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 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.
Exchange of Views on Progress Reports
On 2 December, AFET held an Exchange of Views on the progress reports in the presence of the six foreign ministers of the Western Balkans countries.
Meeting between AFET Chair Brok and Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili
On 18 November, the Chair of the AFET Committee, Elmar Brok, had a meeting with the Prime Minister of Georgia, Irakli Garibashvili, accompanied by a high level delegation. They discussed current developments in Georgia and in the region, as well as EU-Georgia relations. The meeting took place the day after AFET's adoption, by overwhelming majority, of the recommendation and resolution on the conclusion of the EU-Georgia Association Agreement.
AFET Chair Brok meets Danish and Swedish Ministers of Foreign Affairs
On 18 November, the chair of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, Mr Elmar Brok, met the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Denmark, Mr Martin Lidegaard, and, later that day, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Sweden, Ms Margot Wallström. The meetings took place one day after the meeting of the Foreign Affairs Council and focussed the situation in Ukraine, Russia and the Middle East, which were at the core of the discussions at the Foreign Affairs Council.
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