Pöttering under cross fire of questions

Article published on Dec. 14, 2007
community published
Article published on Dec. 14, 2007
European Parliament's President Hans-Gert Pöttering spoke of challenges facing Europe at the Brussels summit on a press conference during the 14.
12 European Council, commenting on Kosovo, Turkey Darfur and China

Pottering_in_the_Council2.JPGFocusing primarily on long-term issues, he welcomed also certain achievements, such as the expansion of the Schengen zone and highlighted EP’s support to the Galileo project. “Parliament has always supported the Commission in this” he said.

Commenting on the future Kosovo status, he diplomatically said that European Union member states should ensure that the province’s prospected independence is linked to security. Having called on EU leaders to reach an agreement on dealing with Kosovo issue in his earlier address, he added that he sees a place in the EU both for Serbia and Kosovo in the future.

Asked to react to the alleged massacre of Armenians in the early XX century with reference to the Turkish entry into the EU, Pöttering said that European Parliament gives special attention to human rights issues, and will “not remain silent,”. He continued, that “it is Turkey that wants to join the EU. Therefore it has to respect Europe’s system of values”, with human rights being at it’s “heart”. In this context he reminded of his concern and support for providing assistance to Darfur, which he voiced in his earlier speech to the member states delegations.

Responding to a journalist suggestion that EU has lately shifted its focus from China, Pöttering said that “every honeymoon has to end eventually”, but EU wishes to “work closely with China” on issues such as e.g. climate change.

Wladyslaw Manteuffel