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Tuesday, 18 January 2011 - Strasbourg OJ edition

Review of the Belgian Presidency of the Council (debate)

  Ivo Belet (PPE). (NL) Mr President, Mr Leterme, Mrs Győri, both you and your diplomatic service have proved that we can be successful, even in very difficult economic conditions, and that we can tackle those conditions in a way that makes Europe stronger. That is very important. Obviously, this kind of thing requires that we make compromises, difficult compromises. That will always leave us subject to criticism but I think that, in this situation, the golden rule that ‘the perfect is the enemy of the good’, applies more than ever. This kind of compromise is always justifiable if it enables you to make progress and if it benefits the prosperity and wellbeing of our citizens.

Mr Leterme, as I only have one minute, I will comment only briefly on the next Belgian Presidency, which will possibly hold office in 2025 or thereabouts. You will probably be 65 then and I will be a year older than that. I assume that Europe will still be a strong player on the world stage at that point but, for that to happen, we really have to keep up the momentum of the past six months. In any case, I wish you every success, both here and in Brussels.

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