and 13 July. Before the summer break, we should see a first approximation of what a possible Hong Kong package could look like. If there is any chance of an ambitious outcome in Hong Kong at the end of this year, and thus an ambitious Round, this first approximation, which I hope that we can see in July, should, at the very least, firstly, establish areas of growing convergence amongst WTO members issue by issue. It should also provide clarity about our shared level of ambition on the core market access issues – agriculture, NAMA and services; and, finally, identify the key problem areas on which agreement will have to be struck to ensure success at Hong Kong and then complete the Round.

I am glad that these ideas are contained in the chair's summary of the Paris mini-ministerial. You can rest assured that it is in this spirit of high ambition that the Commission will continue to work towards Hong Kong.

The Commission wholeheartedly agrees with much of the report, but I just wish to pick out two specific points. Regarding the special mention of flexibility for developing countries in paragraph 6 of the report, the Commission agrees with the thrust of the point being made. We are prepared to grant flexibility to developing countries through special and differential treatment, both for LDCs and other weak and vulnerable countries. However, we can do this only if we take the level of development into account and that means differentiating between developing countries issue by issue. We cannot simply accept a 'one-size-fits-all'.

The second point concerns the suggestion of a 'development box' in the agriculture negotiations mentioned in paragraph 9. The Commission can agree that the framework can and should protect EU interests. However, it is over optimistic to say that: '… the EU will be able to cope comfortably with these reductions' in domestic aids that distort trade. On market access, the report assumes that very positive treatment granted to sensitive products will allow the EU to protect its market organisations. This is certainly what the EU hopes, but difficult concessions on some products will still have to be made, even in the best of circumstances.

Let me finish there. I will listen to what Members of this House have to say and respond at the end, if and when I have an opportunity to do so. Again, I thank Mr Moreno Sánchez for his report and this House for the opportunity to debate this very important subject.


  Maria Martens (PPE-DE), draftsman of the opinion of the Committee on Development. (NL) The negotiations at the Doha Development Round are intended to give the economies of the developing countries a shot in the arm and also to give them a genuine place in the world economy. They are geared towards a fairer distribution in the world.

In order to fight world poverty, we agreed on what we termed the millennium objectives for development. Sound trading conditions for developing countries can make a significant contribution, and this is what we should be aiming for in Hong Kong. There are a number of points I should like to raise, some of which the Commissioner has already mentioned.

In our trading policy, we should be able to draw more of a distinction between the different developing countries. The discrepancies are too great for one uniform framework. There are strong and weak, large and small economies. There are countries with much and little scope for production and growth. We should be able to customise our policy more. That is why special and differential treatment of the developing countries should be one of the key items on the agenda in Hong Kong.

There has been much talk about the consequences of the agreements in Hong Kong will have for the trade concessions that have been made to developing countries, which they fear will be eroded. I would ask the Commissioner to inform this House after the negotiations of whether they in fact have been.

Thirdly, it seems that developing countries are still scarcely able to derive any real benefit from the opportunities that are given to them, and so I wish to highlight the importance of capacity-building and technical assistance. We must work hard on those aspects in order to reinforce the countries’ export and trading capacity. It is also important, where countries rely on one or two export products, to try to encourage them to diversify.

I would now like to turn to export subsidies, which were already mentioned by the Commissioner, and whose adverse effects on the local markets are already known. We must work on a timeframe to phase out export subsidies as a matter of urgency. It is unfortunate that no end date has been stipulated in the text.

Finally, the European Union has an important task in Hong Kong. We all know how the negotiations in Cancún went. This should not happen again. Finally, I would like to thank the rapporteur for his report, which is a sound one, and for the good cooperation.


  Joseph Daul (PPE-DE), draftsman of the opinion of the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development. (FR) Mr President, Commissioner, ladies and gentlemen, today’s debate is especially important as we are in an accelerated phase of negotiations in Geneva. You have said that last week, in Paris, the Ministerial meeting had progressed. For my part, Commissioner, I should like to make four observations.

Firstly, I am very concerned about the attitude adopted by numerous countries that are not genuinely committed to these negotiations. I claim as evidence the complete absence of real progress made in matters other than agriculture. The discussions surrounding the access to the market in industrial products and services are at a standstill, as are those concerning the rules. We cannot endorse such unbalanced negotiation in which agriculture pays for every other sector, when the European Union has made enormous efforts in this particular sector.

Secondly, the success of the negotiation round requires a genuine undertaking of responsibility from emerging countries, such as Brazil, India and China, in the negotiations. These countries must also open up their markets to other developing countries, as the real driving force of development will lie, in the years to come, in the growth of trade between countries of the south.

Thirdly, the recent decision of the Appellate Body in respect of sugar reminds us that there is no honesty in negotiations. It is therefore crucial to evaluate each point of the negotiations from the perspective of WTO legislation in order to prevent a situation in which the compromise we have accepted is dashed by a decision taken by WTO judges and in all likelihood also penalises the poor countries. We must re-examine this issue.

The fourth and final point – and the most important point – that I should like to impress upon you, Commissioner, is that the negotiators taking decisions today carry a heavy responsibility faced with the future of millions of men and women. It is easy to conclude negotiations, but I believe that problems will perhaps only surface in the more distant future, when you will no longer be in charge. I have faith in you. Yet, above all, do not leave it to your successors to resolve the difficulties. From this moment on, before signing or saying yes, let us consider the issue together twice over so that we can pass on an acceptable dossier to your successors.


  Georgios Papastamkos, on behalf of the PPE-DE Group. – (EL) Mr President, the challenge of the Hong Kong Conference lays down the boundaries of the credibility, operational acceptance and dynamism of the WTO.

In my opinion, there are five structural reasons hampering the negotiations of the Doha Round:

First, the inability of leading trade partners to reconcile themselves to ceding internal financial and political independence.

Secondly, the difficulty in taking decisions, due to the huge increase in numbers in the WTO, accompanied by its increasing heterogeneity.

Thirdly, the lack of equilibrium in the liberalisation of trade between advanced trade systems. Comparatively speaking, the Union has made the greatest concessions, with the result that the European market is the most open market in the world.

Fourthly, the unwillingness on the part of other international actors also to assume a leading negotiating role.

Fifthly, the defensive stand of the developing countries towards the new subjects of negotiation.

The extension and reinforcement of the multilateral regulatory framework of the WTO, which constitutes the EU strategy, is limited by the principle of the specialisation of international organisations. This principle also lays down the boundaries of the further development of the WTO both in the global organisation of social policy and in the global organisation of environmental issues.

Consequently, what needs to be established, in my opinion, is a new global 'umbrella' architecture to house the following pillars:

- the WTO, which satisfactorily promotes the efficient distribution of resources;

- an international economic organisation for international economic stability;

- an international development organisation for the international redistribution of resources and support for the development of poor countries;

- an international environmental organisation for the protection and improvement of the global environment and natural resources.

The terms of the globalised economy dictate new overall regulation of the global economic system on the basis of the social and ecological market economy, regulation which will promote the distribution of resources, stability, international solidarity and environmental and consumer protection.


  Erika Mann, on behalf of the PSE Group. (DE) Mr President, Commissioner, ladies and gentlemen, I would just like to raise a couple of points that need to be borne in mind when considering this report, which is, after all, the first to be presented by the Committee this year. We will then, in the second half of the year, produce a second one to follow, observe and comment on the Commission’s deliberations and negotiations.

As far as both the Committee and my group are concerned, the question to which it gives rise is what can be done, firstly to ensure that we are actually being helpful, in a supportive way, in bringing about a positive result in Hong Kong – even though there will be no final conclusion, a positive result would be nice in any case – so that negotiations can then be continued on a sound footing; secondly, also in order to ensure that the great claim we make in the title of ‘development round’ is justified by reality; and, thirdly, to ensure that the European Union’s interests are defended.

This is of course a very complex business when one bears in mind that the outcome of Cancún was not exactly a very good one, that we have had a very difficult start and that the negotiations are currently looking rather shaky. There is also the problem of the countries with emerging economies, which are fighting to be allowed to take up a leading, global role in the world. That is very much apparent from the example of China – about which we will have a debate tomorrow – but also from Brazil and, of course, from India. All this adds up to a very difficult and complex situation.

There is another aspect to which we have to give consideration. I would ask you, Commissioner, to revisit the subject of how in fact this House, the Committee on International Trade and yourself are to relate to one another in the course of this year. If the new treaty were already in place, Parliament would have a very great deal more power, with more direct machinery for consultation. Our mechanisms are very good and long-established, but they are all somewhat informal in nature.

At the same time, though, it is also the case that the public would like to see us more directly involved, with more power and more rights in a process involving negotiations on agriculture and services sectors. These are very sensitive areas, debate on which can be very vigorous, and on which there are no ready-made and unambiguous positions, whether in our group, in this House or among the public at large.

How, then, can we ensure that, in the course of this year, we can organise this critical process involving the Commission, the Committee and Parliament in such a way that the result is fruitful cooperation over and above what we have already established, and including the critical areas I have mentioned?

If you actually have to make changes to the negotiations, or changes to your plans – and you can rest assured, Commissioner, that you will have to deal with these things – then how can it be guaranteed that cooperation will be so close that we will really be able to discharge the responsibility placed upon us by the public?


  Johan Van Hecke, on behalf of the ALDE Group. (NL) Mr President, I would first of all like to congratulate the rapporteur on his report, which, I believe, provides an excellent overview of the current state of play in the negotiations following the WTO’s Geneva framework agreement and on the eve of the conference in Hong Kong. Clearly, the success of the Doha Development Round is crucial to a further liberalisation of world trade. Indeed, after the failure of Cancún, the credibility of the multilateral trading system is at stake. While the success of Hong Kong is crucial to further economic growth, it will also be a serious test of the WTO’s legitimacy. I share Commissioner Mandelson’s view that the Doha Round should primarily be regarded as about development. Trade and development must go hand in hand and greater involvement of the developing countries in the framework of a fair world trade is an essential component in the fight against hunger and poverty in the world.

It is promising that last week, a compromise was reached about import levies on agricultural products and that with it, an impending failure of the Doha Round was warded off. The translation of linear import levies into common percentage-based tariffs, based on the value of the products, is a careful, but nevertheless, important step in the direction of a blanket agreement on trade in agricultural products.

My group, however, remains convinced that all export subsidies in agriculture must eventually be abolished, for it is, and remains, unacceptable that current EU agricultural policy should cost an average European family approximately EUR 100 extra and should make it harder for the developing countries to escape the poverty trap. The World Bank calculated recently that success in this trade round can lead to an increase in worldwide income by EUR 385 billion per annum. If Africa can increase its share in world trade from 2 to no more than 3%, its annual income will increase by USD 70 billion. That is far more than what it is now receiving in development aid. For that reason alone, we cannot afford another failure.


  Caroline Lucas, on behalf of the Verts/ALE Group. Mr President, I thank Mr Moreno Sánchez for his work on this issue, but I think it will come as no surprise to him that, unfortunately, our Group cannot support his report as it stands. While there are some good parts, highlighting the aims of sustainable development and poverty eradication, these are sadly undermined by the overall direction of the report, which is an uncritical endorsement of deregulated free trade as the principal means of achieving those goals.

The assumption still seems to be that more trade automatically equals more growth, which automatically equals more poverty reduction, yet the reality on the ground is quite different and, as the recent UNDP Least Developed Countries report makes clear, greater integration of some of the poorest countries into the international trading system has generally not led to poverty reduction amongst the poorest people.

Another assumption underpinning the report is that, if only the WTO’s critics understood the institution more, then somehow we would mysteriously fall in love with it, or, as the report puts it, ‘the WTO must provide adequate information and explanations to civil society [...] in order to avoid the process of globalisation and the role played by the WTO being widely misunderstood and misrepresented’. Quite frankly, this is unhelpful and patronising nonsense. Increasingly, large sections of civil society know exactly what the WTO is about, and they know precisely how damaging the process of economic globalisation can be. What we need is not a cosmetic public relations exercise but a fundamental, thoroughgoing reform of the institutions and the rules of world trade so that sustainability and equity are genuinely put at their heart.

Now to some of the detail: our Group has retabled its original amendment on commodity prices. Falling commodity prices is one of the single greatest reasons why poorer countries do not get a fairer deal out of world trade. As many as 43 developing countries depend on a single commodity for more than 20% of their total export revenues. If prices for the 10 most important agricultural commodities exported by developing countries had risen in line with inflation since 1980, those exporters would have received around USD 112 billion more in 2002 than they actually did, which would have been twice the level of official development assistance. Frankly, I find it extraordinary that the Committee on International Trade, which prides itself on saying that trade should support poverty eradication, could have rejected an amendment which sought action on stabilising commodity prices. I hope that the plenary will support us on that tomorrow.

We have also tabled an amendment on the Commission mandate. It is hard to imagine what justification the Commission can possibly have for working on a mandate that is six years old and which, therefore, fails to reflect any of the important changes that have happened since it was agreed. Perhaps Mr Mandelson could tell us what that justification is because, from an institutional perspective, we cannot pretend that, after two out of the last three ministerials ended in collapse, we are dealing with business as usual. We cannot ignore the resistance of many countries in the south to embark on more and more new competences for the WTO.

Now that a new Commission is in office and as the new WTO Ministerial approaches, we should give a sign to the international community that Europe reflects these changes and is able to learn from the mistakes made in both Seattle and Cancún.


  Vittorio Emanuele Agnoletto, on behalf of the GUE/NGL Group. (IT) Mr President, ladies and gentlemen, I am truly astonished to hear in this House that the WTO is the vehicle for improving and promoting fair, inclusive trade. How can such an idea be asserted?

We only have to look at the tangible results of the rounds of negotiations that have been and are still being held. How can we talk about reciprocity between a giant and a dwarf, between David and Goliath? How can we hope for developing countries to be the winners of this round if we do not change our policies?

Why do we not enter into the merits of the results? Why is there no mention of how subsidies given to 25 000 cotton growers in the United States have reduced millions of people to starvation in Central Africa? Why is there no mention of how TRIPS (Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights) have deprived and continue to deprive 30 million people – the great majority in Africa – of anti-AIDS drugs, and of how the enforcement of TRIPS in India has halved the number of people in the developing world who have access to anti-AIDS drugs?

Why is there no mention of the disaster caused by the subsidies for intensive agriculture paid out by Europe and the United States? At the Cancun Ministerial Conference, that disaster united Brazil, India and the countries in the South against Europe and the United States.

Furthermore, what preparations are we making for the next WTO Ministerial Conference to be held in Hong Kong? The impression is that we will succeed in liberalising the social services and health services, in the name of an economic liberalism that will quite simply end up making those services fee-based – and controlled by large multinationals – in the countries in the South, denying access to a large proportion of the population.

Why is no mention made of the Economic Partnership Agreements? We have discussed them and we have seen their tragic result in the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly held at Bamako. Through the appeal for complete liberalisation of trade with countries in the South – particularly Africa – and the abolition of import duties in those countries, such agreements contributed to destroying their economies, denying them the opportunity to autonomously choose their own strategies for a different kind of development.

In contrast, I believe that we should fight for a reduction in the role of the World Trade Organisation. We should fight to ensure that a whole range of goods can come under the management of other agencies, such as United Nations agencies for instance, starting with agricultural and pharmaceutical products. For these reasons, our group expresses its entirely negative opinion on the report presented to this House.


  Seán Ó Neachtain, on behalf of the UEN Group. Mr President, despite the failure of the Cancún Conference in September 2003, multilateral trade negotiations in the WTO are still defined by the Doha programme. The agreement reached in August 2004 by the General Council of the WTO has managed to relaunch these negotiations, and I welcome this.

From the outset, let me say that I also welcome the report and I congratulate the rapporteur on his work. I am particularly pleased that the proposal on behalf of the Committee on International Trade is a considerable improvement on the original document, notably in relation to how to include developing countries in the world trade system, and the importance to be attached to the liberalisation of certain non-essential services and, importantly, to the solutions being proposed to reduce agricultural protection.

The compromise amendments adopted in committee have, in my opinion, improved this text. This report is a fair analysis which takes due account of European expectations and interests in the context of what is bound to be a difficult round of negotiations.

In the context of the WTO talks, I am concerned about agriculture and, in particular, about the future of small family farms in my own country, which, let it be said, are the backbone of Irish society. There can be no question of changing the European agricultural model or the Luxembourg agreement on CAP reform. As far as European farmers are concerned, they have signed up to a reform which I consider to be cast in iron and which remains valid until 2013. They have signed up to a reform that was moved to bring the CAP into line with the WTO. They have signed up to a deal that involves tremendous upheaval in the sector. Our farmers need policy stability in order to plan for the future of their businesses and the livelihood of their families. There can be no question of going back on any of those commitments. I must say, Commissioner, that I am encouraged by what you have just said in this regard and I believe that you will rigorously defend our interests here.

Finally, I think that we all agree that the WTO is the best forum in which the rights of all states – rich and poor, developed and developing – can be protected. I also believe that multilateralism is the way forward and I am pleased that the Commission has maintained this position. I look forward to the Hong Kong Conference in December of this year.


  Daniel Caspary (PPE-DE). (DE) Mr President, ladies and gentlemen, it is absolutely vital that we make headway in this round of negotiations, which are about reform and liberalisation. The World Bank’s calculations, to which Mr Van Hecke has just referred, indicate that a successful conclusion to the Doha round could increase global incomes by up to EUR 500 billion per annum, and so success at Doha means war on poverty, it means large-scale and effective development aid and hence a chance of prosperity and social justice for everyone in the world. It is a chance that we must seize for the sake of the people of Europe and people around the world.

I would like to take up the issue of public participation, which Mrs Mann and Mrs Lucas have just mentioned. We still have a clear recollection of the images from the ‘Battle of Seattle’. More and more people see everything that is summed up under the heading of ‘globalisation’ as a danger rather than an opportunity; in Europe, whole generations are completing their schooling without having been taught what underpins the social market economy and world trade, which leaves them open to misinformation and at the mercy of deceitful campaigns. We watch our media reporting almost exclusively about the relocation of production, rather than on the creation of new jobs or increased prosperity, both of which we owe to world trade. We see this making people more and more insecure, and we see radical groups like ‘Attac’, among others, using the funding they receive from the Community to work against the Community’s interests by misinforming and frightening people.

I would therefore ask the Commission – through you, Commissioner Mandelson – to devise a scheme whereby, in parallel with the negotiations, a campaign may be pro-actively mounted to win the public over to free and fair world trade, enabling people in Europe and around the world to be persuaded of the benefits of global trade and taking them with us as we go down this right and necessary road.



  Kader Arif (PSE). (FR) Mr President, Commissioner, ladies and gentlemen, since its launch, the WTO has been heavily criticised. Today, on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of this organisation, we could take stock and ask the following question: do we need the WTO?

In the context of the relentless growth of globalisation, we unquestionably have no option but to acknowledge our need for a multilateral organisation. To the other question, ‘do we need this organisation the way it is currently run?’, however, my response would be far more cautious. Indeed today, the world is still not managing to distribute its wealth in a balanced way. Trade has a significant role to play in creating this balance, but its existing rules have until now remained largely indifferent to the demands and needs of a large part of the planet. Faced with this observation, I sometimes harbour the naive hope that the Hong Kong Conference, which will take place at the end of the year, will alter this undeniable fact and will, above all, finally fulfil the hopes raised by the launch of the Doha Development Programme.

Last month, on 10 and 16 April, hundreds of NGOs and associations made their voices heard throughout the world in support of fairer trade. I share their opinion that trade based on the sole and simplistic principle of casual laisser-faire will not result in greater distribution of wealth; quite the opposite.

Our priority must be to reorient international trade in order to equip it with a genuine economic and social justice dimension. If we really hope to help the poorer countries to benefit from globalisation, we must re-evaluate all world trade rules in a more equitable manner, by considering the link between trade and sustainable development. In my opinion, members of the WTO should therefore include these principles amongst their objectives, but above all they should draw on the outcome of the practices and the rules enacted so that they are then in a position to adapt the policies conducted in a more fair and equitable way.

I also hope for a transparent WTO, and a credible and legitimate organisation, whose decisions could be upheld by its members and civil society. As a European Member of Parliament elected by European citizens, I can only state, and above all regret, the current lack of information of which I have fallen foul, to enable me to satisfactorily carry out my democratic control function. Yet more regrettable is that we, as European Members, have no say in the Commission’s negotiation mandate. The same applies, however, to our future.

Whilst I am anxious about the consequences and repercussions of the Directive on services for our European public services, I am easily annoyed when faced with incidences of the liberalisation of services at international level, which could threaten – often public – services linked to citizens’ basic needs in countries that often have the most urgent need of them. If we are widely agreed that services linked to healthcare, education, and cultural and audiovisual sectors have exceptional status in the negotiations, we must not, however, forget the services that relate to basic needs such as water and energy, since we cannot call on developing countries to liberalise these services when this would lead to their being dismantled.

I should like to point out that we made a commitment in New York, in 2000, in support of the eight Millennium Development Objectives. These development objectives cannot be dissociated from the Doha Development Programme and the negotiations taking place. We cannot make promises one day and then quickly forget them the next. The case of the Philippines is one example amongst many others of the harmful effects of liberalising water distribution services. In fact, following the liberalisation of this service in 1997, the price of water not only increased by 600%, but the very quality of the water also dropped to such a degree that it today causes illness.

I am most fearful that, by the year 2015, we will not succeed in halving the percentage of the population that lacks permanent access to water. If we cannot have access to water, we cannot live.


  Friedrich-Wilhelm Graefe zu Baringdorf (Verts/ALE). (DE) Mr President, we have, tonight, already heard a great deal about fair trade and about trade in a spirit of solidarity. The rapporteur wants it to benefit all, and Mr Caspary has calculated for our benefit that EUR 500 billion will make everyone rich and happy. Even Commissioner Mandelson gives me the impression that he believes that the abandonment of agricultural production by our own countries would cause an outbreak of prosperity in the countries of the developing world.

I do not share their idealism. Trade neither feeds the hungry nor makes the poor rich, and those who make money out of it are primarily those interest groups who demand free trade out of the desire to profit from it to the exclusion of others. To Mr Caspary, who so breezily talks about ‘free and fair trade’, I say that free trade and fair trade may well be mutually contradictory and exclusive. We ought to examine more closely whether that is so, and that is what I would like to do.

Commissioner Mandelson spoke of the need for us to do away with restricted market access, particularly for foodstuffs. I would point out to him that the European Union is the world’s biggest importer of foodstuffs, so this is not about market access but about the conditions subject to which the products find their way onto our market. If the European Union gives the least developed countries free access to our market, that free market access does not automatically make them rich; one must, on the contrary, consider the conditions applicable to the free access to the market in this instance. If they manage to sell their products at our price levels, then they will be able to develop their national economies, but if the multinationals buy from these countries at below the poverty threshold, it will be the ruin of them. They bring their goods to our markets at prices that destroy our agriculture.

The Commissioner spoke of the need for a proactive movement towards the provision of services, but we cannot all cut each other’s hair; on the contrary, we also have to produce something. In the agricultural sector, we need services through production. The maintenance of cultural landscapes renders a great service to European society, one for which farmers must be paid subject to the terms and conditions obtaining here.

On the global market, professors, bankers and even Commissioners reach a lower price than agricultural products, and that is why we have to talk about terms and conditions, which means about adjusting them and making them fair. It is not a simple matter. It is simple to define the word ‘free’ in quantative terms, but to do so in qualitative terms takes some effort.

Although abolishing export subsidies in one of our major importing sectors was the right thing to do, it would be pure lunacy to abandon our own production and let the world come to us. We need a special form of external protection, with the conditions to which production here and our own farmers are subject replicated abroad, and we have to set the conditions, the prices and the levels in such a way that these countries can develop their economies rather than being forced under the poverty line, and without our own farmers going bust.

Commissioner Mandelson, I hope that we will soon be able to discuss these matters with you at rather greater length and in somewhat greater depth in the Committee on Agriculture.


  Helmuth Markov (GUE/NGL).(DE) Mr President, Commissioner, what the Commission was mandated to do in 1999 it showed itself incapable of doing, not only at the negotiations in Seattle, but also at those in Cancún. I believe this was the right thing to happen; it should have led to the Commission being given a modified mandate, one that focussed not on more deregulation and the opening up of markets, but on organising real fair trade between the various countries of the world, which are developed to greatly differing degrees.

Fair trade means the introduction of a system in which everybody involved can see that they have a real chance of developing, and are enabled to seize this chance. For some countries, that may mean protecting their markets until such time as the regional economy has become sufficiently strong to stand up to foreign competition. In other regions, this may mean opening up a market in order to offer other providers export opportunities. Rather than exerting even more pressure to bring about the opening up of markets, this would mean reducing the pressure, which has become a permanent feature. Agreements such as GATS or NAMA can rob developing countries of the chance to build up their own industrial and service sectors and, at the same time, to develop high environmental and social standards.

It is the current debate on textile imports, though, that shows us the other side of the coin – what the opening up of markets means to the industrialised nations. When talking about the Doha development agenda, the term itself indicates that development has to be on the agenda, and that it must not just be about the opening up of markets. Issues such as preventive health care, education, social protection and environmentally-friendly production methods are inseparably part of it.

This is more important to us than the Singapore issues, even if they appear to have been reduced in number from four to two. What matters to us is that trade systems should come into being that make it possible for the prices of coffee, cocoa, textiles, bananas, cotton, sugar, and many, many other products to be kept stable. I believe that the right approach is not more competition, but more cooperation.

Export subsidies for large-scale agri-businesses must be done away with. No attempt must be made to deregulate public services, in particular the supply of water. Alongside the WTO, the relevant UN institutions – UNCTAD or the ILO, for example – must be given greater weight in development matters. The European Union must come to give a different answer to that which it has given hitherto to the developing countries’ calls for the implementation of ‘Mode 4’.

Demanding of the developing countries that they should open up their markets to goods, services and capital, at the same time as the European Union denies less-qualified workers access to its labour markets, in which there is supposedly freedom of movement, has nothing to do with equal rights. If you want world trade, you first have to ensure balanced development, or else what will be promoted by trade will not be progress, but growing disparities between the poor and the rich.

What I really do want to say to Mr Caspary is that those who regard ‘Attac’ as a radical group have not grasped the idea that it is from the presence of differing views that democracy draws its life!


  Paul Rübig (PPE-DE). (DE) Mr President, ladies and gentlemen, we should also be asking ourselves in what ways Hong Kong and the Doha round can help us achieve the Lisbon objectives. Our primary concern is with growth and employment, and we know that the trade unions, the pensioners’ associations and children are all calling for more money in their pockets. Growth is essential to our society, and I prefer not to think about the sort of debate we would have in this House if we were to say that we wanted to achieve the opposite of Lisbon. It is because we agree on the importance of the Lisbon goals that it is important that the WTO round be well-prepared. While there is a need for better organisation within the WTO, we must also ensure that we arrive at Hong Kong with a sound minimum compromise in our pockets, which, last time in Cancún, we failed to do. If our experts in Geneva do not manage to work out a minimum compromise, we will again risk failing to achieve credible results.

What is central to the development agenda is that prosperity must be worked for; it can be shared out only once. If you want to have it for the long term, you have to work for it yourself. This is where small and medium-sized enterprises need access to markets. Loans are needed for firms to be started up, for training and for infrastructure. We have to give thought to how, in this round, we can get prosperity in these countries to increase: not by redistributing wealth, but by helping people to help themselves through the traditional structures of family businesses, to which these countries are accustomed. We have to enable these, the poorest countries in the world, to get access not only to local and regional markets, but also to global markets, and for that we need the parliamentary dimension. What we need, Commissioner, is not more power, but quite simply for the best ideas to compete. We in this House are willing to help you get them to do this, and to enter into a dialogue with you in order that we may, together, achieve what is best for Europe.


  Katerina Batzeli (PSE).(EL) Mr President, Commissioner, we all welcome the positive outcome of the August 2004 agreement which was, to a great extent, the result of Community initiatives. We hope that the final outcome will perpetuate this Community effort and initiative.

Farming ended up being the most important chapter in the negotiations, despite the fact that we had insisted from the outset on balanced attention to all aspects of the Round, with fair results for all sectors and all partners.

However, the final agreement should not bring into dispute any aspect of the recent reform of the common agricultural policy and should safeguard equivalent commitments for all trading partners.

The question of access to the agricultural product market and, more importantly, the technical aspects of the method for calculating ad valorem equivalents proved to be the key point in the negotiations. The technical commitments should be such that the sustainability of Community products is safeguarded.

Protection of agricultural indications and the incorporation of non-trade aspects should not only be an objective, but should also constitute a precondition to the final agreement. These elements also determine the multi-operational role of European farming.

Cotton was put forward as a major issue for the promotion of negotiations with less developed countries. We hope that additional commitments for this product will also concern other trade partners. The report by Javier Moreno Sánchez succeeded in safeguarding the balance in the matter of his proposals for WTO negotiations.

Commissioner, I would suggest that you follow the rapporteur's 'poetic principle'. It maintains that the interim agreement constitutes a step along a road which is not ready made: it is the act of walking that creates it. However, the objectives are ready made and the potential for derogations cannot be limitless.


  Antolín Sánchez Presedo (PSE). (ES) Mr President, ladies and gentlemen, Commissioner, I would like to congratulate Moreno Sánchez on his excellent report, which demonstrates vision and the capacity to identify common objectives, in such a broad and complex dossier as the Doha negotiations.

The purpose of this Round, which has been called the ‘Development Round’ since it began in 2001, is to strengthen the basic principles of the multilateral commercial framework, responding appropriately to the problems of the developing countries.

Success in the negotiations must allow them to make trade an integral element of their national development policies and, to this end, we must have sufficient flexibility to deal with the precarious situation of the least-developed countries, to recognise the new role of the emerging countries and to tackle the particular impact of liberalisation processes on the vulnerable countries.

Aware of these problems, the rapporteur rightly raises the need to provide specific technical assistance and to create capacity in the developing countries; the possibility of introducing a development compartment, for the least-developed countries, in the negotiations on agriculture; promotion of South-South trade and the need for the emerging countries to continue to open up their markets to the least-developed countries; and recognition that the principle of special and differentiated treatment should be the backbone, which would involve non-reciprocity in trade rounds, and which must be adaptable to the characteristics of each developing country.

Its application must make it possible for the International Monetary Fund, and other organisations, to establish a trade integration mechanism intended to compensate for the losses they may suffer as a result of trade liberalisation.

As rapporteur for the report on the System of Generalised Preferences, I am very pleased with the rapporteur’s support for my proposal that attention be paid to the erosion of tariff preferences that may result from the Round, repeating the request that the Commission produce a special report examining its impact and proposing the measures to be adopted.

The Moreno Sánchez report makes a magnificent contribution to clearing up reservations and moving forward a Round that satisfies the aspirations of all of its members to make progress.


  Saïd El Khadraoui (PSE). (NL) Mr President, Commissioner, ladies and gentlemen, I should first of all like to thank the rapporteur for the good work and the excellent report and would like to single out three items that I regard as important.

First of all, transparency, which other Members have already mentioned. It is clear that the subject of the negotiations, and – presupposing that negotiations are brought to a successful end, the actual decisions taken will have a considerable impact on a huge number of people. That is why it is essential that a democratically elected Parliament such as ours be kept constantly informed in detail about the negotiations and involved in them. The Constitution will offer us more scope in this respect, but I would urge you, Commissioner, in the next couple of months and years, to do more than you are strictly speaking required to do in order to involve this House, and, by extension, civil society, in this matter.

Secondly, world trade must also be fair. It should benefit everyone, but the developing countries, in particular. One of the key objectives must be to eradicate poverty with a new and customised trade policy. For that purpose, we must first of all ensure that those countries are given the necessary technical back-up during the negotiations in order to further develop their negotiating scope, and also to work on capacity-building. In addition, the outcome of the negotiations should be what I would refer to as ‘developing-country-friendly’. That will require some political courage and also concessions on our part. Let me take as an example the gradual phasing out of our export subsidies, for which a clear timeframe should be drafted in my view.

My third, and last, point concerns the liberalisation of trade in services, which is important and creates great opportunities, but we must clearly define the area. After all, there are services which should ideally not be managed by the free market, namely the services of general interest. These should remain outside of the negotiations and do not, in my view, only concern education and health care, but also, for example, water, the source of all life, as someone said before. Unfortunately, there are now examples in some developing countries of the privatisation of water supplies having had very pernicious effects. I therefore hope, Commissioner, that you share this view.


  Peter Mandelson, Member of the Commission. Mr President, I would like straight away to endorse the sentiments of the last speaker. I know exactly the point he is making about water and other essential public services. Nothing that will be done in this round, and certainly no part of the policies that the Commission pursues, will infringe or endanger those basic interests and requirements of life. I can assure you of that.

If I can go back to something that Mr Rübig said earlier when he talked about the need for the round to end in a sound minimum compromise, he is right. It sounds as if he is looking forward to a round that ends without ambition. That is not what he meant. To achieve a sound minimum compromise is the hardest thing. Standing here responding to this debate tonight, that end looks a long way off. But it is coming towards us. I say that for two reasons. First of all, the negotiating authority and mandate of the United States will not continue indefinitely to sustain the life of this round. That is something we need to bear in mind. Secondly, there is such a thing as negotiating fatigue. I am beginning to see some signs of fatigue creeping in, an impatience, a desire to get to the end in order to move on. I think that impatience is healthy. I hope it is healthy, and I hope that the sort of negotiating fatigue that we are starting to see will encourage people to show their cards a little bit more, to project to the end game in this round, to see how, when all the parts are fitted together, we will see a round that ends genuinely in wins all round for people, but not least and in particular, for those members of the WTO who are most in need of a successful and ambitious end to this round.

Bearing in mind some of the contributions that have been made, for example, by Caroline Lucas and Mr Graefe zu Baringdorf, I respect entirely where you are coming from in the remarks that you make, but I profoundly disagree with you in your rejection of the premises and basic principles of the international trading system. I hope you will forgive me when I recall the enormous benefits that the richer and well-off countries have derived from the international trading system. Now that we have done so well, now that developed countries are so well off, and now that we in Europe are doing so well after decades of open trading, your approach seems to me simply to want to knock the ladder away for the rest of the world to catch up. And I reject that. I think it is a rather self-defeating approach to make. Of course trade is not some magic wand. Of course trade is not the answer to the development needs and requirements of every poor and vulnerable country. But equally, we have to recognise that no country has made itself prosperous or better off by cutting itself off from the rest of the world. That is at the heart of your prospectus.

I agree that access to markets is not enough in itself. You have to help poor countries produce products, increasingly higher value-added products, to enable them to trade profitably in the global economy. Simply opening your markets is not an end in itself. Enabling people to produce and supply into those markets is the crucial point, and was at the heart of Mrs Martens’ remarks at the opening of this debate. I strongly agree with her when she identifies preference erosion as such a problem for many single commodity-dependent developing countries. It is a very difficult thing and is a huge challenge for us in Europe to deliver effective help and assistance to countries which are highly dependent on single products.

When we talk about the reform of sugar, raised earlier in the debate, we know that we have a responsibility not only to manage and bring about that reform in the interests of the people we represent, or the people you represent in this Parliament and whose interests I reflect also, but we also have to make sure that the assistance in adjustment and restructuring that we deliver to poorer, less well off developing countries, for whom sugar is absolutely central, not only to their economy, but to the fabric of their society. Such commodities are a lifeblood for countries and we know the obligations and responsibilities that we have to such countries.

Agriculture is without doubt the most complex and challenging subject of negotiation in this round. I agree with Mr Daul that we cannot place all the weight of this round on agriculture. I think I made that clear in my opening remarks and I certainly accept his view that agriculture must not foot the bill for the all the other sectors. I want to ensure that we look to the long term in this round – yes, including after I have ceased being a Commissioner. I do not look forward to that as an early prospect, but one day others will take over and you are absolutely right. The actions we take now and the negotiations we undertake in this round, have to ensure that there is a sustainable future for European agriculture. We must not put that at risk, we must not put it in jeopardy and nothing that I or the Commission do in the course of this round will create such a risk. That means, too, that adjustments have to be managed and reform and change embraced; of course, we must. Of one thing I am sure: you cannot just leave agriculture to the free market. You cannot do that in terms of the security of the food supply, but also the importance and the weight you attach to sustaining rural communities, which are an essential feature and component of our way of life, of European civilisation.

When we talk about agriculture and the interests of people who live in rural communities, their interests in this round, for me it highlights the importance all the time of explaining, justifying – I think you used the term ‘advertising’ – what we are doing in this round. Advertising in the literal sense is what we need to do. We have to advertise the huge potential benefits and prize that is in our grasp in the successful and ambitious completion of this round. We have to advertise the rationale for our negotiations; they are complex, they are difficult for the ordinary citizen to grasp – heaven knows, I find them difficult to grasp sometimes and I am the Trade Commissioner. It should not be taken as a given, as an assumption, that what we do in this round we can simply deliberate on and decide behind closed doors and pass down to a grateful public at the end of the day, as if that is the beginning and end of involving civil society.

I say this, too, not only because I am very conscious of the sensitivities, fears and anxieties that these negotiations highlight – trade is a very political subject indeed – but because it also highlights the important role of parliamentarians: Members of this Parliament, but not just this Parliament, members of all national parliaments are involved as well. That is for two reasons, first of all, parliaments in their work, and the scrutiny offered by parliamentarians, puts pressure on people like me to explain and justify what we are doing. I think that is very important. But, secondly, what you are doing is representing civil society in a representative and authentic way, in ways that non-governmental organisations do not always do entirely faithfully. When you offer that scrutiny and when you offer that representativeness, what you are doing to this process is conferring legitimacy on it. Legitimacy that it would not otherwise have if it were simply conducted in secret without any transparent way of working, without any accountability for what we are doing and saying during the course of these negotiations. So I agree with those Members who have emphasised the need for Parliament and parliamentarians to have a role. It is true that if we had a constitution, the role and access of Members of this House to this process would be formalised. Nonetheless, without the Constitution so far, we still have a very good relationship, we were able to achieve across the range of what we do informally what in time I hope and predict we will be able to cement formally as well.

When it comes to issues like services – water and other public services – which, in particular excite anxieties amongst the general public, then it is right that the general public, the citizens, are able to see in their democratic forum, in this Parliament, their anxieties and their concerns being properly aired and properly represented. That is why I am grateful to those tonight who have raised the issue of services and have done so in such a constructive way. I hope that meets the point of those who have emphasised, quite rightly, the role of civil society in this. It also touches on, and I fully accept, the future role and performance of the WTO itself, as Mr Papastamkos has raised in his own contribution.

To those who attack the WTO more sharply, I would say this: I do not know of an international institution, I do not know of a better form of global government that exists in our world today that matches the WTO in its democracy – yes, each Member of the WTO, big or small, powerful or weak, has the same vote and it is one vote. And it takes decisions, and it makes findings against the most powerful in the world. It is the only international institution, it is the only organ of global governance that I know that can challenge and compromise the sovereignty or the United States and get away with it. It is the only organisation I know that can enforce its decisions, arbitrate between countries, however mighty and powerful they may be in the international community. I think that is something to celebrate and applaud and it is something, in my view, that we should build on rather than condemn.

I am sorry I have not responded to all the questions that have been raised. But I want to emphasise this point in conclusion: there is a genuine need for us to put development at the heart of this round; it is absolutely central to Doha and its founding values. Those who argue, as some have done in their contributions tonight, that the capacity to trade is crucial, I wholeheartedly agree with you. It means overcoming barriers at ports, enabling trade to be facilitated. That is why that part of our negotiations, in my opinion, is so important. It is about the ability to get goods to market and to meet standards, which is why aid for trade is so important. Yes, our SPS standards, those standards that protect the health and safety of European citizens and consumers, are very important and we should uphold them; our citizens – people you represent – would expect us to do so. But, equally, we have to understand that for many in developing countries, these standards look like barriers. These high standards of health and consumer protection look like protectionism to the outside world. They are not, but it places a great obligation on us, not only to maintain the integrity of our standards, but actively to go out and help and deliver assistance to poorer countries to enable them to meet those standards, meet those requirements, rather than simply shrink away from them and in the process, taking their goods and what they offer to our markets with them.

Let me finish on this point. I agree that the common agricultural policy is a bit of a problem in some ways, it is a great necessity, a source of life and livelihood and very important in sustaining our rural communities in very many ways. But what are the problems we have in the common agriculture policy? The CAP is really not responsible for the problems of world poverty today. Europe offers the most open markets in the world. The tendency of some to turn the common agricultural policy into some sort of devil incarnate, as far as developing countries are concerned, is misconceived and misplaced. Of course it needs reform, and if I can just make the point about family farms to Mr Ó Neachtain, I want to protect small farmers, too, but let us remember in the context of our discussions about the future of the common agricultural policy – and I think I am right in saying this – that 75% of CAP payments go to farmers with above-average incomes. So when we are talking about protecting small farmers and when we are talking about protecting the incomes and livelihoods of some of the less well off people you represent in Parliament, let us also remember that they too need reform of the common agricultural policy. Yes, preserving the European model of agriculture, but not preserving the CAP in aspic for all time. It can, and should, work even better than it does for the people who are most in need.

In conclusion, if we can reach broad agreement at Doha, at Hong Kong and after, it will be a huge achievement for the world. It will enable us to complete a round that has stretched over the life, not just of one or two, but of three Commissions. It is a huge prize, a great prize that is in our grasp. That is why, in my view, however taxing and however vexing this round is, we certainly should not give up, and nor will we. There is a huge amount to achieve for the most needy and the most deserving in our world, as well as countless millions of our own fellow citizens. There is a lot at stake, a lot to play for and we are going to proceed on that basis towards eventual success.



  Friedrich-Wilhelm Graefe zu Baringdorf (Verts/ALE). (DE) Mr President, I would like to make a brief statement. Commissioner Mandelson misinterprets me in supposing that I do not want to address the poverty that is in the world. What is the case is that my group and I are giving some thought as to how we can enable people living in poverty to have a share in our prosperity. We also have some clear ideas as to how to go about this. I hope that Commissioner Mandelson will join us in entering more deeply into debate and thus be enabled to interpret our thinking better.


  President. The debate is closed.

The vote will take place tomorrow.

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