Strasbourg, 28 September 2005
- Mr President, Honourable colleagues, whatever maybe the occasion for discussing Turkey, it is clear that the debate immediately turns political and goes beyond its juridical framework, as is happening now.
All political Groups have signed together, an important compromise agreement which expresses a united view, but this united view had to sacrifice some elements of accuracy.
In my opinion, the document is extremely severe with regard to our requirements from Turkey, and such an approach does not help our Greek nor Cypriot friends in becoming more flexible, nor does it help them in finding a solution to this situation, where they are greatly and largely responsible. We cannot forget who refused the referendum, neither can we forget the reasons for which we find ourselves in this situation. I am simply stating these in order to put the situation in its proper framework.
A country about to become a Member State prevented a European Commissioner from appearing on State television and this Commissioner declared having been betrayed in the confidence and answer given by the Greek-Cypriot authorities. I am saying this because we are not giving a favour to our Cypriot friends if we do not remind them of their responsibility with regard the present situation.
Lastly, for those like us, who believe and hope for a political Europe, with political, economic and moral strength, it is clearly surprising that we ourselves do not rejoice with the success that our "soft" European power is obtaining in Turkey. It is possible that we ourselves ignore that several taboos have recently fallen off, that in Turkey Armenia is now openly discussed with the support of the Government where the Prime Minister and the Minister for Foreign Affairs have supported open debates. The Kurdish taboo has fallen off - just think of the last intervention of the Prime Minister on the errors committed in the past, assuming responsibility with the intervention in Diyarbakir. These are the successes of a political Europe, of our capacity to adhere with institutions and with open and respectful systems of democracy.
It is true that we have the right to be critical, however we do not have the right to be cynical. The early defeat of the European constitution in view of the French and Dutch refusals left the continent without any boundaries of an ideal maturation, where sentiments stagnate and cynicism prevail - and this is not about politics.
Politics is not achieved this way, nor is federalism achieved this way. This is not the way to obtain a liberal Europe that we all adhere to as a pole of attraction for freedom, for rule of law and for democracy.