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Hearings with commissioners-designate Mogherini and Hahn

Over the next two weeks, the Committee on Foreign Affairs will conduct hearings with two commissioners-designate. The first hearing, with Johannes Hahn, commissioner-designate for Neighbourhood policy and enlargement negotiations, will take place on 30 September from 13:30 to 16:30. The hearing with Frederica Mogherini, High representative of the Union for Foreign Policy and Security Policy and Vice-President designate of the European Commission, is scheduled for 6 October from 18:30 to 21:30. Both hearings will take place in Brussels in meeting room József Antall (JAN) 4Q2 and will be web-streamed live, with recordings available shortly after the hearings.

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Exchange of Views on the situation in Ukraine, Iraq, Syria, Libya and Gaza

The Committee on Foreign Affairs met on 23.09.14 with UNRWA (United Nations Relief and Works Agency) Director of Operations in Gaza, Bob Turner, to discuss the situation in the region. Following the recent resolutions adopted by the European Parliament, the Committee also discussed the political situation and the ratification of the Association Agreement with Ukraine, as well as the situation in Iraq-Syria, Gaza and Libya.

AFET Chair Brok urges DPRK official to engage constructively with int. community

Should the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) show clear commitment in issues related to nuclear disarmament and human rights, the EU could re-engage with it, said EP Foreign Affairs Committee Chair Elmar Brok (EPP, DE) in a meeting with Kang Sok Ju, Secretary of the Central Committee of the Worker's Party of Korea and Director of the Party’s International Department.
Following an initiative from the North Korean side, Mr Brok met Mr Kang on Tuesday, 9 September, in Brussels.
“We exchanged views on the state of our bilateral relations as well as on the prospects of progress in the inter-Korean dialogue. The discussion was quite open and frank”, said Mr Brok after the meeting.
“The EU would welcome any initiative contributing to mutual trust, regional stability and peace. We hope that North Korea will return to the Six-Party talks, within the framework of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, after sincere signs of such commitment from the DPRK”, stressed Mr Brok.
“The EU expects from the DPRK a tangible sign of willingness and readiness to re-engage; this could be the re-launch of the Human Rights Dialogue which had been broken off in 2003”, he stated.
Mr Brok added that the EU would stand ready to provide humanitarian aid and favour North Korea's participation in the Erasmus Mundus and Marie Curie programmes.
Mr Kang is the Secretary of the Central committee of the Workers Party and Director of the Party's International Relations Department. He is also the former negotiator of the nuclear deal of 1993-94.

Consent to Ukraine Assoc. Agreement and discussion with Grand Mufti of Egypt

On Monday, 8 September, the AFET Committee adopted, by a large majority, the report of Jacek Saryusz-Wolski (EPP, PL) giving consent to the Association Agreement with Ukraine. By doing so, the AFET Committee enables Parliament to vote next week in Strasbourg, together with the Ukrainian Verkhovna Rada. The AFET Chair (Elmar Brok) pointed out that this Agreement is profoundly desired by the Ukrainian population and that Parliament, through this ratification, clearly shows its solidarity with Ukraine in these times of crisis.
The committee also held an exchange of views with Dr Shawqi Allam, the Grand Mufti of Egypt. The Grand Mufti reiterated its condemnation of ISIS as a radical group which uses religion for its own purposes. Nothing of what ISIS claims or does is supported by Islam. The Chair of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, Elmar Brok, shared the concerns of the Grand Mufti about young Muslims being drawn to a flawed interpretation of Islam and into radicalism. He concurred with the Grand Mufti about the importance of encouraging moderate forces to come to the fore and promote democratic principles.

Meeting between AFET Chair Brok and Iran´s Foreign Affairs Minister Zarif

Elmar Brok, Chair of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, held on 1st of September a bilateral meeting with Iranian Minister of Foreign Affairs Mohammad Javad Zarif. A large part of the meeting was dedicated to the nuclear talks, that are due to resume in the coming weeks, as well as to the situation in Iraq. Also human rights issues in Iran were discussed, including the situation of the 2012 Sakharov prize laureates Nasrin Sotoudeh and Jafar Panahi.

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"The priorities of the Italian Council Presidency were outlined to the various parliamentary committees by Italian ministers in a series of meetings held in July and September."

AFET 23-09-2014 - 09:17  

The situation in Gaza following the August ceasefire agreement, the need to ensure access for humanitarian workers to the strip, its reconstruction and the need for intra-Palestinian reconciliation are expected to top a Foreign Affairs Committee debate with Robert Turner, Director of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) operations in Gaza on Tuesday. The debate starts at 15:00.

AFET DEVE DROI 19-09-2014 - 11:58  

Seven nominees for the European Parliament’s 2014 Sakharov Prize for freedom of thought, chosen by political groups and groups of MEPs, will be presented at a meeting of the Foreign Affairs and Development committees and the Human Rights Subcommittee on 23 September, at 16:15.

AFET 08-09-2014 - 18:51  

The European Parliament should give its consent to the EU Association Agreement with Ukraine, recommended the Foreign Affairs Committee in a vote on Monday afternoon. The deal would establish a deep political association between the EU and Ukraine and provide for mutual free market access, by dismantling import duties and banning export duties and restrictions.

AFET INTA AGRI 04-09-2014 - 17:47  

The EU's response to the crisis in Ukraine was in the spotlight at Parliament this week, following President Schulz's warning to EU leaders last Saturday of the dangers of escalation and his plea for a political solution to the crisis. He called on the EU to play a more ambitious international role and said it must give Ukraine the financial and political help needed to remain a unified and independent country.

AFET 02-09-2014 - 16:51  

"We need to make our budgetary procedure simpler and faster: currently there is too much bureaucracy, and money given too late for humanitarian actions is wasted money", urged Foreign Affairs Committee chair Elmar Brok (EPP, DE) in Tuesday’s committee debate on international crises in the EU’s neighbourhood. The committee is to debate the crises in Iraq, Gaza, Syria, Libya and Ukraine in meetings this week.

Presentation och befogenheter
Utskottet har ansvar för främjande, genomförande och övervakning av unionens utrikespolitik när det gäller följande:
1.    Den gemensamma utrikes- och säkerhetspolitiken (Gusp) och den gemensamma säkerhets- och försvarspolitiken (GSFP). Utskottet biträds i detta sammanhang av ett underutskott för säkerhet och försvar.
2.    Förbindelser med andra unionsinstitutioner och unionsorgan, FN och andra internationella organisationer och interparlamentariska församlingar när det gäller frågor som hör till utskottets ansvarsområde.
3.    Tillsyn över Europeiska utrikestjänsten.
4.    Fördjupning av de politiska förbindelserna med tredjeland, med hjälp av omfattande samarbets- och stödprogram eller internationella avtal, till exempel associerings- och partnerskapsavtal.
5.    Inledande, genomförande och avslutande av förhandlingar om europeiska staters anslutning till unionen.
6.    All lagstiftning, programplanering och kontroll av åtgärder som genomförs inom ramen för det europeiska instrumentet för demokrati och mänskliga rättigheter, det europeiska grannskapsinstrumentet, föranslutningsinstrumentet, instrumentet som bidrar till stabilitet och fred och partnerskapsinstrumentet för samarbete med tredjeländer samt den politik som ligger till grund för dem.
7.    Övervakning och uppföljning av bland annat den europeiska grannskapspolitiken (EGP), särskilt när det gäller de årliga lägesrapporterna för EGP.
8.    Frågor som rör demokrati, rättsstatsprincipen, mänskliga rättigheter, inklusive minoriteters rättigheter, i tredjeländer samt principer i internationell rätt. Utskottet biträds i detta sammanhang av ett underutskott för mänskliga rättigheter, vilket bör säkerställa samordning mellan all unionens externa politik och dess politik för mänskliga rättigheter. Utan att det påverkar tillämpningen av relevanta bestämmelser ska ledamöter från andra utskott och organ med ansvar på detta område inbjudas att delta i underutskottets sammanträden.
9.    Parlamentets medverkan i valobservatörsuppdrag, när så är lämpligt i samarbete med andra berörda utskott och delegationer.
Utskottet ska utöva politisk tillsyn över och samordna arbetet i de gemensamma parlamentariska kommittéerna, de parlamentariska samarbetskommittéerna och de interparlamentariska delegationerna samt i de ad hoc-delegationer som hör till dess ansvarsområde.
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