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Verbatim report of proceedings
Monday, 2 July 2012 - Strasbourg OJ edition

22. One-minute speeches (Rule 150)
Video of the speeches

  President. – The next item is the one-minute speeches on matters of political importance (Rule 150 of the Rules of Procedure).


  Anna Záborská (PPE). (SK) Madam President, I would like to take this opportunity to point out that the newly reduced ceilings on mobile operator roaming tariffs came into force only yesterday. Such regulation would not have been possible without the existence of a single European market. It would not have been possible without the close cooperation of European institutions. At the same time, it is a measure that will help all EU citizens financially, especially during holidays.

I understand why, in recent months, steps taken by EU representatives have provoked resentment and often justified criticism among citizens. At the same time, however, I firmly believe that the European project makes sense. It is important that, instead of a pointless discussion on political union, we focus on the practical problems of everyday life.


  Antonio Masip Hidalgo (S&D).(ES) Madam President, ladies and gentlemen, I arrive here moved after having met with the courageous miners who marched to Madrid, and who were disappointed because the Spanish Government does not really listen. Someone once said that the values of Spanish football are those of eternal Spain. However, if it were possible to express it better, Armand Gatti, the great French writer, originally from Italy, recently said that the eternal values of my country are represented by that backbone of miners, by that capacity to fight and resist. These are the same values which, 50 years ago in June, led them to rise up against the fascist dictatorship, alongside the European movement; when liberal colleagues united around Salvador de Madariaga and took a definitive step towards freedom at the Regina Palace Hotel in Munich. We commemorate this by using his name, Madariaga, for an emblematic Parliament building.

The Spanish Government has been clever to make use of support from the loyal socialist opposition, to join with Monti and Hollande ...

(The President interrupted the speaker)


  Cristian Silviu Buşoi (ALDE).(RO) Madam President, the opening of debates in the European Parliament on the topic of the Transparency Directive gives me the opportunity to make a few remarks regarding the medicines policy at European level and particularly in my country, Romania. An intelligent medicines policy is essential for innovation to translate into new products being placed on the market. Therefore, the transparency of decisions on the pricing, reimbursement and subsidies of medicines may have a significant impact on the access of European citizens to medicines and, of course, health care.

In Romania, the current social-liberal government must remedy certain unfortunate decisions adopted by the governments in office between 2009 and April 2012. The list of subsidised medicines has not been updated for four years, and the criteria underlying decisions to include new molecules are completely arbitrary. An equally unfortunate example is the claw-back tax adopted by the Boc Government in March 2011, which discourages pharmaceutical companies from placing their products on the Romanian market as a result of an unsustainable taxation system. The new government shall adopt the necessary decisions as soon as possible, and the European Commission should be more vigilant.


  Ana Miranda (Verts/ALE).(ES) Madam President, we wish to declare our deepest concern regarding, and condemnation of, the coup against the sovereign and democratically elected President in Paraguay.

President Fernando Lugo was ousted by impeachment; driven out by the Paraguayan Congress, controlled by the majority conservative opposition, who did not adhere to the democratic rules and granted him less than 24 hours to prepare himself and only two hours to prepare his defence. It was an illegal impeachment, which did not respect the due process, or guarantee the right of defence, in which the democratic will that decided to change the Paraguayan Government after years of dictatorship and conservative majority has been manipulated.

Let us speak plainly. There has been a parliamentary coup in Paraguay. That is what the Union of South American Nations (Unasur), the Organization of American States (OEA), the Southern Common Market (Mercosur), the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), and the Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas (ALBA) countries have all called it. Parliament should join this international condemnation of the impeachment against the constitutional President of Paraguay.

We convey our solidarity with the people of Paraguay and I want to say that it is not a coup against Fernando Lugo, as such, but rather a coup against Paraguay and its democracy.

As they say in Guarani …

(The President cut off the speaker)


  Kyriacos Triantaphyllides (GUE/NGL).(EL) Madam President, I should like to draw your attention to the readmission agreement between the European Union and Turkey. I am most satisfied that the European Union is taking a unified stand towards Turkey as regards the scope of that agreement.

As stated by the Council in its conclusions dated 21 June on developing cooperation with Turkey in the areas of justice and home affairs, the Commission and the Council expect Turkey to apply the agreement impartially towards all the Member States of the European Union, including the Republic of Cyprus.

By the way, why has Turkey been allowed a three-year period of grace for the readmission of third-country nationals? This policy of double standards undermines the consistency of European policy in this sector and may damage relations between the European Union and third countries with which such agreements have been signed.


  Gerard Batten (EFD). – Madam President, David Cameron has suggested that there might be a referendum on the European Union, but he does not know when and he does not know what the question should be. He only knows what the question will not be: should Britain leave the European Union? This is because he does not know what the EU will look like in the future. But we all know, do we not?

Those of us here on both sides of the EU argument know exactly that it is intended to be a single European political state, a United States of Europe. The current eurozone crisis is being used to bring about financial and economic government and full political integration. The only person who apparently does not understand this is David Cameron. The UK Independence Party can explain it to him, exactly as we are explaining it to his voters.

The only referendum that the British people want is a straight question on whether we should stay in or get out and we want it sooner rather than later.


  Csanád Szegedi (NI).(HU) Madam President, I would like to talk about a small Hungarian settlement named Ónod. We Hungarians are very proud of this small village in Borsod-Abaúj-Zemplén County, and not just because it was the site of a famous national assembly 300 years ago, but also because it has been home to the famous Ónod fair for 600 years. Over these 600 years, the fair has survived ravaging by the Ottoman Empire, Habsburg oppression, and even decades of communist terror, but now it seems that it will not survive the European Union, as news has come out that the requirements of the fair do not comply with certain European Union laws. Fellow Members, let us not allow this community institution – which provides smallholders, producers, merchants and small-scale craftsmen an opportunity to sell their goods – to be sacrificed at the altar of globalism. Let us protect such communities! The Ónod fair enriches Europe and makes it a better place.


  Czesław Adam Siekierski (PPE).(PL) Madam President, yesterday, the final whistle was blown at this year’s European football championship. It marked the end of the biggest mass event in our country’s history. We are proud of the fact that Poland was able to be joint host of this European event. Looking back at the last few weeks, we can see that EURO 2012 has breathed new life into our country, and not just when it comes to sport. The tournament also shows that Poland and Ukraine have done a superb job in matching the high expectations placed in them, and the work put into the preparations was appreciated both by the sportsmen and the fans.

The football teams were very pleased with the efficient organisation and technical preparation of the stadiums, and also appreciated the hospitality, courtesy and professionalism they experienced. We, too, would like to express our thanks for entrusting us with such an important undertaking, and for the faith and trust placed in us and the words of appreciation. We would also like to thank the European Union, because funds granted by the EU contributed to the completion of a great many projects. In particular, improvements were made to the road system and to airports and railway stations. These are developments which are sure to remain in use for many years. EURO 2012 was also an excellent opportunity to promote our country ...

(The President cut off the speaker)


  Françoise Castex (S&D).(FR) Madam President, we will be holding a debate on the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) tomorrow, but I wanted to raise an issue this evening which, although peripheral to the subject, I feel is extremely important. I am referring to what Commissioner De Gucht told the Committee on International Trade at its meeting on Wednesday 20 June. I quote: ‘If you decide on a ‘no’ vote before the European Court of Justice has handed down its ruling, let me tell you that the Commission will nonetheless continue with the proceedings currently before the Court. We have committed to this. A ‘no’ vote will not halt the proceedings before the Court of Justice’.

Not only do his words disregard the treaties, in my view, but, above all, and this is what I want to condemn, they demonstrate an unacceptable disregard for the European Parliament, for democracy in general, and for the voters we represent.

At a time when all European citizens …

(The President cut off the speaker)


  Seán Kelly (PPE).(GA) Madam President, I would like to use this minute to draw Parliament’s attention to the marvellous work being done by primary school teachers, especially in the eco-schools, regarding the green flag.

Through this scheme, the students learn about climate change, protecting the environment, and respecting their surroundings. In many of these schools, students – even young students – have an amazing knowledge of these matters.

Therefore, recognition should be given to the schools and, especially, to the teachers concerned. I urge Parliament and the Commission to make an award in relation to the green flag, not just to the schools, but to their teachers, who do such a huge amount of work in this important area, much of it voluntarily.

Their heroic work should be recognised.


  Emer Costello (S&D). – Madam President, the decision at the European summit last week to unshackle banking debt from sovereign debt is very welcome. Ireland has borne a disproportionate burden arising from our banking system collapse. Indeed, the Irish people were not responsible for the global banking crisis, yet they are being asked to pick up the tab for irresponsible decisions made on their behalf or because of a lack of control or regulation.

The concrete decisions made at last week’s summit will enable Ireland to emerge from the troika programme and hopefully will facilitate a speedy return to the markets. Indeed, this was the hope when the Irish people voted for the Stability Pact on 31 May, yet if we had listened to those who advocated a ‘no’ vote and who wanted to veto the ESM, none of this would have been possible.

But the current focus on banking union and closer fiscal union should not lose sight of the need to provide a social dividend. In that context, the commitment to a EUR 120 billion investment package, additional resources for the European Investment Bank and agreement on project bonds are most welcome, as is the language and the emphasis on growth and public investment. I believe that the next step must be a social investment pact which will help us achieve the goal of a fairer society.


  Izaskun Bilbao Barandica (ALDE).(ES) Madam President, Commissioner, I welcome the agreement reached this weekend at the EU leaders’ summit to save the euro. All the same, I want to draw attention to the problem affecting the European regions that consider themselves fiscally autonomous, having complied with the criteria of the Court of Justice of the European Union. I come from one of these, the Basque Country.

As a result, for 30 years, we have supported the real economy and backed internationalisation, innovation, education and the social economy. Up until three years ago, we were an example of solvency when it came to our public accounts. We form part of a state that criticised us for it and followed another policy. The results are well known and our 30 years of ongoing effort is now suffering an undeserved risk premium. The situation undermines the prestige of our companies and drives up the interest of their funding.

I therefore formally request that you look for solutions and a European reserve for this paradox, which is another good reason for what some call territorial tension.


  Nikos Chrysogelos (Verts/ALE).(EL) Madam President, we certainly have interesting debates here in the European Parliament including, for example, on the multiannual programme of EU action in the field of health for the period 2014-2020. One of the core objectives of that policy is universal access to health services.

Unfortunately, however, the health system in Greece is currently in a state of collapse and the authorities in Greece are having enormous difficulty managing even fundamental health services. The crisis has resulted in a massive increase in hospital treatment in the order of 30%, compared with reductions of 20% or more in health spending. There are major shortages of, and major cuts have been made to, medical and nursing staff. Large numbers of citizens, a large portion of society, has been left outside the health system, as a result of unemployment and restrictive policies.

The chair of the Group of the Greens/European Free Alliance recently wrote to Mr Barroso, asking him to take action and to ensure that everyone in Greece can live in dignity and have access to high-quality health care and medical treatment in these difficult times. We feel that the Commission has an obligation to review certain terms of the Memorandum in order to ensure that they are compatible with European values and European policies.


  Jaroslav Paška (EFD). (SK) Madam President, can you imagine a parliamentary committee of the Russian Duma that deals with the status of Russian minorities in neighbouring countries going to Latvia or Georgia, for example, and, without informing the parliamentary institutions of those sovereign states in any way, openly organising official talks – not in Russian territory but in the sovereign territories of those states – on the views of Russian politicians regarding the attention given to the welfare of Russians in Latvia or Georgia? Is it necessary even to consider such nonsense?

Nonetheless, a few days ago, the Hungarian Parliament’s fellowship committee provocatively organised official talks on the sovereign territory of the Slovak Republic without any diplomatic communication whatsoever with Slovak state authorities. Hungarian politicians acted like thieves, secretly hiring rooms at the university in the Slovak town of Komárno, and then coming to debate and decide on university soil what the Slovak Government should do for the welfare of those Hungarians that now live in Slovakia.

Was this really just an oversight of propriety in international relations and the duty to inform, bypassing diplomatic protocol, as some of the Hungarians involved in this event assert, or another manifestation of profound disrespect towards a neighbouring nation?


  Corneliu Vadim Tudor (NI).(RO) Madam President, ladies and gentlemen, I hereby inform you that in the European Union, there are 26 independent countries and one colony: my beloved country, Romania. However, it is not a regular colony, but an American colony, where CIA agents behave as slave masters on a plantation. These primitive feudal lords have three big fat concerns:

1. to plunder the country’s wealth, especially the gold, silver, uranium, and natural gas deposits;

2. to force down the Romanians’ throats, in exchange for tens of billions of dollars, unprofitable agreements and military junk such as 48 F16 planes, some of which were manufactured in 1965 and are genuine flying coffins;

3. to turn this peaceful country into a living missile shield against Russia.

And they have one more concern: to steal the elections. The last CIA-branded theft took place on 10 June, when local elections were rigged by the American masters with the help of an army of 900 officers and agents of Romania’s main secret service, namely, the Romanian Intelligence Service. Yankees, go home!


  Monika Flašíková Beňová (S&D). (SK) Madam President, the EU and each of its Member States are facing huge problems in the current situation. These problems are not just economic and financial but, above all, social. At this juncture, it is very important for the individual Member States to cooperate well together, and to have good relations, and for an atmosphere of strong partnership and reciprocal relations to start prevailing again in Europe.

I must therefore join the other Members and state that I feel deeply uneasy about the fact that a committee of the Hungarian Parliament held talks on the territory of an EU Member State, the Slovak Republic, without the Hungarian MPs holding consultations on the talks in advance – as diplomatic protocol ultimately requires – with their partners in the Slovak Republic.

The Slovak Government genuinely wants to have excellent relations with all of its partner countries and with all of its neighbours, and we believe that in future, the Hungarian Government will also want good relations, as long as it is not the Fidesz government.


  Kristiina Ojuland (ALDE). (ET) Madam President, the aim of my visit to Washington last week was to meet with representatives of both parties in both the House of Representatives and the Senate in order to discuss matters related to the draft report with a proposal for a European Parliament recommendation to the Council on establishing common visa restrictions for Russian officials involved in the Sergei Magnitsky case. As we know, the United States Senate Committee on Foreign Relations and the House Foreign Affairs Committee have both voted to support the draft, and even more importantly, next week, we will begin discussing a similar draft, the so-called Magnitsky draft, in the European Parliament’s Committee on Foreign Affairs. This proposal is very similar to what is currently in progress in the United States – in other words, the imposition of sanctions against high-level Russian officials connected with corruption, human rights violations or organised crime, such as the members of the Kluyev group, who are still moving about freely on European Union territory or elsewhere, and who are using corrupt funds.


  Corina Creţu (S&D).(RO) Madam President, I find myself bound to protest against the abuses committed in Romania by fundamental state institutions, particularly those belonging to the judiciary and intelligence services, which, in contempt of the Constitution and laws, have been turned by the President and the former right-wing government into society control and coercion tools, subjectively interfering in the political struggle. These institutions betray their mission and purpose and are currently used to hamper democratic alternation of power. The most serious issue is that the Constitutional Court is also among these institutions, which has practically blocked the exercise of governance.

We are witnessing a political vendetta carried out through selective justice, the harassment of physicians and police officers for doing their duty, and serious violations of the fundamental rules of democracy and the rule of law in a Member State of the European Union. It is unfortunate that this entire campaign unleashed by the institutions reporting to the President is supported by the members of the European People’s Party who are ready to tolerate anti-democratic drifts just like they did on other occasions as well.


  Vasilica Viorica Dăncilă (S&D).(RO) Madam President, the results of the local elections of 10 June have enshrined an authentic change in Romania, which responds to the desire for change of most Romanian citizens. This change means both finding out the truth about the serious democratic drifts of recent years and building a new model for economic and social development.

We welcome the vote given today by the European Parliament, which rejected the populist and demagogical intention of the representatives of the Liberal Democratic Party in the European Parliament to include on the agenda a discussion on the state of democracy in Romania. In Romania, democracy is starting to be consolidated by the new government through measures adopted with the legitimate vote of the Parliament and supported by the majority of the Romanian citizens.

We also welcome the intention of the Romanian Parliament to discuss the conclusions of the last European Council during its current extraordinary meeting, which marks a first for the Romanian democracy. The presentation by Prime Minister Ponta before the Parliament of the conclusions reached at this summit is a welcome sign of normality, completely opposed to the direction adopted so far by the President. It confirms that Romanian democracy is headed in the right direction.


  Pat the Cope Gallagher (ALDE).(GA) Madam President, I welcome the results of the summit held in Brussels last week.

The agreement by EU leaders to use the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) in principle to directly recapitalise eurozone banks is a welcome and overdue development. This is a major step forward for Ireland and may potentially result in the restructuring of debt, which should result in a reduction in the burden on the Irish taxpayer.

(GA) I understand that the Finance Ministers will soon engage in negotiations concerning the debts of banks in Ireland.

Any outcome of negotiations must ensure that Ireland receives equal treatment vis-à-vis Spain and other eurozone states. The outcome of the summit also justifies the decision of the Irish people to ratify the fiscal stability treaty by referendum, which guarantees access to the ESM.

In conclusion, the ESM is an important safety net for Ireland and the eurozone. The decision of EU leaders to break the link between bank debt and sovereign debt must result in tangible benefits to Ireland.


  Daciana Octavia Sârbu (S&D).(RO) Madam President, during these weeks, we are taking important steps in defining the reform of the common agricultural policy after 2013. The meeting with representatives of Romanian farmers, which we organised last week in Bucharest, and which Mr Paolo de Castro was kind enough to attend, highlighted the farmers’ expectations concerning the improvement of the Commission’s proposal.

I believe, together with my socialist colleagues, that the decisions regarding the future of European agriculture must take into account the need to narrow the disparities between developed and less developed agricultures. I think it is our duty to create a fairer system of granting European funds across and within Member States.

I welcome the report drafted by Mr Capoulas Santos, which calls for a more equitable distribution of direct payments between the Member States and for the possibility of states receiving direct payments below the EU average to be able to balance this disadvantage, at least to some extent.


  Francesco De Angelis (S&D).(IT) Madam President, ladies and gentlemen, after seven years of income support for workers, the Indian owners of the Videocon plant in the city of Anagni have filed for bankruptcy and initiated procedures to dismiss 1 300 employees. A major company, the second largest in the region of Lazio, is closing down, and with it, related firms. This company was acquired with the intention to force it into bankruptcy and to shift production to third countries.

Therefore, the institutions must now work to provide a future for Videocon and its workers who are going through a time of crisis, and who, for seven long years, have been living in a state of total job uncertainty. Italy and Europe must step in and deploy all the instruments necessary to provide work and a productive future for this important plant.


  Ricardo Cortés Lastra (S&D).(ES) Madam President, I would like to speak to Parliament and denounce the current Spanish Government’s vision for the future of research and development.

Despite the Commission’s recommendations that the cuts will not affect investment in research and research and development, in Spain, there have been cuts of 22.5%. We do not have a surplus of researchers in Spain, quite the opposite. We need more investment in research, development and innovation, and to stop the flight of scientists and research personnel, from which it will take the country decades to recover. The idea to provide funding to only a few and to reduce the number of grants is unacceptable. Spain spends only 1.2% of its gross domestic product on research, development and innovation. With this investment trend in research, development and innovation, it is impossible to generate sufficient knowledge to change the productive model.

Whilst the current government insists that Spain has to reduce the number of scientists, they are viewed as the main asset towards recovery in the euro area. I insist that the Spanish Government backs growth, even more so in the current economic and social climate, and I insist that the efficiency of the science and technology system has nothing to do with the axe that they are wielding, using the crisis as an excuse.


  Inés Ayala Sender (S&D).(ES) Madam President, I want to express my satisfaction at the liberation of the International Criminal Court staff members and specifically, Mr Esteban Peralta Losilla from Aragon, who have been freed after a series of interventions by the President of the Court and other international organisations.

Also, in contrast to this positive and very happy news, as I understand that these staff members acted in a very proper manner, there is some bad news: the death of one of the helicopter pilots who are currently fighting the fires in Valencia. The lack of public investment from the State has meant that this summer’s fires in Spain have broken out much earlier than the summer, precisely because of this lack of investment. We are now lamenting the death of one of these helicopter pilots.


  Joseph Cuschieri (S&D). (MT) Madam President, I would like to refer once again to the arrival of a number of illegal immigrants on Malta in the past weeks and months. These people leave their country on the African continent for a variety of reasons in search of a better future in Europe. This problem is leading to a continuous influx of immigrants who are entering the Maltese Islands illegally. I would like to draw the attention of this plenary session to the need for greater solidarity to be shown by the European Union and its Member States towards Malta.

This is a challenge that the whole of Europe needs to face and the responsibility should not be shouldered solely by Malta simply because it happens to be situated on the border between the two continents. This is an impossible task for Malta. The European Pact on Immigration has been a failure. The voluntary burden sharing mechanism, as opposed to an obligatory system, has not worked. There were few countries that willingly offered to partially relieve the Maltese Islands of this heavy burden. Faced with this situation, the Member States are obliged, in the name of solidarity, to do something about this.

Therefore, I would first like to emphasise the need for strict rules that are fair on everyone. Secondly, I appeal to more countries to take on greater responsibility with regard to the immigration challenge, so as to eventually end up with a system whereby everybody is obliged to shoulder his fair share of the burden. Third, an effective and legislative mechanism must be created without delay …

(The President cut off the speaker)


  President. – This item is now closed.

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