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Postupak : 2014/2906(RSP)
Faze dokumenta na plenarnoj sjednici
Odabrani dokument : B8-0218/2014

Podneseni tekstovi :

B8-0218/2014

Rasprave :

PV 12/11/2014 - 18
CRE 12/11/2014 - 18

Glasovanja :

PV 13/11/2014 - 8.6
CRE 13/11/2014 - 8.6
Objašnjenja glasovanja

Doneseni tekstovi :

P8_TA(2014)0051

Rasprave
Srijeda, 12. studenog 2014. - Bruxelles Revidirano izdanje

18. Mirovni proces u Sjevernoj Irskoj (rasprava)
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PV
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  La Présidente. - L'ordre du jour appelle le débat sur la déclaration de la Commission sur le processus de paix en Irlande du Nord (2014/2906(RSP)).

 
  
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  Corina Creţu, Member of the Commission. - Madam President, it gives me great pleasure to come back this time to respond on behalf of the Commission to Parliament’s request for a statement on the peace process in Northern Ireland.

This is a process which, in the first instance, concerns the two governments of the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland, which have worked closely over many years and which effectively began the peace process when they signed a joint declaration in December 1993. The European Union immediately welcomed the signing of the declaration and committed itself to social and economic progress in the region, including under programmes financed by the European structural funds. Over the period since then, the European Union, its institutions and consultative bodies, have taken a special interest in the peace process. For me this is perfectly normal, since the Union itself is a successful example of peaceful reconciliation based on economic integration.

In 1994, immediately after the announcement by paramilitary organisations in Northern Ireland of a complete cessation of violence, our then President of the Commission, Jacques Delors, declared the Commission’s fullest commitment to the peace and reconciliation process. Strongly supported by the European Parliament, the Commission decided to propose a new support package in order directly to address the process of reconciliation and social and economic reconstruction. This took the form of a special and innovative support programme – the Peace Programme – which was approved by Parliament and Member States in 1995, covering Northern Ireland and the border counties of Ireland, an area today of 2.3 million people.

Between 1995 and 2013, the European Union contributed some EUR 1.3 billion to three rounds of Peace Programmes, or almost EUR 2 billion after matched funding by the Member States. It has been used in a distinct manner, supporting cross-community projects in the social and economic fields and promoting shared spaces, while seeking to deal with the legacy of the past. In recognition of the long-term nature of the peace process, for the new period 2014-2020 Parliament and the Member States agreed a new EU Peace Programme. The new programme will have an EU contribution of some EUR 230 million, which will be matched by some EUR 40 million in Member State contributions.

The Peace Programmes are regarded as having achieved many positive outcomes, as one very important element in the wider peace process, which, as I have said, involves the two Member States in the first instance. We have always recognised that the programme is not about quick fixes. It is a strategically focused package designed to promote long-term partnership, as well as cross-community and cross-border cooperation.

Evaluation of the Peace Programmes has shown a very positive impact on the ground, both in Northern Ireland and the border counties of the Republic of Ireland. The programmes have touched the lives of over one million people, bringing divided communities together, helping to rebuild trust and lay the groundwork for a shared future. The evidence suggests that the project has helped to change people’s attitudes, encourage them to reflect on their own prejudices, recognise the need to respect diversity and work together to build a new society.

For example, the Peace III Programme focused on building positive relationships at local level and on helping people to acknowledge and deal with the past. So far, over 25 000 people in the region have participated in the conflict resolution workshops, over 7 000 people have received trauma counselling and over 40 000 participated in events assisting victims and survivors.

We have naturally emphasised support for the next generation, through projects that seek to provide young people with the skills and confidence needed to avoid sectarian violence. Importantly, the programmes have helped to give the people in the region a sense of ownership of the peace process by fostering a bottom-up approach and encouraging people to devise their own solutions to problems.

Yet, as we know, unrest and persistent disputes have produced setbacks in the ongoing peace process. The European Union, in taking the decision for a further round of Peace support for 2014-2020, has recognised that there is more work to be done. As we all know, the multiannual financial framework 2014-2020 and the regulatory framework for the programmes were agreed later than we would all have wished. The draft Peace Programme 2014-2020 was submitted by the Member States on 22 September and the Commission is currently preparing observations.

Under the new programme, among other things, creating opportunities for the young people of Northern Ireland will be essential. It is the young that we must help if we are to sow the seeds of a more tolerant society capable of abandoning the hatreds of the past. We in the Commission will not shy away from tackling sensitive issues and we will seek to ensure that all political parties buy into, and remain supportive of, the new programme.

It is important to recall that the Peace Programme, while financially the most important, has not been the only expression of EU support to the peace process. The EU has contributed almost EUR 350 million, over more than two decades, to peace and reconciliation under the International Fund for Ireland. An additional contribution was made from 2007 at the time when the devolved institutions were restored in Northern Ireland and when the outgoing President of the Commission, Mr Barroso, established an interdisciplinary task force within our institution to pursue opportunities for the region across the EU policy spectrum.

The Northern Ireland Task Force operates within the Commission under my responsibility as Commissioner for Regional Policy. It has expanded over the years and today is composed of representatives from 18 Commission directorates-general that can play a role in fostering social and economic development in a broader sense. Many of you will have seen the report which was launched at the beginning of this month outlining the activities under the task force over the seven years of its existence.

I was pleased to see the positive reaction to the report and the recognition of the role of the Commission from both the First Minister of Northern Ireland, Peter Robinson, and the deputy First Minister, Martin McGuinness. I propose to speak to President Juncker about the continuation of the activity of the task force in the new Commission.

 
  
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  Seán Kelly, on behalf of the PPE Group. – Madam President, as the rapporteur for the International Fund for Ireland in the last mandate, and as the leader of my group in the PPE, it gives me great pleasure to present this resolution on the peace process in Northern Ireland to Parliament this evening. I would particularly like to welcome the Commissioner, who is a former colleague, and to congratulate her on her elevation. It gives me great pleasure to be the first to address her.

Without doubt, the whole peace process in Northern Ireland can be looked at as a miracle, because people who probably hated one another, and who were willing to go by the gun rather than the ballot, turned away from that. As a result we got the Good Friday Agreement and the Northern Ireland Assembly and Executive Committee – a system which has worked very well in general over the last number of years. For that, the European Union deserves great credit, and people like Jim Nicholson who have been involved over all that period here in Parliament can testify to how important this was.

Now, however, there is an impasse – and I would call it an impasse rather than an end, because while there are issues which need to be addressed, we hope that this resolution will encourage all sides to come together and to do so in an open spirit. It was particularly great to welcome here over the last couple of weeks the deputy First Minister, Mr McGuinness and, today, the First Minister, Mr Robinson and the Leader of the DUP, Mr Nesbitt, who have all said that Europe is seen as a friend of Northern Ireland. It is in that spirit that we present this resolution, because the people of Northern Ireland want peace. I visited with my colleagues recently the peace projects which will be ongoing – as the Commissioner pointed out – over the next number of years, and on the ground people want these to continue. It is very important now that all political sides come together and resolve the legacy issues and other issues which are holding things back right now.

(The speaker agreed to take a blue-card question under Rule 162(8))

 
  
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  Bill Etheridge (EFDD), blue-card question. – I agree with everything you say, Mr Kelly, and we all wish for things to move forward. There are one or two legacy issues on which I would like to ask you – and everyone else to do with Northern Ireland – to join with me. Birmingham is in my constituency of the West Midlands, and the families of the Justice for the 21 still have no closure, they still do not know who committed that bombing and they still campaign regularly for it.

Would you join with me in helping to try and bring some closure for those families, please?

 
  
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  Seán Kelly (PPE), blue-card answer. – Yes, there are, as pointed out, legacy issues that need to be addressed. Some of these have been addressed over the last few years, and will continue to be addressed. I think this is part of the whole peace process, that people look at the situation, see what happened, and approach it with a view to getting peace and justice for everybody involved. It would not be right to say anything to condemn or be judgmental here in Parliament, but obviously at the end of the day, everybody wants peace, everybody deserves closure and everyone wants justice.

 
  
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  Claude Moraes, on behalf of the S&D Group. – Madam President, I also welcome the Commissioner, who is a prominent member of my political group. I was one of the authors of the joint motion for a resolution and am very proud to have done that for my group. We here in the European Parliament all want to see a lasting resolution to the conflict and a full implementation of the Good Friday Agreement. This joint motion for a resolution is a very good reminder that we have seen here a good example of conflict resolution from across the EU and beyond.

Of course this is a very special and important part of our history, for the United Kingdom and islands of the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland and Ireland. It is a very special moment, and we will hear from Mr Nicholson in a moment. Of course we have all worked with the parties of Ireland and Northern Ireland, and there is a very special relationship through my party, for example with Sinn Féin, working with families. We spoke about reconciliation, and all of us have had those practical examples of reconciliation and work.

All the same I think what we want to see, and what we have seen in this resolution, is that issues are dealt with, the overall progress has to be made in Northern Ireland and should not be underestimated or forgotten in this debate. While there have been numerous problems along the way requiring delicate political negotiation, the processes remain largely on track and we need to promote the progress made as a positive example of conflict resolution.

The lesson that can be drawn from the peace process is that the ability to empathise is essential. All sides to a conflict must be able to understand what the other side feels, what it wants and what it hopes for. Political representatives trying to negotiate an end to conflict must be able to place themselves in the shoes of their political opponents and of those opponents’ constituents. This helps to encourage compromise, and as we all know politics is the art of compromise. The role of the EU has been essential in this and the Commissioner has explained what that is. We are proud of that EU role and proud of what we can continue to contribute to the peace process in Northern Ireland.

 
  
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  James Nicholson, on behalf of the ECR Group. – Madam President, can I also welcome the Commissioner to Parliament. Commissioner, I look forward to working with you and I sincerely hope that – while I know that you have just taken up office – you will visit us very early next year to see the good work that has been done by Europe in Northern Ireland.

I think this debate tonight provides us with a welcome opportunity for the European Union to reaffirm its support for Northern Ireland. We have come a long way in Northern Ireland over the past number of decades and, while a tiny minority seek to bring terror and conflict back to our province, the people of Northern Ireland want to keep looking forward and to build a better society.

I welcome the commitment that the Commission continues to support the Northern Ireland Process, the various generations of Peace Programmes attest to this. The establishment of the Barroso task force was also an important sign of the European Unionʼs commitment to progress in Northern Ireland and we must understand that this process is not over yet; the Northern Ireland Task Force still has a valuable role to play and indeed it is promising that Commissioner Crețu appears to be holding the task force in high regard.

If one mistake was made about Northern Ireland at one stage many years ago, it was that people thought Northern Ireland was a done deal. Members of this House, it is far from a done deal and we ask for your continued support.

 
  
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  Marian Harkin, on behalf of the ALDE Group. – Madam President, I too would like to welcome the Commissioner to Parliament this evening.

If we look back to our own history, the primary objective in establishing the European Union was to end all wars within our borders and to find ways and means of living together. Now, for many people, especially those who have no memory of war, this may seem a very simple, a very straightforward, and sometimes even an inadequate objective because they have grown used to living in peaceful times. It is normal, everyday, and we expect it will always continue.

But peace, of course, is never a given. It is never fully and finally achieved anywhere. It is always a process and that is just as true in mainland Europe as it is in Northern Ireland. But the process of peace-building in Northern Ireland is still in its infancy. It is no longer a tiny new-born, but it still requires assistance and support. Like any toddler, it can be knocked over, and it can fall over. All it can do then is haul itself back up on its feet, and take the next step, because there is no other way.

The EU has acted as an honest broker and has funded a number of peace-building programmes. The last two programmes had as their priorities reconciling communities and contributing to a shared society, and the new peace funds will focus on young people and children.

And speaking of young people and children, in my opinion much greater emphasis needs to be placed on some form of integrated education system where we can ensure cross-community interaction between four-year olds – that would be a positive start.

 
  
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  Martina Anderson, on behalf of the GUE/NGL Group. – Madam President, three weeks ago the joint First Minister, Martin McGuiness, updated MEPs about the Irish Peace Process. The following week in Strasbourg, President Schulz made a statement about Parliament’s readiness to help.

As this resolution states, the ‘implementation of the peace process has reached an impasse’. It ‘urges all parties to the process to work constructively towards a lasting resolution of the conflict and the full implementation of the Good Friday Agreement and subsequent agreements’. I welcome the visit yesterday of the Unionist leaders, and I take that as a sign of their willingness to engage constructively.

The EU has been a source of support for the Irish Peace Process, whether through the Barroso Taskforce – which must continue – Peace funding or support from Commissioners Delors, Wulf-Mathies, Hübner, Hahn and now you, Commissioner Crețu, all of whom I would thank.

This resolution is the result of meaningful cooperation amongst MEPs from six political parties. The spirit of responsible and meaningful engagement which emanated from the drafting of this resolution needs to be reflected by all the parties at home and by the British and Irish Governments, as co-guarantors of the Good Friday Agreement.

Reconciliation may take a long time in Ireland, but I believe that it will come – once we all realise that we either lose together or win together.

 
  
  

Elnökváltás: GÁLL-PELCZ ILDIKÓ
alelnök asszony

 
  
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  Keith Taylor, on behalf of the Verts/ALE Group. – Madam President, many people outside Ireland think the Troubles are over. Although weapons have been decommissioned and ceasefires declared, the Irish peace process still has a way to go before real peace is achieved. In fact the peace process will always need reinvigoration and constant monitoring.

My son and his family have just moved to the North near Belfast so I have been able to observe at first-hand the underlying violent and criminal activities in the community which seem to pass largely unremarked and unchallenged. It seems to me that this antisocial activity is rooted in gangland crime, and social and economic deprivation, rather than any religious or cultural differences. There needs to be a process of refocusing hearts and minds away from violence and the Greens are happy to be part of this joint resolution.

 
  
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  Paul Nuttall, on behalf of the EFDD Group. – Madam President, I would like to remind the Commissioner, just days after the western world has celebrated 25 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall, that in Belfast security walls still stand and divide communities. We may have some form of peace but where is the prosperity?

In the same month that the UK was handed the GBP 1.7 billion bill by the European Union, Northern Ireland had to borrow GBP 100 million from the British Treasury in order to meet next year’s budget. Northern Ireland also has the highest rate of unemployment in the UK. May I therefore suggest that rather than the UK handing over GBP 55 million every single day to the European Union, a proportion of that money is spent in Northern Ireland where it is so badly needed.

Peace is great, and we can all agree on that, but I believe that we have left Northern Ireland in an economic wilderness following the end of this bloody war. Therefore in my opinion, all of the peace sponsors – the UK, the Irish Republic, the Americans, the European Union – have failed financially to assist lasting peace, and more still needs to be done.

(The speaker agreed to take a blue-card question under Rule 162(8))

 
  
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  Elmar Brok (PPE), Frage nach dem Verfahren der „blauen Karte“. – Frau Präsidentin! Herr Nuttall, schämen Sie sich nicht, Ihre interne Politik der Darlegung falscher ökonomischer Zahlen und Finanzzahlen, die verpflichtend zu zahlen sind, hier zu nutzen für interne Propaganda in Ihrem Land angesichts einer Diskussion um einen Friedensprozess, bei dem auch die Europäische Union in den einzelnen Jahrzehnten eine gute Rolle gespielt hat? Ich glaube, selbst so etwas für einen Friedensprozess zu benutzen, um internen britischen Wahlkampf zu machen, ist der wichtigen Frage des Friedens nicht gerecht geworden. Das ist einfach billig, mein Herr!

 
  
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  Paul Nuttall (EFDD), blue-card answer. – Mr Brok, the great point is that it is my country, not yours. That is the simple point in all this and the fact is that the Commissioner said earlier that EUR 350 million will be handed over in the next 10 years. That is actually six days in contributions that we as the UK hand over to the European Union.

Listen, I would love to leave the European Union, Mr Brok, because my country would be freer, more democratic and more prosperous than stuck inside this corrupt organisation. But let me just finish. The real point here is that the peace process is moving forward but equally, economically, Northern Ireland has stagnated and I believe that if we save money from not contributing to the European Union we can invest in Northern Ireland even more.

 
  
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  Diane Dodds (NI). - Madam President, the European Union has long been a friend of Northern Ireland and I am glad tonight to hear that this supportive role will continue in the coming months. Northern Ireland appreciates that support as we continue to build a peaceful and more prosperous society.

We have made tremendous strides forward in recent years towards a more normal, peaceful society. Republicans who once engaged in terrorism, having failed to achieve their goals, now share power with Unionists in a Northern Ireland Assembly, based on an exclusively peaceful and democratic basis. As we face threats from dissident Irish Republicanism we must again ensure that politics and the power of democracy wins through.

Our goal is to build a more prosperous, respectful Northern Ireland. Political stability, the effective functioning of our democratic institutions, is fundamental in building this reality. All recent surveys demonstrate that there is a greater level of support for Northern Ireland remaining an integral part of the United Kingdom than at any time in our history. Indeed, such support is based on strong support from both traditions in Northern Ireland.

As we continue with political talks aimed at resolving some of the outstanding problems, including the functionality of government, Unionism does so in a positive way. My party wants to normalise government structures, streamline decision-making and make good government in Northern Ireland easier to deliver.

(The speaker agreed to take a blue-card question under Rule 162(8))

 
  
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  Charles Tannock (ECR), blue-card question. – Mrs Dodds, you mentioned that the feelings in Northern Ireland are now very strong towards remaining in the United Kingdom, and I agree with that. But if Mr Nuttall were to have his way and the United Kingdom were to leave the European Union, would that, in your view, accelerate a reunification drive by the Catholic community wanting to join up with Dublin, and change the dynamics of the communities altogether?

 
  
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  Diane Dodds (NI), blue-card answer. – Thank you for your question. My reason for saying that there is now stronger support for Northern Ireland remaining an integral part of the Union is based on all the recent Life and Times Surveys that have been carried out independently in Northern Ireland. These show that more people in Northern Ireland identify with the Union, and more people in Northern Ireland identify as Northern Irish as well. That is an interesting development.

I do not believe that there is any desire or drive for the reunification of Ireland. I do not think this will come – certainly not by 2016 – and it will only be by the support and democratic will of the people. There is no indication that this is the case, and we look forward to being British citizens for a considerable time to come.

 
  
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  Esteban González Pons (PPE). - Señora Presidenta, celebramos la presentación de esta propuesta de Resolución, que pretende impulsar un proceso en Irlanda del Norte que parecía estar estancado. Como sociedad, tenemos la obligación de impulsar la paz, pero también como sociedad tenemos la obligación moral de no olvidar lo que ocurrió cuando lo que ocurrió fue terrible.

No podemos olvidar la naturaleza de lo que ocurrió en Irlanda del Norte. No podemos olvidar los motivos por los que se asesinaba, porque se asesinaba en nombre de naciones europeas y porque se asesinaba en nombre de religiones en las que creemos los europeos. No podemos olvidar que allí se vivió un enfrentamiento armado que dejó importantísimas heridas que no han cerrado todavía y tardarán en cerrar.

Sí, debemos animar los procesos de paz y aislar el radicalismo y tratar de incentivar el entendimiento, pero no podemos olvidar que, si no tenemos presente lo que ocurrió, las víctimas son las que acaban pagando siempre, ellas solas, el terrorismo.

Ha dicho la Comisaria ―y es verdad― que esta resolución afecta única y exclusivamente a Irlanda del Norte, pero a los españoles nos gustaría que la propuesta de Resolución dijese que queda apartado cualquier tipo de política de impunidad. Cuando no hay justicia, las víctimas pagan dos veces por lo que les hacen los terroristas.

En Irlanda del Norte ha habido miles de víctimas por un conflicto armado. En otros lugares, el terrorismo, donde no había conflicto armado sino paz, también ha causado miles de víctimas. Debemos hacer una carta europea de derechos de las víctimas, por la que los terroristas pidan perdón, por la que los terroristas indemnicen, por la que los terroristas cumplan sus penas, por la que los terroristas ayuden a esclarecer todos los delitos cometidos, y por la que todos nosotros reconozcamos con honor y con dignidad a las víctimas del terrorismo.

Señoras y señores, por la impunidad mueren las víctimas por segunda vez si los terroristas escapan. No hay impunidad en el mundo que pueda mantenerse ―tampoco en Irlanda del Norte―. En esta propuesta de Resolución, señora Presidenta, no hay referencia a las víctimas del terrorismo. Parece mentira, pero aún estamos a tiempo de evitarlo.

 
  
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  Ramón Jáuregui Atondo (S&D). - Señora Presidenta, señora Comisaria, yo creo que también hablando en español se puede y se debe ser respetuoso con la decisión que han tomado los grupos irlandeses en este proceso. Y creo que eso implica reconocer y recordar aquello que ya dijera Indira Gandhi: «No hay caminos para la paz, la paz es el camino».

Y la paz en el caso de Irlanda del Norte es un proceso largo, es un proceso difícil, y yo creo que tenemos que ayudar. Es un problema de toda Europa y tenemos que ayudar. Y si aquí hay un acuerdo de todos los grupos irlandeses, a mí me parece fantástico, y creo que tenemos que ser comprensivos con que ese proceso, ese camino largo y difícil para la paz, requiere ayuda, requiere apoyos políticos, discursos; requiere un relato de la verdad, requiere una reconciliación de las comunidades, requiere una reinserción de las personas.

Europa ayuda a Irlanda del Norte también con ayudas económicas, pero lo hace pensando que ese camino difícil de construir la paz, la convivencia reconciliada, requiere el apoyo de Europa como en otros procesos que se han podido producir también en Europa, como ha ocurrido, por ejemplo, con la conquista de la paz en el País Vasco.

La ayuda de la Unión Europea es muy importante, es vital, y creo que tenemos que reivindicar el consenso de los grupos políticos irlandeses aquí hoy para que Europa siga contribuyendo a ese camino largo y difícil de la paz.

 
  
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  Mark Demesmaeker (ECR). - Een woord van steun van iemand die niet van Ierland is maar er wel heel graag komt. Gisteravond was ik nog op een herdenking naar aanleiding van Wapenstilstand in Diksmuide. Diksmuide, een stad in Flanders Fields, werd het symbool van de zinloosheid van geweld, een symbool en een schreeuw ook om verzoening, voor vrede, dialoog, respect en vreedzame oplossingen. Die begrippen hebben geleid tot vrede in Ierland.

Met veel bewondering hebben wij ook in Vlaanderen gekeken naar de moed en het engagement van politieke leiders van het Ierse en het Britse volk om dat Goede Vrijdagakkoord te sluiten. En de betrokkenheid van de Europese Unie hebben wij altijd toegejuicht.

Maar jammer genoeg is vrede nooit vanzelfsprekend. De hindernissen die haar nu bedreigen, maken ons ongerust. Daarom reken ik erop dat wij samen in Europa verder werk kunnen maken van duurzame vrede. Wij allen in Europa zijn gebaat bij het succes van het Noord-Ierse vredesproces. Het moet dienen als voorbeeld voor andere onopgeloste conflicten buiten Europa, maar ook op Europese bodem. Ik denk daarbij ook aan het conflict en het vredesproces in Baskenland.

 
  
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  Catherine Bearder (ALDE). - Madam President, the people of Northern Ireland have come a long way since the 1997 Good Friday Agreement. The terrible violence in society has become a thing of the past and political institutions are now in place with representatives of all the parties to the Troubles. As Winston Churchill put it so well, ‘jaw-jaw is better than war-war’ and in Northern Ireland talking together has been the way towards peace. Huge steps have been made by individuals and organisations from all parts of a torn society to work together for an inclusive and lasting peace. It is their peace on their terms.

But there are still outstanding issues that are getting in the way of full implementation of the peace agreement and these issues must be tackled as soon as possible. Continued divisions within communities remain despite efforts to address them, particularly in the areas of schools and housing. Socio-economic problems are pushing young people towards a life of crime, resulting in anti-social behaviour that other communities would call vandalism; but with fighting so raw in the memory, these young people are drawn down the route of violence.

The EU’s Northern Ireland Peace Programme has played, and continues to play, an important role in promoting reconciliation between communities, and over the next five years the EU must continue to help lay the foundations for a true and lasting peace. EU regional funding has also supported economic development. We must thank all those involved with these programmes and we commend their efforts. By reconciling communities, giving hope and opportunities, talking, planning and working together, we can and must help to build a shared society for all the peoples of Northern Ireland.

 
  
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  Liadh Ní Riada (GUE/NGL). - A Uachtaráin, aithnítear an próiseas síochána i dTuaisceart na hÉireann ar fud an domhain. Is próiseas inspioráideach agus dóchasach é go háirithe dóibh siúd atá ag déanamh iarracht a gcoimhlint féin a réiteach.

Cé go bhfuil dul chun cinn déanta, tá gá an próiseas a neartú agus caithfear déileáil leis na rudaí nach bhfuil réitithe agus aghaidh a thabhairt ar gach gné de na comhaontuithe éagsúla.

Tá sé thar a bheith am bheith dáiríre faoi Acht na Gaeilge. Níl aon dabht ann ach go bhfuil easpa tuisceana agus aineolas ann i dtaobh thábhacht na Gaelainne inár gcultúr. Caithfidh comhionannas a bheith lárnach i ngach gné dár saol.

Ba chúis áifeála é dúinn nár glacadh le tograí Richard Haass mar gur iarracht a bhí ann teacht ar chomhréiteach. Ach le tacaíocht Pharlaimint na hEorpa, táimid muiníneach go féidir linn bogadh ar aghaidh le chéile agus todhchaí dhóchasach a chruthú do mhuintir na hÉireann ar fad.

 
  
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  Jill Evans (Verts/ALE). - Madam President, in 2012 the European Union won the Nobel Peace Prize, and I quote: ʽfor over six decades contributed to the advancement of peace and reconciliation, democracy and human rights in Europeʼ. Many people scoffed at that at the time, but I do believe that the EU can play a much greater role internationally in peace and conflict prevention, and I know my constituents in Wales want to see us doing that.

Despite many brave and positive steps over the past years the peace process in Northern Ireland, as we have heard, still has some way to go. There have been huge achievements in ending violence and bringing different parties together around the table. Tackling the causes of conflict to build a sustainable peace and a just society takes long-term focused and sustained effort. That is why the EU Peace Programmes and the Commission task force have been so valuable. This is the very time that we in this Parliament can and must show our collective will for lasting peace in Northern Ireland and offer our practical support to achieve that.

 
  
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  Deirdre Clune (PPE). - Madam President, I would like to thank the Commissioner for her statement and for outlining the funding that has been provided to support the peace process in Northern Ireland. Indeed, I had the pleasure of visiting some of those projects myself recently with my colleagues, to see at first hand the value that this funding has provided in terms of cross-community support. This is support particularly for young people, people who have become victims of the violence for whatever reason, whether physical victims or victims who got sucked into the conflict and ended up being in prison with convictions, people who if they had their time again would maybe not be in that position. There is some very positive work going on on the ground there and it is very gratifying to see it.

I welcome this week the intensification of talks in Belfast to reach agreement on the key issues that are outstanding in the peace process. There is an impasse or a stalling, but that is not to take away from the very good work that has been done. The Irish Government will continue to work with the British Government, and indeed with all parties, with a view to achieving a comprehensive agreement for the benefit of all citizens of Northern Ireland and indeed for the people across the island of Ireland.

The ongoing efforts to reach an overall agreement will have to address the past and its legacy and only then can we provide restitution to victims and to their survivors. I want to acknowledge the progress that has been made to date from all parties to the talks. There is an understanding that we have so much to gain by working together, and so much to lose if we do not, and I think that has been echoed across the floor here tonight. We are making progress, we continue to make progress. I would like to thank all Members for their continued support, and call on all parties to work together for the benefit of the island of Ireland.

 
  
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  Seb Dance (S&D). - Madam President, I never thought to hear the words ʽIt is my country, not yoursʼ screamed across this Chamber and one wonders what Mr Nuttall might think of the intervention of the United States in the Northern Ireland peace process, which was instrumental.

Labour MEPs agree with the motion for a resolution and that all aspects of the Good Friday Agreement be implemented as quickly as possible.

For me it was an enormous pleasure and privilege to work for a Labour Secretary of State for Northern Ireland at a time when a crucial part of the devolution and peace process was delivered: the devolution of criminal justice and policing powers. To get to that point required enormous amounts of effort from all concerned, but the effort was worth it, and the key part of that success was ensuring that everyone had a stake and a say in how their communities were run.

A whole new generation is now emerging since the Good Friday Agreement was signed and if this generation is to know nothing of the hatred, bombs, fear and bullets of the past, then we have duty to ensure that this process does not now come to a halt. The Northern Ireland peace process can show the world the benefits of politics in achieving peace, but the impasse which has been mentioned cannot continue or tomorrowʼs political leaders will have less incentive to take it up.

We must do all we can to ensure that the new generation finds that the political process is infinitely preferable to the alternative. This requires effort and a willingness to sit down with your political opponents and I urge all parties to invest politically, emotionally and financially, and to deliver for this and future generations in this most beautiful part of Europe.

(The speaker agreed to take a blue-card question under Rule 162(8))

 
  
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  James Nicholson (ECR), blue-card question. – Mr Dance, can I take this opportunity to thank you – I assume you are a new Member as I have not met you before – for your contribution tonight. It has been very useful.

Can you also accept from me that the people of Northern Ireland are terribly and deeply grateful for all the help and support that Members of this House has given. They have never taken sides in the debate in Northern Ireland and that is what is so specific about the strength of this House. And yes, Mr Brok, you are right – Mr Nuttall is not here – I would not be convinced that the British Government would send that money to Northern Ireland. So I will wait to see what happens.

Can I put some facts straight? I would like to pay tribute here tonight to Jacques Delors and to Dr Monika Wulf-Mathies, who was the first Commissioner for Regional Affairs who actually took this peace process forward and she contributed a great deal to that as well.

 
  
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  elnök asszony. - Szeretném kérni a képviselőtársaimat, hogy a kék kártyát arra használják, ami a funkciója: kérdést tegyenek fel és viszontválaszt kapjanak. Képviselő úr! Kíván reagálni erre a hozzászólásra, hiszen kérdés nem hangzott el?

 
  
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  Seb Dance (S&D), blue-card answer. – I concur.

 
  
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  Jana Žitňanská (ECR) - Aj napriek podpísaniu Dohody z Veľkého piatku sme, žiaľ, opakovane svedkami sporadických, no neutíchajúcich protestov, demonštrácií či násilností. Preto opätovne spustený mierový proces v Severnom Írsku musí smerovať k čo najskoršiemu vyriešeniu konfliktu, lebo len spoločným dialógom vieme dospieť k úplnej eliminácii násilností. Uznesenie Európskeho parlamentu preto plne podporujem a verím, že konštruktívne pokračovanie mierového procesu bude nasledovať bez ďalších násilností. Stanovené kroky by totiž nielenže prispeli k hospodárskemu a sociálnemu rozvoju Severného Írska, ale ponúkajú jeho obyvateľom víziu bezpečnej a prosperujúcej budúcnosti.

 
  
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  Tonino Picula (S&D). - Gospodine predsjedniče, uz dobrodošlicu povjerenici želio bih u raspravi o mirovnom procesu u Sjevernoj Irskoj spomenuti još dva važna sporazuma kojima su zaključeni sukobi u druge dvije europske države. Daytonski i Erdutski sporazumi su označili kraj rata u Bosni i Hercegovini i mojoj domovini Hrvatskoj.

Sumirajući njihove sličnosti i razlike rekao bih da su oba sporazuma donijeli mir, ali Erdutski je sporazum osigurao punu integraciju govornog područja, ustavno-pravni poredak zemlje, dok Dayton nažalost nije omogućio izgradnju jedinstvene i funkcionalne države. Erdutskim sporazumom Hrvatske i Srbije, hrvatsko područje Podunavlja mirno je integrirano uz posredovanje međunarodne zajednice. To je bio svojevrstan uvod u europsku budućnost Hrvatske.

Njegov uspjeh, osim mirne reintegracije, predstavlja činjenica da je preko dvije trećine srpskog stanovništva ostalo živjeti na spomenutom području. Zato želim da se duh Erdutskog, kao i Sporazuma na Veliki Petak, tih primjera win-win koncepta u područjima pogođenim dugogodišnjim sukobima odrazi u daljnjim dogovorima između npr. Beograda i Prištine ili zašto ne Moskve i Kijeva.

 
  
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  Marc Tarabella (S&D). - Madame la Présidente, Madame la Commissaire, j'ai tenu à participer à ce débat parce qu'aujourd'hui, quand on entend parler de communautés religieuses, ou à base religieuse ou communautaire, qui ne se supportent pas, cela se passe à Bagdad. Or, quand j'étais enfant, que j'avais dix ans et que je commençais à m'intéresser à l'actualité, les deux villes dont j'entendais souvent parler étaient Londonderry et Belfast. Je me rejouis évidemment de ne plus en entendre beaucoup parler. Pourquoi? Parce que ce processus de paix a tout de même été couronné de succès jusqu'à aujourd'hui.

Cela a été rappelé tout à l'heure, une minorité voudrait que les conflits reprennent. Voilà pourquoi nous avons le devoir de soutenir évidemment cette résolution, mais surtout de soutenir ce processus long et difficile.

Je voudrais juste conclure en disant que la paix n'est jamais acquise définitivement. C'est toujours un ouvrage qu'il faut remettre sur le métier, quand bien même il y a eu des avancées qu'il faut saluer. Heureusement, en Irlande du Nord, la situation s'est apaisée, car elle était inacceptable – c'était proche de chez nous.

Il est vrai que nous sommes issus de vingt-huit pays différents mais nous sommes touchés par ce qui se passe chez nos voisins. Voilà pourquoi, très clairement, il faut poursuivre ce processus et que la Commission continue ses efforts. C'est parfait. J'espère que cela ira dans le bon sens et que ces conflits ne reprendront pas malgré les velléités d'une minorité de citoyens.

 
  
 

Catch the eye”

 
  
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  Mairead McGuinness (PPE). - Madam President, I would like to thank the Commissioner for outlining the important role of the European Union in the Northern Ireland peace process, and I would also like to thank colleagues who are not from the island of Ireland who have participated in this important debate. It has been a very respectful debate – as it should be – because it is about the lives and well-being of people.

What I would like to stress here is that while we have the word ‘impasse’ in our resolution, we do not have the word ‘collapse’. What we are talking about here is making sure that this is only an impasse and that there is a political responsibility on the parties in Northern Ireland and on the parties in the Republic of Ireland and the United Kingdom to get us out of this impasse. I grew up close to the border with Northern Ireland. I woke up every day as a child hearing about terrible deeds – children, mothers, fathers being murdered; awful, awful stories. My children do not know of that Ireland, and I do not want to see that Ireland ever return.

 
  
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  Izaskun Bilbao Barandica (ALDE). - Señora Presidenta, quiero sumarme al apoyo a esta propuesta de Resolución porque creo en la verdad, en la justicia, en la reparación, en el respeto a los derechos fundamentales de todos y todas, y en el diálogo y la reconciliación para poder resolver los conflictos violentos. Valoro positivamente la implicación europea en este proceso, porque es coherente con los valores fundacionales de nuestra Unión y porque reconoce que un foco de inestabilidad en el corazón de Europa nunca es un problema interno de un Estado miembro, sino una oportunidad para que la solidaridad y la cooperación entre todos nosotros ayude a resolverlo.

Por ello, el Presidente del País Vasco, Iñigo Urkullu, trabaja ya con los gestores del programa PEACE para que la experiencia adquirida en Irlanda del Norte nos ayude también a cerrar definitivamente en Euskadi la triste y muy negativa etapa de violencia que hemos padecido. Pido a las instituciones europeas que tengan con Euskadi el mismo grado de interés, atención e implicación que en Irlanda del Norte y se conviertan en amigos de Euskadi, porque también lo necesitamos.

 
  
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  Josu Juaristi Abaunz (GUE/NGL). - Señora Presidenta, creo que esta propuesta de Resolución es muy importante. Contiene los puntos fundamentales, recogidos en los acuerdos, que deben ser desarrollados e implementados en su totalidad y que aún no lo han sido, especialmente en los seis condados ocupados del noreste de Irlanda.

Quiero felicitar a la señora Creţu por la disposición expresada tanto en este debate como en la audiencia ante la Comisión de Desarrollo Regional. Ha mencionado que no van a dejar de abordar los temas sensibles y de apoyar el proceso de paz en su conjunto. La implicación europea es fundamental en el camino hacia la paz y la resolución de los conflictos políticos existentes también en territorio europeo.

Esta propuesta de Resolución, consensuada también por grupos parlamentarios muy diversos, nos cuenta las cosas tal y como son e insta a todas las partes, también a este Parlamento, a abordar los problemas de frente para poder resolverlos. Ese es el único modo.

Solo me queda animar también a este Parlamento y a la Comisión Europea a implicarse y a contribuir del mismo modo a la paz y a la resolución del conflicto en Euskal Herria, en el País Vasco. Ganamos todos y ese es, desde luego, nuestro compromiso.

 
  
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  Bill Etheridge (EFDD). - Madam President, I want to express my admiration for all the people and politicians of Ireland, from all different sides, who have managed to show the maturity and amazing strength of character to bring that awful conflict to a point where we can start moving past it. I really admire this.

What I would like to say, seeing how far things have now progressed, is: please, we need to have final justice on one or two things. Some people need to know what happened, if nothing else. I refer again to the Justice for the 21 Group who are the families of those killed in the Birmingham pub bombings some 40 years ago. They still do not know what happened to their relatives. They still do not know! Nobody will come forward with the truth on this. I implore anyone out there, all of the good people of Ireland, all the politicians, please, if you will not speak to me, speak to Justice for the 21. Please let us help these people get some closure and find out what happened. I really, genuinely wish you well, it is a wonderful achievement in Ireland. God bless you all, well done.

 
  
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  elnök asszony. - Dodds képviselő asszonynak mondom, hogy nincs lehetőség kékkártyára a „catch the eye” eljárás során, és Ön már kapott szót, az eljárásban hozzászólt, úgyhogy nincs lehetőség arra, hogy újra megadjam a szót. Kérem, ezt értse meg!

 
  
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  Ivan Jakovčić (ALDE). - Gospodine predsjedniče, mir nema alternative, dijalog nema alternative. Različitost življenja, bogatstvo je u ustvari živjeti u različitosti, snaga tolerancije, sve su to termini koje sam upotrebljavao devedesetih godina kada je na području gdje živim bilo kao što znate velikih ratova. I danas postoje vjerske, jezične netrepeljivosti, ali vjerujem u hrabrost ljudi u Sjevernoj Irskoj.

Vjerujem u hrabrost ovih naših europskih institucija koje su puno učinile za Sjevernu Irsku i vjerujem da upravo ova rezolucija ima tu namjeru da nagradi različitost, da nagradi hrabrost ljudi koji su za toleranciju i da nagradi sve one osobe koje žele mir i dijalog u Sjevernoj Irskoj. Zato s punim srcem pozivam sve u Sjevernoj Irskoj da budu uz nas i da budu uz ovu rezoluciju.

 
  
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  Corina Creţu, Member of the Commission. - Madam President, first of all I would like to express my appreciation of the comments made and to thank Parliament for the opportunity to speak on behalf of the Commission in this very important debate.

As most Members have highlighted, the EU’s Peace Programme for Northern Ireland is a very important programme. It is a unique programme within the family of EU structural funds. I agree with all of you that consolidating peace and reconciliation also means promoting growth and jobs. This is what we are doing through this programme – creating positive prospects, especially for the younger generation, because we need to stabilise the economy and to assist its recovery.

As many of you have said, it is, of course, very painful to see that at the time of the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall we still have walls dividing communities in the city of Belfast. The European project has played its role and over the course of 60 years we have shown that people and nations are able to come together across communities and borders. That is why the leaders of Northern Ireland and the Governments of the UK and Ireland can count on the full support of the Commission – and on me personally – in their efforts to resolve outstanding issues and ensure lasting peace and prosperity.

I am looking forward to visiting the region in the near future. This is a personal priority for me and the new Commission. I will not avoid addressing the Basque problem, as mentioned by some Members, and if I may I will now speak in my own language – because it is a Latin language – for the Spanish Members.

Membră a Comisiei. - Comisia Europeană a acționat în cazul Irlandei de Nord la cererea guvernelor, a celor două guverne, UK și Northern Ireland, ceea ce nu este cazul în ceea ce privește problema bască. Deci au apelat la Comisia Europeană ca un catalizator și un facilitator în eforturile de pace dezvoltate de ambele părți implicate.

Dar aș vrea să subliniez faptul, și vă pot oferi foarte multe date concrete, în ce măsură Comisia a contribuit în mod substanțial la dezvoltarea și modernizarea economiei basce în cadrul politicii de coeziune, mai ales în ceea ce privește sprijinul inovării, reindustrializării procesului – dumneavoastră știți foarte bine că Bilbao este un oraș aproape construit cu fonduri europene și modernizat – și bineînțeles, în crearea de locuri de muncă sustenabile în regiunea bască.

Deci, ca să fie creat un task force, trebuie să fie o cerere către Consiliu, și Consiliul este cel care decide asupra creării. În urma recomandării Consiliului, Comisia poate crea un task force la cererea a două părți, a două guverne implicate.

This is my first appearance in this House and it is very strange for me to come from the other side of the Chamber. Thank you very much for all your support.

(Applause)

 
  
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  elnök asszony. - 1 állásfoglalásra irányuló indítványt juttattak el hozzám, melyet az eljárási szabályzat 123. cikkének (2) bekezdésével összhangban nyújtottak be.

A vitát lezárom.

A szavazásra 2014.11.13-án, csütörtökön kerül sor.

Írásbeli nyilatkozatok (162. cikk)

 
  
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  Alessia Maria Mosca (S&D), per iscritto. L'Unione europea ha da sempre svolto un ruolo importante nel sostenere l'attuazione del processo di pace in Irlanda, in particolare attraverso l'elaborazione di un programma specifico, PEACE, che mira a rafforzare i progressi verso una società pacifica e stabile e a promuovere la riconciliazione mediante il sostegno ad attività e progetti che contribuiscano a riappacificare le comunità e a favorire una società condivisa da tutti.

Esprimiamo, quindi, una forte preoccupazione per la fase di stallo raggiunta in questi mesi nell'attuazione del processo di pace. Intendiamo esortare tutte le parti coinvolte nel processo a lavorare in modo costruttivo ai fini di una soluzione durevole del conflitto. Da parte nostra non possiamo non accogliere con favore l'iniziativa di organizzare colloqui tra tutte le parti, incoraggiandole a impegnarsi in questi colloqui con spirito positivo per risolvere tutte le questioni ancora sul tavolo.

 
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