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Procedure : 2019/2832(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : B9-0175/2019

Texts tabled :

B9-0175/2019

Debates :

PV 27/11/2019 - 19
CRE 27/11/2019 - 19

Votes :

PV 28/11/2019 - 8.13
CRE 28/11/2019 - 8.13
Explanations of votes

Texts adopted :

P9_TA(2019)0084

Texts adopted
PDF 143kWORD 48k
Thursday, 28 November 2019 - Strasbourg Provisional edition
On-going negotiations for a new EU-ACP Partnership Agreement
P9_TA-PROV(2019)0084B9-0175/2019

European Parliament resolution of 28 November 2019 on the ongoing negotiations for a new Partnership Agreement between the European Union and the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (2019/2832(RSP))

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the Partnership Agreement between the Members of the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States of the one part, and the European Community and its Member States, of the other part, signed in Cotonou on 23 June 2000 (‘the Cotonou Agreement’)(1), and to its revisions of 2005 and 2010(2),

–  having regard to the Commission recommendation of 12 December 2017 for a Council Decision authorising the opening of negotiations on a Partnership Agreement between the European Union and the countries of the Africa, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States(3),

–  having regard to its resolutions of 4 October 2016 on the future of ACP-EU relations beyond 2020(4) and of 14 June 2018 on the upcoming negotiations for a new Partnership Agreement between the European Union and the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States(5),

–  having regard to the questions to the Council and the Commission on the ongoing negotiations for a new Partnership Agreement between the European Union and the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (O-000035/2019 – B9‑0057/2019 and O-000036/2019 – B9‑0058/2019),

–  having regard to Rules 136(5) and 132(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the motion for a resolution of the Committee on Development,

A.  whereas the negotiations for a new Partnership Agreement between the European Union and the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States are still ongoing and are likely to take longer than originally anticipated;

B.  whereas the strength of the Cotonou Agreement and its acquis are based on a number of unique characteristics that need to be maintained and reinforced;

C.   whereas ACP-EU relations are of great importance, particularly at this juncture where the multilateral system is under strain and being called into question; whereas the Cotonou Agreement is a key element of our multilateral system given the number of states it unites and the content and structure of the partnership, and whereas the partnership should be afforded greater prominence and visibility in the United Nations and other global forums; whereas in 2015, the international community made major global commitments as part of the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the Paris Agreement and the Addis Ababa Agenda, and whereas ACP-EU cooperation will be essential in achieving these global objectives;

D.   whereas the reinforcement of the parliamentary dimension between the EU and the ACP Group, by ensuring greater efficiency and representativeness, should be a key element of the new ACP-EU partnership;

E.  whereas the frequency and variety of ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly (JPA) meetings has enabled consistent dialogue over the years, thereby effectively contributing to the strengthening of parliamentary diplomacy; whereas the current international climate should act as an incentive for the ACP-EU States to move forward with this parliamentary dialogue and enhance its effectiveness;

1.  Welcomes the progress made so far on the negotiations of the strategic priorities of the foundation and the work on the regional protocols;

2.  Takes note that more time will be needed to negotiate the remaining parts of the agreement, and that the negotiations have not been finalised by the end of October 2019 as originally anticipated;

3.  Welcomes, in view of the expiry of the Cotonou Agreement in February 2020, the decision made by the ACP-EU Council of Ministers to delegate to the ACP-EU Committee of Ambassadors the power to adopt transitional measures until the new ACP-EU partnership enters into force;

4.  Strongly reaffirms the position expressed in its two resolutions on the post-Cotonou framework adopted in October 2016 and June 2018, respectively, and believes that some of the essential elements of the Cotonou Agreement need to be strongly reiterated so that they can be fully taken into account during the remaining period of the negotiations;

5.  Reiterates the importance of strengthening the parliamentary dimension of the future agreement, which needs to ensure democratic accountability at all levels; stresses that the institutional framework should include an ACP-EU JPA; considers this demand as non-negotiable in terms of the European Parliament giving its consent to the future agreement;

6.  Recalls that the ACP-EU JPA has a prominent role to play in ensuring democratic oversight of the future agreement, and reiterates its calls for a strengthening of the JPA’s consultative and scrutiny role; is convinced that regular meetings are needed at ACP-EU level to ensure a strong partnership;

7.  Takes the view that the ACP-EU JPA plays a key role in achieving the SDGs and assessing policy coherence for development; is convinced that the JPA promotes exchanges on global challenges such as human rights, democracy, good governance, gender equality and peace and security, as well as the climate, the environment and biodiversity;

8.  Reiterates its commitment to multilateralism, and calls for coordination, notably within the framework of the JPA, in order to adopt a concerted ACP-EU position in international forums; emphasises the need to engage further with other international partners, as well as with civil society, in the run‑up to multilateral negotiations;

9.  Considers that the JPA should be composed of equal numbers of EU and ACP representatives, and that it should meet twice a year in plenary session, alternating between the European Union and an ACP State;

10.  Stresses that the Regional Partnership Parliamentary Committees must meet once a year in each region, and should not be contingent on the meetings of the Regional Partnership Council of Ministers being convened; stresses, furthermore, that the regionalisation of the EU-ACP partnership under the new agreement, which is intended as an incentive to encourage deeper regional integration among ACP countries, should not be implemented in such a way as to be to the detriment of the agreement’s overarching common objectives;

11.  Repeats that some of the unique characteristics of the Cotonou Agreement, namely respect for human rights, democracy, fundamental freedoms, good governance and the rule of law, need to be maintained and reinforced;

12.  Stresses that the new agreement should further strengthen the idea of a partnership on an equal footing while taking account of the particularities of each country and of cooperation between the ACP countries and the EU as united and mutually supportive partners within the multilateral system; points out that the new agreement must therefore make it possible to move beyond a mere donor-recipient relationship;

13.  Reiterates the importance of political dialogue both in defending our shared values and as an integral part of the partnership, and calls for political dialogue to be used systematically, as well as in a more effective and proactive manner, in order to prevent political crises;

14.  Regrets the shrinking space for civil society in some countries and reiterates that the future agreement should provide for an increased role for civil society, including NGOs, human rights and community groups, diasporas, churches and religious associations and communities, as well as representatives of young people and women in particular, with a view to safeguarding the interests of the disabled, as well as social movements and trade unions, indigenous people and foundations, and the representation of vulnerable and marginalised people who are discriminated against, and that this should be achieved in political dialogue and at all levels;

15.  Calls for the eradication of poverty and the promotion of sustainable development to be the overarching objectives of ACP-EU cooperation, in line with the ‘leave no one behind’ principle; reiterates that the fight against exclusion, discrimination and inequalities must be at the core of this agreement;

16.  Recalls that the human rights component of the future agreement should include explicit wording on fighting discrimination on any grounds, including sexual orientation or gender identity, or against children, people on the move, elderly people or persons with disabilities;

17.  Stresses the importance of gender equality and women’s empowerment as a driver of development, and calls for the EU and the ACP countries to include gender equality as a cross-cutting issue in the agreement; underlines the importance of parties committing to sexual and reproductive health and rights and to the full implementation of the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development;

18.  Expects the EU to pay due attention to the policies of and challenges faced by its partner countries when allocating financial assistance, in particular taking account of the fact that the majority of migratory movements occur between the ACP countries themselves; reiterates that the future agreement must offer assistance to host communities affected by large displaced populations and address the root causes of forced displacement in a comprehensive, rights-based manner;

19.  Welcomes the fact that the achievement of the SDGs is considered a key objective of the future agreement, and reiterates its demand for the creation of strong monitoring mechanisms to ensure that implementation of the agreement effectively contributes to and promotes the SDGs; stresses the need to mainstream cross-cutting issues such as environmental sustainability, climate change objectives, gender issues and social justice, and incorporate them into all policies, plans and interventions as part of the future agreement;

20.  Reiterates the key goal of the Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) of promoting long-term development and regional integration; stresses that trade agreements should promote sustainable development and human rights and insists that they should be an integral part of the future agreement;

21.  Calls for the systematic inclusion of enforceable sustainable development and human rights provisions in all currently negotiated and future EPAs, and for an in-depth analysis on the impact of EPAs on local economies and intra-regional trade in order to address concerns about their implementation in terms of regional integration and industrialisation;

22.  Believes that the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs requires the strong participation of local authorities and non-state actors to strengthen democratic ownership; considers an ACP-EU peer monitoring, accountability and review mechanism, involving representatives from national, regional and local authorities, civil society and scientific communities, tasked with drawing up yearly conclusions and recommendations for follow-up, to be of value in terms of achieving this end;

23.  Recalls that the private sector is an essential partner in order to achieve sustainable development, promote economic growth and reduce poverty; calls for clear provisions in the future agreement on the role and responsibilities of enterprises which are involved in development partnerships and promote the principles of corporate social responsibility, the UN Global Compact, the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, the International Labour Organisation core labour standards, environmental standards and the UN Convention against Corruption;

24.  Reminds the negotiating parties to include ambitious provisions in the new agreement to combat illicit financial flows and tax evasion, and to provide financial and technical assistance to developing countries to cope with emerging global standards on fighting tax evasion, including the automatic exchange of information, information on beneficial ownership of companies and on public country‑by‑country reporting of multinationals to stop base erosion and profit-shifting, based on G20 and OECD models;

25.  Reiterates that making aid allocation conditional on cooperation with the EU on migration issues is not compatible with agreed development effectiveness principles;

26.  Recalls that the European Parliament must be immediately and fully informed at all stages of the negotiating procedure, in line with Article 218(10) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, and reiterates the necessity of agreeing on improved practical arrangements for cooperation and information sharing throughout the full life cycle of international agreements;

27.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the ACP Council of Ministers, the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the African Union Commission, the Pan-African Parliament and the Bureau of the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly.

(1) OJ L 317, 15.12.2000, p. 3.
(2) OJ L 287, 4.11.2010, p. 3.
(3) COM(2017)0763.
(4) OJ C 215, 19.6.2018, p. 2.
(5) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2018)0267.

Last updated: 29 November 2019Legal notice