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AFET-LIBE exchange of views with UN Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Director

On 16 October AFET and LIBE Committees held a joint meeting in order to have an exchange of views with Jean-Paul LABORDE, United Nations Executive Director of Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED). The joint Committee meeting underscored the intertwined character between external and internal policies in combatting terrorism, radicalization and the rising phenomenon of "foreign fighters".

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AFET Chair meets with Turkish EU Minister

The Chair of the Committee on Foreign Affairs held on Thursday, 16 October 2014, a bilateral meeting with the Minister for European Affairs of the Republic of Turkey, Mr Volkan Bozkir, on the occasion of the Minister's visit to Brussels to hold meetings with European interlocutors on the accession process of Turkey to the EU.
During the meeting, which took place in a very cordial atmosphere, Mr Brok and Mr Bozkir discussed the accession negotiations between Turkey and the EU and the need to provide new dynamism to the reform process in Turkey. The meeting also touched upon Turkey's peace and reconciliation negotiations with the PKK. Cooperation between Turkey and the European Union in foreign policy terms, with particular reference to the on-going conflict in Syria, the security situation in Iraq and the vast numbers of refugees from Syria in Turkey, now estimated at 1.5 million, was also at the centre of the discussion.
Later in the morning Minister Bozkir held an exchange of views with the Members of the Committee on Foreign Affairs on the accession process of Turkey as well as on security and stability issues in the Middle East.

Association Agreement with the Republic of Moldova

The Foreign Affairs Committee gave this morning its consent to the ratification of the Association Agreement with the Republic of Moldova, with 44 votes in favour and 3 votes against.
"Through such high support the Foreign Affairs Committee sends a clear and strong message to the Plenary of the European Parliament to swiftly go ahead with the ratification process and calls on the national Parliaments of the Member States who have not yet done so to proceed with their ratification process. The committee reiterated its continued and unwavering support for the progress made by Moldova in strengthening relations with the EU ahead of the Moldovan parliamentary elections taking place on 30 November" said Elmar BROK, Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee.
The European Parliament will vote on the positive recommendation by the Foreign Affairs Committee on the conclusion of the Association Agreement at its plenary session of 13 November.

EP will remain committed to membership perspective of Western Balkan countries

Today, the Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy, Štefan Füle, presented the 2014 enlargement strategy and the progress reports on the seven enlargement countries to members of the Committee on Foreign Affairs. Members discussed with the Commissioner the current state of play in the enlargement process and the preparations of individual countries for EU accession.
Committee Chairman Elmar Brok confirmed that the European Parliament will remain committed to the EU membership perspective of the Western Balkan countries. In his view, the fact that no new member state will join the EU in the next five years is not due to the lack of political will but rather due to the time frame required to successfully conclude accession negotiations. In this context, he also stressed that, in order to maintain a functioning European Union, no political discount can be given and that both the Copenhagen criteria, including the respect for the rule of law and fundamental rights as well as the fight against corruption, have to be fulfilled and the EU's integration capacity respected.
At the end of the meeting, Elmar Brok thanked the departing commissioner for his cooperation with the committee during his term in office.

Statement by AFET Chair Elmar Brok on Italian marines held in India

I am delighted to learn that one of the two Italian marines detained in India since February 2012 was recently permitted to travel back to Italy in order to undergo medical treatment in Italy.
Both marines were apprehended following the killing of two Indian fishermen whilst on an anti-piracy mission on a commercial vessel.
The mission was undertaken in compliance with Italian legislation and in accordance with international law.
Despite these positive developments, I call on the Indian authorities to put an end to undue and unacceptable delays in the trial against the two marines.
I hope that the situation can be resolved by the Indian authorities in a mutually satisfactory and swift manner, in full compliance with the international law and the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).  
I also draw attention to President Schulz's statement about the fate of the two soldiers made at the beginning of the EP plenary session on 24 February this year.

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AFET 16-10-2014 - 09:31  

The external and internal aspects of policies for combatting terrorism, radicalisation and the rising phenomenon of “foreign fighters” will be the focus of a debate between Foreign Affairs and Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs committees and Jean-Paul Laborde, Executive Director of the UN Counter-Terrorism Executive Directorate (CTED) on Thursday at 11:30.

AFET 08-10-2014 - 18:14  

Commissioner Štefan Füle’s plan to focus on strengthening democratic institutions and public administration in EU accession candidate and potential candidate countries was welcomed by Foreign Affairs Committee MEPs on Wednesday. In a debate following the Commission’s approval of the 2014 EU enlargement package earlier the same day, many also stressed the need to communicate the concrete and visible results of the EU enlargement process better.

DEVE AFET DROI 07-10-2014 - 18:35  

Ukrainian movement EuroMaidan, Congolese gynaecologist Denis Mukwege and Azerbaijani human rights activist Leyla Yunus are the three finalists for this year's European Parliament Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought, as voted jointly on Tuesday by the Foreign Affairs and Development committees.


"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.

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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