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Maritime security in the Eastern Mediterranean: committee debate

The Committee on Foreign Affairs discussed issues of maritime security in the Eastern Mediterranean with the Greek Foreign Minister Evangelos Venizelos. The meeting took place on 14.04.14 in Strasbourg.

Further information
The ides of March in the Eastern neighbourhood: an overview

Scheduled at the end of November 2013, the Vilnius Summit was supposed to bring a new impetus into the overall the Eastern Partnership (EaP) policy. Even though the Summit may have brought about mixed results, it has nevertheless provided an opportunity to review the relations that the EU has developed with the six countries participating into the EaP initiative. This document gives an overview of the Eastern Partnership’s origin and principal features, analyses the current state of affairs in the EaP countries and takes a look at future challenges.

Sergei Magnitsky case: visa restrictions for Russian officials

The Committee on Foreign Affairs discussed and voted on two draft recommendations to the Council during its meetings of 17-18.03.14. One recommendation is connected to the 69th Session of the United Nations General Assembly, whereas the other deals with the establishment of common visa restrictions for Russian officials involved in the Sergei Magnitsky case.

Meeting of the AFET Chair with the Foreign Minister of Egypt on 2 April

The Chair of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, Mr Elmar Brok, met on 2 April 2014 with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Egypt, Ambassador Nabil Fahmy. Mr Brok expressed deep concerns at the mass trials of Muslim Brothers, stressing how the sentencing of several hundreds of people after an extremely short trial is incompatible with due process and fundamental rights. "This is a time for Egypt to promote national reconciliation and political pluralism and such trials hinder such path" said Mr Brok. Mr Fahmy appeared to share his concerns, but stressed the importance to respect the independence of the judiciary. Mr Fahmy said that Egypt requires more time to achieve its transition to democracy.

Statement on the visit of the AFET Committee to Mexico (23-25 March)

Statement by Elmar Brok, chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee, on the visit of the committee to Mexico (23-25 March)
"It has been an interesting visit at a crucial juncture in Mexico's history. We came back convinced that we must deepen and update our partnership with this important global player. The agreement we have with Mexico must be brought up to speed with the developments in the region and beyond. It is not simply a question of taking the TTIP negotiations into account since these might take some time anyway. Other developments, such as the establishment of the Pacific Alliance and the fact that other Latin American countries seek closer ties with the EU, call for the modernisation of our relations with Mexico. We are confident that, when, in September, the two sides agree the main outlines of the future agreement, negotiations can start quickly".
Besides considering the prospects for the new agreement, the delegation also discussed global issues. "We have found many points of convergence. When discussing the situation in Ukraine, for example, we agreed that international law must be respected. We therefore look positively at the emergence of MIKTA  as a coordination mechanism between democratic medium-sized economies. MIKTA could become an ally in promoting democratic values, upholding international law and defending basic human rights".
Finally the delegation held talks on the important constitutional reforms which have taken place in Mexico and on their implementation. "We are impressed by the scope of these reforms. There are many challenges ahead, not least in the energy and in the education sectors, but the politicians we met seemed determined to face these challenges and ensure that Mexico can become a more prosperous, more equal and more secure place for all its citizens".
The 5-member delegation  met the Minister for Foreign Affairs, the Minister of the Economy, the President of the Senate, and held meetings with key senators, with representatives of civil society and with business people.  

AFET Delegation to Mexico, 23-25 March

Elmar Brok, Chair of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, addressed on 25 March 2014 a meeting of the European Affairs Committee of the Mexican Senate, at the end of a two-day visit. Topics addressed during the visit were the renewal of the EU/Mexico Global agreement, the role of Mexico in the world, EU/Mexico cooperation in multilateral fora, as well as Mexico's far reaching reforms in the framework of its modernisation agenda.

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Welcome to the website of the European Parliament’s Committee on Foreign Affairs.
The European Union, the world’s largest economy and biggest donor of development aid, has now, in the form of the Lisbon Treaty, the key powers and the means to conduct an ambitious and coherent foreign policy.
The European Parliament confers full democratic legitimacy on the European Union’s external action by ensuring it is based on the fundamental values of democracy and the rule of law which lie at the heart of European integration.
But the institutions are not the whole story: political will is needed to transcend internal divisions and overcome protectionist, even nationalist, reflexes.
The Committee on Foreign Affairs helps to formulate and monitor a foreign policy that addresses the interests of the Union, the security expectations of its citizens and the stability of its neighbours, and ensures that it is coherent and effective. We are, more specifically, aware that the views of European nations and their peoples will only be heard on the international stage if Europe speaks with one voice.