Meeting with Foreign Minister Klimkin on the latest developments in Ukraine
At an extraordinary meeting on 22.7.2014 the AFET committee had an exchange of views with Pavlo Klimkin, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, on the latest developments in the country. Members expressed their deepest sorrow for the victims of the crashed plane MH17, and Peter De Gooijer, Permanent Representative of the Netherlands to the EU, detailed the priorities the international community should follow on the investigation, the recovery of bodies, and the identification of those responsible for this tragedy.
Members of the European Parliament very clearly and unambiguously called for a united line between Member States on tougher sanctions towards Russia, not as a consequence of the plane crash, but to react in view of the Russian authorities' unwillingness to control the flow of arms and heavy weapons across the border to the Eastern regions of Ukraine. The Members also called for the EU to act appropriately and impose red lines upon itself when a third party violates European values and principles.
The peace process in the Middle East, the dire humanitarian conditions and the EU's response to the current situation were also discussed at that meeting. Members called not only for a cease-fire and the resumption of negotiations for a two-state solution but underlined the need for the EU to react without double standards.
AFET Chair Elmar Brok on the situation in Iraq: “Europe must act immediately”
Elmar Brok (EPP, DE), chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the European Parliament, called today on the Foreign Affairs Council, the EU Member States and the Commission to "facilitate the opening of a humanitarian corridor and to continue to increase humanitarian aid to Iraqi people in desperate need of assistance."
Mr Brok issued the following statement today:
“I follow with growing concern the deteriorating security situation in Northern Iraq. So far hundreds of thousands of civilians, among them many women and children, have fled the region as a result of the brutal advance of armed terrorist groups called "Islamic State" (IS). The escalation of the conflict and the persecution of Christian minorities, Yezidis and moderate Muslims have caused a humanitarian emergency situation which requires an immediate response by the international community.
Therefore, I welcome the decisions taken in Brussels last night that EU Member States can also provide military goods, in particular also for the support of the Kurds. In this context, especially France, the United Kingdom and Germany bear a big responsibility. This requires urgent action. That's why the EU and its Member States should quickly agree among themselves and with the USA, which has demonstrated the ability to act, on the division of labour and cooperation. The question arises also whether Turkey would be ready to be included in such cooperation.
I call on the Foreign Affairs Council, the EU Member States and the Commission to facilitate the opening of a humanitarian corridor and to continue to increase humanitarian aid to Iraqi people in desperate need of assistance. Furthermore, I invite them to immediately take all necessary actions, in a coordinated manner and in close cooperation with our international partners, which help the people of Northern Iraq to return to normal life. This will require also the stabilisation of the political situation in Baghdad which is an overall pre-condition for the Iraqi authorities including the military to re-gain full control over the entire territory of Northern Iraq. In particular, the creation of a government inclusive of all sections of the population is urgently needed. Iran can also make an important contribution to this process.”
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.