AFET meeting in Brussels (room: JAN 2Q2):
- 1 June (Monday), 15.00-18.30
Representatives of the Foreign Affairs and Defence Committees of the European Parliament and of EU National Parliaments met in Brussels on Tuesday to discuss the latest developments in the European neighbourhood. They highlighted that promoting people to people contacts is an essential element of confidence building for a more secure and stable neighbourhood, stressing in particular the key role of young people.
The Chair of Foreign Affairs Committee of the European Parliament, Elmar Brok, emphasised: 'young generations are the future of Europe and we should make sure that they can actively contribute to good relations between the EU, its eastern neighbours and Russia. Our doors and our minds must remain open to such a dialogue'.
Brok and his colleagues from AFET and national parliaments called on Member States and the EU institutions to swiftly implement measures to introduce fee-free visa for travel to the EU in the summer period for students and young people from Eastern Partnership countries and Russia in order to promote dialogue and exchanges among them and with European youth.The Foreign Affairs Committee of the European Parliament meets regularly with the foreign affairs and defence committees of national parliaments in order to strengthen the cooperation and exchange among parliaments on major foreign policy issues. The main topics discussed at the latest meeting were the review of the European Neighbourhood Policy, the preparations for the June European Council on defence and the political and security situation in Libya.
Tunisia’s Prime Minister Habib Essid met the Foreign Affairs Committee and the Human Rights and Security and Defence subcommittees on Thursday to discuss the latest developments in his country. Security challenges, fighting terrorism and tackling migration flows were the key issues raised in the debate. (Read more)
"The Central African Republic is doing much better. There is a clear improvement even if it is still very fragile," CAR's interim president, Catherine Samba-Panza, told foreign affairs MEPs on Tuesday. CAR still needs the EU's "multi-dimensional aid", she stressed, calling on member states to redouble their efforts to help the CAR meet its electoral, budgetary and security challenges. (Read more)
As a return to "business as usual" with Russia is now out of the question, the EU should earmark specific funding to counter its propaganda and infiltration of EU politics and support independence movements there, say Foreign Affairs Committee MEPs in a resolution voted on Monday. EU countries should refrain from doing bilateral deals with Russia and step up their own collective efforts to withstand it, whilst retaining a return to cooperation with Russia as a long-term goal, they add. (Read more)
Turkey must do more to fight corruption and enforce respect for media freedom, free expression and judicial independence, said Foreign Affairs Committee MEPs on Monday. In a resolution on the progress of reform in Turkey in 2014, MEPs also urge the EU to back Turkey’s efforts to build solid, democratic institutions and ensure respect for fundamental freedoms, human rights and the rule of law. Finally, it advocates stepping up EU/Turkey foreign policy cooperation. (Read more)
If Russia does not apply the Minsk ceasefire deals in full and return Crimea to Ukraine, the EU should step up sanctions and consider the possibility of providing Ukraine with defensive arms, say Foreign Affairs Committee MEPs in a resolution voted on Monday. Returning Crimea is vital to the EU’s long-run cooperation with Russia and EU countries must also step up their own defence capabilities, says the text, which looks at Black Sea Basin military changes since Russia illegally annexed Crimea. (Read more)
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