Dr Charles Tannock

Member of the European Parliament for London

Speeches - 2003

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Arms Embargo on China - Delivered in Plenary, December 17th 2003
It is essential that the EU engages constructively with China as the most populated country on earth and - in terms of certain purchasing parity measures - as an economy that is due to overtake my country, the United Kingdom, and perhaps even Germany in the next two decades. China is a vast country with a trained and productive workforce, but it is not a democracy and remains essentially an authoritarian, one-party, Communist State - although Marxism plays little part in its political or economic thinking at present.

Northern Cyprus Election, Chechen Terrorism - Delivered in Plenary, December 15th 2003
Firstly I would like to refer to the tragedy of today's dead-heat parliamentary election result in Turkish Northern Cyprus which is insufficient to oust Mr Denktaş, who actively opposes the generous US Annan plan to reunify the island in time to join the European Union next May. Can you appeal to Mr Denktaş to reopen negotiations urgently and accept that the huge swing against him in the election indicates a desire by his impoverished people for a settlement on the island?

The Proposed EU Constitution - Delivered in Plenary, December 3rd 2003
The British Conservatives - i.e. the European Democrats - do not support the idea that the proposed European Union constitution as discussed currently at the IGC in Rome is merely a tidying-up exercise. We believe it significantly alters the balance of power between Member States and the European Union institutions.

Wider Europe - Delivered in Plenary, November 19th 2003
When the wider Europe neighbourhood concept was first floated, I was largely sceptical of the bunching together of countries as disparate as Libya and Russia in one document.

State visit of President Bush - Delivered in Plenary, November 17th 2003
The speech by the Greek Communist Member who condemned the USA as an imperialist occupier of Iraq is a little rich from a party which in its day supported the USSR's invasion and crushing of the Hungarian uprising in 1956, the Czechoslovak 'Prague Spring' in 1968 and the Afghan invasion in 1979.

Main aspects and basic choices of CFSP - Delivered in Plenary, October 22nd 2003
This is an excellent attempt by Mr Brok to survey all the controversies and trouble spots of the world. The document has positive things to say on the wider Europe debate and new neighbours and, in particular, on the need to acknowledge the potential for full EU membership in future for those neighbours which are clearly European, namely Ukrane, Moldova and Belarus.

Forthcoming EU-Russian summit - Delivered in Plenary, October 22nd 2003
The summit on 6 November will be different because not only is Russia currently the EU's fifth largest trading partner, but from next May it will be its neighbour.

The Ukraine and the EU - Speech to Ukrainian Parliament, October 1st 2003
The European Commission recently published a paper aimed at bringing some coherence to the EU's relations with its Eastern and Southern neighbours following Enlargement in 2004, and to achieve a number of desirable objectives including an increase in economic growth and external trade, and the creation of an enlarged area of political stability through a 'ring of friends' with whom the EU enjoys co-operative relations.

Proposal for a Constitutional Treaty and IGC - Speech to Ukrainian Parliament, October 1st 2003
The IGC will convene this week to discus the document of the draft EU Constitution which has taken 16 months to prepare and has its origins in mandate from the December 2001 Laeken summit which set-up the Convention to prepare this and was presented by the Convention President Valery Giscard dEstaing in June at the Thessaloniki summit.

Middle East - Delivered in Plenary, September 24th 2003
The tragedy of the Arab-Israeli conflict is never too far from our minds or TV screens, and the carefully constructed roadmap now seems to have virtually imploded. Serious mistakes have been made. Clearly the Palestinian Authority was unable or unwilling to rein in the excesses of Islamic and other terrorist groups, as we have seen in the Hamas suicide bomb a month ago in Jerusalem.

Terrorist bombing in Bombay - Delivered in Plenary, September 4th 2003
As the founder of the European Parliament Friends of India group, this resolution is intended as a gesture of solidarity with the people and government of India against the mindless violence perpetrated by a small number of fanatics drawn from Islamic extremists.

EU Israel trade relations - Delivered in Plenary, September 4th 2003
The first EC-Israel Free Trade Agreement was signed in 1975 and for 20 years thelocation of exported products was never questioned. However, now it is being used as a political instrument to bash Israel and the settlements.

EU Cuba relations - Delivered in Plenary, September 3rd 2003
Cuban-EU relations, which had been steadily improving in recent years, have recently been plunged into crisis by President Castro's arbitrary and provocative decisions to imprison 70 dissidents and human rights activists and carry out executions.

Call for a ban on Hamas - Delivered in Plenary, September 1st 2003
You have already mentioned the tragic global spate of terrorist bomb attacks against innocent civilians in Jerusalem and Baghdad on 19 August 2003, and the gruesome attack in Bombay on 25 August 2003. Now we have Najaf.

The Italian Presidency - Delivered in Plenary, July 3rd 2003
I wish to begin by thanking the House for allowing the President-in-Office to present his important message uninterrupted. I am a great Italophile and a friend of Alleanza nazionale and of Forza Italia in Parliament.

Roadmap to peace in the Middle East - Delivered in Plenary, June 18th 2003
A few weeks ago we saw the publication of the long-awaited U.S. Road-map to peace in the Middle East, a document fully supported by the rest of the international community, including the Quartet of the US, EU, Russia and the UN.

Situation in Aceh province of Indonesia - Delivered in Plenary, June 5th 2003
Indonesia is currently engaging in its largest military operation since the invasion of East Timor in 1975, against the GAM rebels in Aceh following the breakdown of a five-month-old cease-fire, and already there are reports of widespread suffering and human rights abuses.

Standards in animal transport - Delivered in Plenary, June 4th 2003
I just wish to thank all those Members of the House, across all nationalities, delegations and groups, who signed my written declaration. It is a mark of a civilised society how it treats its animals.

Speech at Launch - EP Friends of India, May 27th 2003
Thank You all for coming. Baroness Nicholson as Vice-President for the ELDR sends her apologies as does Mr Marsett as V-P for the GUE but I welcome John Hume for the PSE, Jose Ribeiro Castro for the UEN, Oliver Dupuis for the Non-Inscrits and Jan Dhaene for the Greens as well as my PSE CoPresident Jo Leinen. Mr Prem Sharma with Maria Carrilho are our two Patrons

SARS, Taiwan and the World Health Organization - Delivered in Plenary, May 15th 2003
It remains to be seen how serious the growing threat of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome will become, but Taiwan has already demonstrated a willingness to respond expeditiously to the outbreak, in full cooperation with the WHO. This contrasts favourably with the abysmal response of the authorities in Beijing, whose first response was to find refuge in denial, misinformation and obfuscation.

New Neighbours Initiative and the Wider Europe - Delivered in Plenary, May 14th 2003
It is important to establish the EU's relations with its new neighbours, following the enlargement through a zone of prosperity and a ring of friends with whom the EU enjoys close, peaceful and cooperative economic relations.

Human rights in Cuba - Delivered in Plenary, April 10th 2003
Castro's Cuba has tried to present itself to the world as a model of anti-colonialism and social justice. In reality hundreds of people died in Cuban prisons in the early years of the revolution, and many more have been imprisoned or had their lives ruined for daring to speak the truth.

No need for Strasbourg Sessions - Delivered in Plenary, April 9th 2003
This amendment, which opposes Strasbourg sessions, is consistent with the Treaty obligations, enables Parliament to choose the place of its own sitting for once, and puts a stop to this travelling circus backwards and forwards between here and Brussels.

EU Candidate Countries - Delivered in Plenary, April 9th 2003
We stand today at the brink of an historic process as we vote to finally reunite in democracy, peace and prosperity our divided continent of Europe, with the accession of ten new members. The EU will now have a GDP of over US$ 10 trillion.

Liberation of Iraq - Delivered in Plenary, April 8th 2003
I too would like to ask you to send a message to the President of the United States, Mr Bush, and to the United Kingdom Prime Minister, Mr Blair, recognising the remarkable achievement that, after only two weeks of war, we are now beginning to see the long-suffering Iraqi people being freed from one of the bloodiest tyrants in the world today, and with such a low level of civilian and military casualties, all things considered, in view of the enormity of the task involved.

Spring Council Resolution on Iraq - Delivered in Plenary, March 26th 2003
There is no split between Europe and the USA, as it is claimed. Instead, the split is between France and Germany, principally, and 19 other pro-US new European governments. Efforts must now be made to tone down the rhetoric on both sides of the Atlantic. I salute the courage of EU candidate countries who have backed the coalition with specialist forces.

Sharia law in Nigeria - Delivered in Plenary, March 13th 2003
Amina Lawal, an illiterate 31-year old Nigerian woman, is preparing to face death for the crime of adultery. She claims she was raped by a friend and subsequently she bore a child. The sentence of death by stoning, which is carried out by burying her alive up to her neck and then inviting onlookers to stone her, was delayed until after the birth of her child. There are claims by locals that members of the local Sharia Court which tried her, have themselves had adulterous relationships which on occasions have resulted in the birth of children.

Iraq - Delivered in Plenary, March 12th 2003
Many claim the split over Iraq is between Europe and the USA. However, in reality it is between France and Germany and 19 other pro-US new European governments. France and Germany have alienated America, undermined the UN and NATO and exposed the difficulties of achieving the CFSP. France and Russia will be judged harshly for using their UN veto for cynical, commercial interests in a second resolution, sending all the wrong signals to Baghdad.

Wider Europe - Delivered in Plenary, March 11th 2003
I strongly believe that at least offering Ukraine, Belarus and Moldova prospects of potential long-term membership will encourage the necessary reforms needed in their economies, their systems of governance and human rights and also support those politicians and parties who share our values and aspirations.

Committee of inquiry into funding of Palestinian authority - Delivered in Plenary, March 10th 2003
I was deeply disappointed that the initiative to launch a parliamentary committee of inquiry into the allegations of misuse of EU funds by the Palestinian Authority was not even discussed at the meeting of the Conference of Presidents last Thursday.

EU-Belarus relations - Delivered in Plenary, February 11th 2003
Belarus is the last surviving European bastion of neo-soviet ideology. It is now politically important, as, in 2004, it will become a neighbouring country of the European Union. One can say in its favour that, unlike some of its neighbours, it remains free of inter-ethnic strife and has unilaterally renounced its nuclear arsenal, as well as much of its conventional weaponry. It is also rather surprisingly still enjoying an economic growth rate of 4%.

Authorisation of generic medicines at WTO level - Delivered in Plenary, February 10th 2003
I will not bash America because the whole set of international trading regulations on medicines is in a mess. Unfortunately, once drug companies - even with the best intention to alleviate suffering - allowed their products and intellectual property rights to be semi-confiscated under the guise of becoming available on affordable terms in developing countries, it was inevitable that all sorts of complications would arise.

Health in an Enlarged EU - Kangaroo seminar on Health and EU Enlargement , February 5th 2003
Enlargement brings many challenges to the rest of the EU. An equivalent level of health care and public health standards will be one more to add to the long list. Central and Eastern European Countries, although under their former communist regimes had relatively sophisticated health systems reflected by the still large number of doctors they possess per capita, have over the last decade fallen behind due to a scarcity of resources in their shrinking economies as they had to readjust after the collapse of the Comecon system and the introduction of market economies.

North Korean Crisis - Delivered in Plenary, January 29th 2003
I have been the co-author of two resolutions in quick succession with Jas Gawronski and Jacques Santer, who are experts on this very isolated country. North Korea presents one of the most threatening humanitarian crises and military flashpoints on the globe.

Humanitarian crisis in North Korea - Delivered in Plenary, January 16th 2003
As North Korean dictator, Kim Jong-Il sips his specially imported French brandy and savours his freshly cooked pizzas cooked by two Italian chefs, as he mulls over what he will say to the UN envoy, many thousands of his oppressed subjects, including babies, are literally starving to death as his disastrous Stalinist economic policies have brought the country to its knees.

The Northern Dimension - Delivered in Plenary, January 15th 2003
I welcome a new action plan for the Northern Dimension which will embrace three new Baltic states and Poland as EU members in 2004, Russia, with which I support a privileged status in a common economic space one day, and the EEA states of Iceland and Norway.