Next AFET Meeting
AFET will hold an extraordinary meeting in Strasbourg (room: Louise Weiss N1.3) on:
- 9 March 2015, from 19.00 to 21:30.
Elmar Brok: Broad consensus among MEPs and EU MPs on Russia and neighbourhood
Elmar Brok (EPP, DE), Chair of the EP Foreign Affairs Committee, stressed today that the 6th Inter-Parliamentary Conference for the CFSP/CSDP in Riga delivered a strong signal for an ambitious and unified Common Foreign and Security Policy. There is a broad consensus between MEPs and parliamentarians of the 28 EU Member States on Russia, conflicts in the neighbourhood and the need to display solidarity with the EU's eastern neighbours, he added.
Elmar Brok issued the following statement today:
"The Inter-parliamentary Conference delivered a strong signal for an ambitious and unified Common Foreign and Security Policy and a strong role for the EU on the global scene. The debates between the parliaments of the 28 EU Member States and the European Parliament demonstrated that there is a broad consensus on all major foreign policy issues, including on how to deal with Russia and the conflicts in the EU's southern neighbourhood.
The Conference strongly condemned the Russian aggression against Ukraine, which is in violation of international law, and underlined its unequivocal supportfor the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine. It was made clear that parliaments in the EU will support further sanctions, should Russia fail to implement its commitments under the Minsk Agreements. There was a broad consensus on the need to show solidarity with the EU's eastern neighbours and support them in becoming more independent, democratic, prosperous and stable."
Chair Elmar Brok meets with Cuban civil society representatives
Elmar Brok, Chair of the European Parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee (AFET), met on 3rd of March with Cuban civil society representatives. The Cuban delegation reflected several political orientations in Cuba and included Bertha Soler, leader of the2005 Sakharov laureate Ladies in White, as well as members of the Arco Progresista and the Christian Democratic Party of Cuba, attesting to the existence of a common platform of Cuban civil society organisations, inside and outside Cuba, supporting a peaceful transition to democracy.
Mr Brok and the Cuban representatives discussed the political and human rights situation in the island following President's Obama announcement of an easing of US restrictions on Cuba. The Chair of AFET qualified the current situation as a "moment of hope" and encouraged the Cuban representatives to engage and make the most of the current situation to achieve a peaceful transition to democracy. They also discussed past transitions to democracy in Central and Eastern Europe, as well as in Chile, as a possible source of inspiration.
The Cuban representatives asked Mr Brok that the EU strongly support the democratic reform agenda in the island in its negotiations of a Political Dialogue and Cooperation Agreement. Mr Brok pledged the EP's technical support in a future transition process. The Cuban representatives presented to Mr Brok their initiative to gather signatures from those who suffered under the regime to commit to a peaceful transition to democracy without revenge.
The Chair of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, Mr Elmar Brok met on 3 March 2015 with His Holiness, Moran Mor Ignatius Aphrem II, The 123rd Syriac Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch
Mr Brok and His Holiness concurred on the need to continue to provide humanitarian aid to communities affected by the tragic conflict in Syria and Iraq. The role of the Syriac Church in delivering aid both to Christian and Muslim communities was also recognised an praised. Mr Brok and His Holiness also discussed what context could be conducive to a political solution to the conflict in Syria and Iraq and the defeat of ISIS. The protection of the civilian population in Syrian and Iraq must be pursued as a priority. Christians are an important component of the Middle East and have lived in peace with other religious and ethnic communities for centuries. They should receive adequate support so that they can continue to live in the Middle East.
Brok and Plenković deplore “politically motivated” detention of Nadya Savchenko
Elmar Brok (EPP, DE) and Andrej Plenković (EPP, HR), Chair of the European Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee and Chair of the EP Delegation for Ukraine, called today for an immediate release of Ukrainian pilot and MP Nadya Savchenko by the Russian authorities. Her detention has no legal ground and can only be explained by political motivation, they said in a statement.
Elmar Brok and Andrej Plenković issued the following statement:
"Yesterday, a Moscow court rejected the appeal of Ms Nadya Savchenko challenging the decision to extend her pre-trial detention until 13 May. This decision is appalling, and can only be explained by political motivation since her detention has no legal ground whatsoever. It is also a contradiction to the spirit of the Minsk agreement.
It is now time for the Russian authorities to fully take their responsibility and deliver on their unconditional commitment to a peaceful settlement. Nadya Savchenko cannot be a bargaining chip in the hands of the Kremlin, and must be released without delay."
The EU has yet to unleash its full potential to shape the international and security environment, Foreign Affairs Committee MEPs said on Tuesday. In a vote on the annual report on Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP), they called for a more ambitious, proactive, credible and strategic EU foreign policy based on a shared vision of EU key interests and values and a common perception of threats to the Union.
Foreign affairs MEPs on Tuesday welcomed the resumption of high-level talks between Kosovo and Serbia and called for the full normalisation of relations. However, they pointed to continuing problems in Serbia, Kosovo, Montenegro and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia with the rule of law, corruption, anti-discrimination, the pace of structural reforms, and the polarisation of politics.
Russia must acknowledge it is directly involved in the conflict in Ukraine and the interna-tional law must be restored, Foreign Affairs Committee MEPs told Alexey Pushkov, Chair of the State Duma Committee on International Affairs on Monday evening. In the debate, they also questioned Mr Pushkov on why his country has not respected its obligations under the September Minsk protocol.