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Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Poul Nyrup Rasmussen in Interview with WashingtonPrism

Former Danish Prime Minister,European deputy and President of European Socialists PartyWashington Prism:WP: What is your Party’s position on globalization?
PR: The view of the Party of European Socialists, of which I am the President, and the other socialist and social democrat parties, is that the market economy must be a servant of people, not their master. In the European Union, we must frame the economic market in such a way that we avoid exclusion of the people in our society.

WP: Does the EU view the rise of India and China as a threat or as an opportunity?
PR: First of all, the economic history of the world, and particularly of Europe, has clearly demonstrated that when a part of the world experiences economic growth, the rest of the world has benefited as well. China and India are not threats; they need to buy goods and services from us. Years ago, in another context, the same fear arose concerning Japan. Eventually, however, both USA and Europe have benefited from Japan’s growth. In Europe, we must be in front of the added value chain, and we must invest in the knowledge sector and technology. We will see the benefits with such a move.
In Europe, we have cohesion between services, distribution, access to education, transport and other elements that allows a civil society to function properly. In India and China, this cohesion between different elements doesn’t exist, and it has a long way to go in both countries. We in Europe are determined to emphasise workers’ rights in the world, and that includes China and India.

WP: Tell us your view on Turkey’s membership in the European Union.
PR: I don’t know whether Turkey will become a member of the European Union or not. We must avoid focusing too much on this Islamic fundamentalist issue. In Turkey, the separation of religion and state is fundamental which is good. But Europe has emphasized that Turkey must make some essential changes if it wants to join the European Union. Europe demands that human rights for ethnic and religious minorities as well as women’s rights must be respected. Europe follows a dynamic foreign policy in the Mediterranean region, Africa, Turkey, Iran and Iraq.

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