StatementStatement by Ms Heidi HAUTALA, Chair of the Delegation to the EuronestPA and Mr Sajjad KARIM, Chairman of the Delegation to the EU-Armenia,EU-Azerbaijan PCCs and EU-Georgia PAC, on the release of Leyla Yunus inAzerbaijan - 9 December 2015
The relations between the European Parliament and the parliaments of the republics of the South Caucasus - Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia - are conducted within the framework of the Delegation to the EU-Armenia and EU-Azerbaijan Parliamentary Cooperation Committees (PCCs) and to the EU-Georgia Parliamentary Association Committee. For the PCCs, these joint parliamentary bodies are provided for by the Partnership and Cooperation Agreements (PCAs) which the EU entered with Armenia and Azerbaijan in 1996, and which entered into force on 1 July 1999.
Relations with Georgia, however, are now conducted within the framework of an Association Agreement / Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (AA/DCFTA), replacing the PCA which previously applied. The AA/DCFTA was signed on 27 June 2014, and has already entered in provisional application since 1 September 2014. The AA/DCFTA, indeed, is designed to provide a clear framework for the strengthening of the bilateral cooperation between Georgia and the EU: it will thus provide the basis on which Georgia proceeds with its reform agenda, in accordance with the common values set out in the Association Agreement: democracy, good governance, the rule of law, and respect for human rights. The newly created Association Council between Georgia and the EU is now tasked with the implementation of the AA/DCFTA - while the Parliamentary Association Committee is entrusted with exerting parliamentary control. The Parliamentary Association Committee also acts as an open forum for debate to discuss all aspects of relations between the EU and Georgia and issues of mutual interest: it has the ambition to provide an important impetus for successful democratic and market reforms in Georgia and for its closer integration with the EU.
The European Parliament Delegation to the EU-Armenia, EU-Azerbaijan PCCs and EU-Georgia PAC is composed of 18 members and a similar number of substitutes. The PCCs hold, in principle, one meeting a year and the PAC two, alternating between the host country and one of the working places of the European Parliament.