Delegation für die Beziehungen zu Afghanistan : Geschichte

D-AF: Delegation for relations with Afghanistan 

Relations between the European Parliament and the Wolesi Jirga, the lower house of the Afghan National Assembly, were inaugurated during the Parliament's 2004-2009 legislative term.

A first, an ad hoc delegation from the European Parliament visited the country in July 2005, in an effort to deepen their understanding of the Afghan political situation before the country's first parliamentary elections. Four official inter-parliamentary meetings took place during that legislative term - three in Brussels and one in Kabul.

Creating a dedicated delegation

Wanting to strengthen the nascent democratic institutions in Afghanistan, the Parliament established a fully-fledged delegation - the Delegation for relations with Afghanistan (D-AF) - immediately after the 2009 European Parliament elections. The delegation is one of Parliament's youngest.

The delegation puts particular emphasis on questions of democracy, good governance, the rule of law and human rights. Given the presence of military forces from a number of EU Member States, as well as the EU's active involvement in the reform of the country's security sector, the delegation also focuses on the security situation.

Meetings and focus

Despite the difficulties in travelling to Afghanistan, the delegation has held monthly meetings since its constitution.

The wide range of subjects the delegation has considered include:

  • the 2009 and 2014 Presidential elections, EU support and observation,
  • political developments and prospects for a political settlement,
  • peace talks, engaging with the Taliban,
  • the security situation, including NATO's role and the EU Police Mission in Afghanistan (EUPOL),
  • EU development policy for Afghanistan,
  • the work of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in Afghanistan;
  • governance and rule of law issues, notably the fight against corruption and illegal drug production,
  • human rights issues, in particular women and children's rights,
  • EU strategy towards Afghanistan,
  • the EU-Afghanistan Cooperation Agreement on Partnership and Development.

Guests

The Afghan Ambassador to the EU and officials from the European External Action Service and the European Commission are invited to participate in every delegation meeting.

Speakers from think tanks, NGOs, Afghan and international organisations have also participated on a case-by-case basis.

Highlights of activities

  • In January 2010, the delegation's Chair, Thijs Berman, represented the Parliament's President at the inauguration of the Wolesi Jirga in Kabul.
  • Again representing the Parliament's President, Chair Berman attended the second International Afghanistan Conference, held in Bonn on 5 December 2011.
  • In October 2013, the delegation and the Subcommittee on Security and Defence led a joint mission to Kabul and Mazar-e-Sharif. For security reasons, the mission was limited to four MEPs.
  • In 2014, the delegation Chair was appointed as Chief Observer of the EU Election Assessment Team deployed to observe the presidential elections.
  • On 5 October 2016, D-AF Chair Petras Auštrevičius represented the European Parliament at the international donors conference on Afghanistan in Brussels.
  • In February 2017, two MEPs from the delegation travelled to Kabul.