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External relations


MEPs back new rules on foreign policy spending from 2014

DEVE AFET Enlargement / Development and cooperation / External relations05-12-2013 - 11:42

EU foreign-policy spending from 2014 will be more efficient, effective and democratically accountable, under new rules backed by foreign affairs MEPs on Thursday and development MEPs on Wednesday. The rules govern six foreign-policy funds for pre-accession, neighbouring and partner countries and peace-keeping, democracy and human-rights actions, worth over €51 billion. (Read more: MEPs back new rules on foreign policy spending from 2014)


WTO parliamentary session: Parliaments share responsibility for world trade

INTA External/international trade02-12-2013 - 13:09

The role and responsibilities of parliamentarians scrutinizing world trade talks were stressed at the opening of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) Parliamentary Conference in Bali, Indonesia on Monday by MEP and conference co-chair Vital Moreira. His co-chair, Phairoj Tanbanjong of the Thai parliament, stressed that multilateral trade must be governed by ethical criteria such as equity, sustainability and transparency. The conference is taking place on 2 and 5 December. (Read more: WTO parliamentary session: Parliaments share responsibility for world trade)


Trade MEPs back tool to open up non-EU public procurement markets to EU firms

INTA External/international trade28-11-2013 - 13:41

A draft law that could bar non-EU firms from bidding for public procurement contracts in the EU unless their home countries allow EU firms reciprocal access to their public procurement markets was endorsed by the International Trade Committee on Thursday. The proposed “international public procurement instrument” should strengthen the EU’s hand in trade talks and help EU firms wishing to bid for third country contracts. (Read more: Trade MEPs back tool to open up non-EU public procurement markets to EU firms)

Good neighbours: forging closer links with the EU's eastern partners Infographic - External relations27-11-2013 - 18:32

There is a Europe beyond the EU, which is why the EU has always been keen to foster good relations with its neighbours. On Thursday and Friday, EU leaders will meet their counterparts from the Eastern Partnership countries. Although Ukraine has decided to put off signing an association agreement with the EU, two other countries are expected to initial important deals, breaking down barriers and bringing them closer to the EU. Check out our infographic to find out what's at stake. (Read more: Good neighbours: forging closer links with the EU's eastern partners)


The international community must continue to provide substantial, coordinated and more effective aid to people affected by the atrocities of war in the Great Lakes region, in particular in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), said MEPs and MPs from the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) in Addis Ababa on 27 November. (Read more: Great Lakes: international aid must be more effective, says ACP-EU Assembly )


The EU and the US need to find ways to restore their mutual trust so as to enable them to build a joint economic area under the Transatlantic Partnership agreement (TTIP), said Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee chair Elmar Brok (EPP, DE), opening Tuesday’s debate with the US Senate’s European Affairs Sub-Committee chair Chris Murphy and House of Representatives members Mario Diaz-Balart and Gregory Meeks. (Read more: EU and US must restore trust to help trade talks, say MEPs and US congressmen)

MEP Tarja Cronberg, delegation chair  

The agreement reached over the weekend on limiting Iran’s nuclear programme in return for sanctions relief is a "great success" that paves the way for future cooperation, Tarja Cronberg (Greens/EFA, Finland), EP delegation chair said. We asked her for her opinion on the deal reached by Iran representatives and a negotiating team of the US, China, Russia, France, Germany, and the UK, led by EU high representative Catherine Ashton. (Read more: Nuclear deal with Iran: necessary step for cooperation, EP delegation chair says)


The Ukrainian authorities must refrain from using force against the Euromaidan Square protestors, demonstrating peacefully against the Ukrainian government's decision not to sign the Association Agreement with the EU, said two key MEPs responsible for the Eastern Partnership policy, Foreign Affairs Committee chair Elmar Brok (EPP, DE) and rapporteur Jacek Saryusz-Wolski (EPP, PL), who warned: "Otherwise, there will be serious consequences". (Read more: Key MEPs warn Ukraine authorities not to use force against pro-Europe protestors)