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The next AFET meeting will take place on 19/20 January 2015 in room JAN2Q2.

   
 
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Chair Elmar Brok meets Georgian President Margvelashvili

On Thursday 18 December, AFET Chair Elmar Brok held a working breakfast with the President of Georgia, Mr Giorgi Margvelashvili. The meeting took place on the occasion of the conclusion of the Association Agreement with Georgia, voted by plenary the same day, which represents a major step in the development of Georgia's relationship with the EU and the country's path to reform.

   
AFET Chair Brok meets wife of imprisoned member of Venezuelan opposition

On Monday, 15 December, Elmar Brok, AFET Chair, together with Cristian Dan Preda and Richard Howitt, AFET EPP and S&D coordinators respectively, met Lilian Tintori, wife of Leopoldo Lopez, a member of the Venezuelan opposition imprisoned since February 2014. They discussed the human rights situation in the country ahead of the urgency resolution on the persecution of the democratic opposition in Venezuela that will be voted by the plenary on Thursday.
 

   
EP und Bundestag debattieren Neuausrichtung der Europäischen Nachbarschaftspolitik

Der Auswärtige Ausschuss des Europäischen Parlaments hat heute gemeinsam mit dem Europaausschuss des Deutschen Bundestages einen Meinungsaustausch zur Neuausrichtung der Europäischen Nachbarschaftspolitik durchgeführt. Dabei stand die Frage im Vordergrund, wie die Nachbarschaftspolitik vor dem Hintergrund der Umwälzungen in der europäischen Nachbarschaft wirksamer gestaltet werden kann.
"Die aktuellen Krisen in der Ukraine und in zahlreichen anderen Ländern in der unmittelbaren Nachbarschaft der EU zeigen, dass die Nachbarschaftspolitik eine grundlegende Reform benötigt", betonte der Vorsitzende des Auswärtigen Ausschusses, Elmar Brok. Das Europäische Parlament werde sich gemeinsam mit nationalen Parlamenten frühzeitig und intensiv in diesen Prozess einbringen, so Brok.
Einigkeit bestand darin, dass sich die Zusammenarbeit der EU mit ihren Nachbarstaaten stärker an deren jeweiligen Bedürfnissen und Verdiensten orientieren sollte. Zudem müsse die EU einen politischeren Ansatz wählen, so der Vorsitzende des Bundestagsausschusses für die Angelegenheiten der Europäischen Union, Gunther Krichbaum: "Wenn wir tatsächlich Einfluss auf die Entwicklungen in unserer Nachbarschaft nehmen wollen, benötigen wir eine politische Vision für die Nachbarschaftspolitik."
Mit Bezug auf die Lage in der Ukraine unterstrichen die Vorsitzenden, dass die volle Umsetzung des Minsker Protokolls den einzigen Weg aus der aktuellen Krise im Donbass darstelle und von allen Unterzeichnern gewährleistet werden solle, insbesondere Russland. Sie betonten zudem die Notwendigkeit einer Stärkung der OSZE-Missionen, damit diese ihren Auftrag erfüllen könne und forderten die Fortsetzung der Gespräche im Genfer Format. Hinsichtlich der überfälligen Reformen in der Ukraine hoben sie die absolute Notwendigkeit einer schnellen Umsetzung durch alle Beteiligten hervor: die ukrainische Regierung, aber auch die EU und ihre Mitgliedstaaten dürften den Reformschwung nicht verlieren. Das Europäische Parlament, die nationalen Parlamente der Mitgliedstaaten und die ukrainische Verkhovna Rada würden sicherstellen, dass die Reformagenda Priorität erhält. Diese Reformen seien die beste und einzige Lösung für die aktuelle wirtschaftliche und soziale Krise in der Ukraine.
 

   
EP and German Bundestag debate review of the European Neighbourhood Policy

The Foreign Affairs Committee of the European Parliament (EP), jointly with the Committee on the Affairs of the European Union of the German Bundestag, held on 11 December an exchange of views on the review of the European Neighbourhood Policy. The debate focused on the question of how to increase the Neighbourhood Policy's effectiveness in the face of the current upheaval in the EU's neighbourhood.
"The crises in Ukraine and many other countries in the EU's immediate neighbourhood demonstrate the need for a fundamental reform of the Neighbourhood Policy", stressed Elmar Brok, Chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee. He added that the European Parliament, together with national parliaments, will get involved in this process intensively and at an early stage.
Members agreed that the EU's cooperation with neighbouring countries should be aligned more closely with their individual needs and merits. According to Gunther Krichbaum, Chair of the Bundestag's Committee on EU Affairs, the EU must pursue a more political approach: "If we really want to influence the developments in our neighbourhood, we need a political vision for the Neighbourhood Policy".
Regarding the situation in Ukraine, the Chairs underlined that the full implementation of the Minsk Protocol is the only way out of the current crisis in Donbas, and this must be guaranteed by all signing parties, especially Russia. They also reiterated the need for strengthened OSCE missions to fulfil their mandates and call for the continuation of talks in the Geneva format. Concerning the much-awaited reforms in Ukraine, they stressed the absolute necessity for all parties to deliver without delay: the Ukrainian authorities, but also the EU and its Member States, shall not miss the momentum for reform. The European Parliament, the Member States' national parliaments and the Ukrainian Verkhovna Rada will ensure this agenda is given a real priority. These reforms are indeed the best and only solution to the economic and social crisis that Ukraine faces today.
 

   
 
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AFET 02-12-2014 - 18:54  

Russia’s “neo-totalitarian regime” leaves open no legitimate means for a “sober-minded” and “pro-European” opposition to come to power. So the opposition needs strong support from the EU, which must understand that Russia does not equal Putin, Russian businessman and philanthropist Mikhail Khodorkovsky told Foreign Affairs Committee MEPs on Tuesday. MEPs asked him to say how they could help the cause of democracy in Russia and to explain his controversial views on developments in Ukraine.

AFET 02-12-2014 - 18:08  

MEPs acknowledged Lebanon's struggle with the enormous migration flows and voiced their concerns about the internal crisis there and growing extremism across the region, in a Foreign Affairs Committee debate with its Prime Minister Tammam Saeb Salam on Tuesday afternoon.

Presentation and responsibilities
 
Committee responsible for the promotion, implementation and monitoring of the Union’s foreign policy as regards:
 
1.    the common foreign and security policy (CFSP) and the common security and defence policy (CSDP). In this context the committee is assisted by a subcommittee on security and defence;
 
2.    relations with other Union institutions and bodies, the UNO and other international organisations and interparliamentary assemblies for matters falling under its responsibility;
 
3.    oversight of the European External Action Service;
 
4.    the strengthening of political relations with third countries by means of comprehensive cooperation and assistance programmes or international agreements such as association and partnership agreements;
 
5.    the opening, monitoring and concluding of negotiations concerning the accession of European States to the Union;
 
6.    all legislation, programming and scrutiny of actions carried out under the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights, the European Neighbourhood Instrument, the Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance, the Instrument contributing to Stability and Peace and the Partnership Instrument for cooperation with third countries, and the policies underpinning them;
 
7.    the monitoring and follow-up of, inter alia, the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP), in particular with regard to ENP Annual Progress Reports;
 
8.    issues concerning democracy, the rule of law, human rights, including the rights of minorities, in third countries and the principles of international law. In this context the committee is assisted by a subcommittee on human rights, which should ensure coherence between all the Union’s external policies and its human rights policy. Without prejudice to the relevant rules, members from other committees and bodies with responsibilities in this field shall be invited to attend the meetings of the subcommittee.
 
9.    Parliament’s involvement in election observation missions, where appropriate in cooperation with other relevant committees and delegations;
 
The committee provides political oversight to, and coordinates the work of, joint parliamentary committees and parliamentary cooperation committees as well as that of the interparliamentary delegations and ad hoc delegations falling within its remit.
 
 
 
 
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Welcome to the website of the European Parliament's Committee on Foreign Affairs, a key player in the design and implementation of the EU's foreign policy. We decide on the way European funds are used to promote the EU's interests and values abroad and through our supervision of the Enlargement process define the future shape of the Union. Our support is required for all international agreement which define the EU's role in the wider world, in particular for Association and Framework Agreements into which the Union enters with our wide array of global partners. In addition, the committee closely monitors the performance of the other EU institutions, especially the European Commission and the European External Action Service, to ensure that the interests of the people of Europe are always at the forefront of our common foreign policy. We are also actively involved in establishing and improving relations with key allies through parliamentary diplomacy. Via these long-standing relationships, we contribute to the development of global norms and rules and ensure that EU legislation is crafted in a manner that allows it to integrate well into the global order.