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External relations

 

Tunisian president and EP condemn murder of opposition leader

Others Institutions / External relations06-02-2013 - 16:27
Tunisian president Moncef Marzouki  

Tunisian president Moncef Marzouki condemned the assassination of his country's opposition leader Chokri Belaïd in Tunis on Wednesday morning in a speech to MEPs. "This is a threat, a letter being sent to us," he said. "We reject that letter and continue to unmask the enemies of the revolution." EP president Martin Schulz expressed condolences to the Belaïd family and the Tunisian people, confident that "Tunisian authorities will do everything necessary to bring those responsible to justice". (Read more: Tunisian president and EP condemn murder of opposition leader )

 
 

Somali president calls on EP to help develop his country's parliament

Others External relations31-01-2013 - 15:45
Somali president Hassan Sheikh Mohamud together with EP president Martin Schulz  

Somali president Hassan Sheikh Mohamud made a plea for the EP and the EU to support his country during a visit to the Parliament on 31 January. Mr Mohamud, who was elected president last September, said: "Now we have a better government and parliament, trying to do their best, but we are here because of European help. We are grateful for our traditional partner, and would like to request further support, especially of the European Parliament, to make our legislative organ strong and capable." (Read more: Somali president calls on EP to help develop his country's parliament )

 
 
Arnaud Danjean  

France's call for support in its campaign against Islamic militants in Mali has been met by mixed reactions from other member states. Although the EU has offered to train the Mali army, the EP's security and defence subcommittee said it should also use its tactical battle groups, which are military units that the EU can rapidly deploy for international intervention. We spoke to chair Arnaud Danjean, a French member of the centre-right EPP group, about Mali and the common EU defence policy. (Read more: Mali: "It's a shame that the EU's tactical battle groups are not being deployed" )

 
 
The Map of the first enlargement as displayed in the Parlamentarium EP museum  

This month marks 40 years since the EU welcomed Denmark, Ireland and the United Kingdom as members in its first ever enlargement. At the time the economy was not growing as fast as before and adding fresh blood was seen as the perfect way to revitalise the organisation. It also meant EP got to welcome an additional 58 members - an increase of nearly 40%. We spoke to some of the longest-serving MEPs to ask them how their country evolved because of EU membership and how they see the future. (Read more: How being in the EU for 40 years has changed Denmark, Ireland and the UK )

 
 

MEPs welcome progress of Balkan countries towards EU membership

Others Enlargement / External relations23-01-2013 - 14:49
Flag of Montenegro against a blue sky  

MEPs praised the reforms of the Balkan countries and their progress towards achieving EU membership but identified areas for further improvement. On 21 and 22 January, EP's foreign affairs committee adopted a progress report on Montenegro, discussed Kosovo's European integration process and questioned Suzana Grubjesic, Serbia's deputy prime minister for European integration. (Read more: MEPs welcome progress of Balkan countries towards EU membership )

 
 

EU–Iraq agreement: new opportunities to boost democracy

Others External/international trade / Development and cooperation / External relations15-01-2013 - 16:12
Mario Mauro  

Iraq can enjoy new economic opportunities and receive a boost to its efforts to promote democracy and human rights in the country thanks to its first-ever framework agreement with the EU. That is the view of Italian Christian Democrat MEP Mario Mauro, who is responsible for steering the agreement through Parliament. He is recommending his fellow MEPs to approve the partnership and cooperation agreement at the vote on Thursday. We spoke to him about how the EU can help Iraq. (Read more: EU–Iraq agreement: new opportunities to boost democracy )

 
 

Biopiracy: protecting genetic resources in developing countries

Others Development and cooperation / Research and innovation14-01-2013 - 11:50
Rosy periwinkle  

The rosy periwinkle has been used in traditional medicine for centuries but has now been developed into a drug to treat leukaemia. Plants with medicinal properties are increasingly being used to create new medicine, but the indigenous people who first identified these features seldom get to share the profits. This is sometimes referred to as biopiracy and MEPs will this week discuss and vote on a report by French Green MEP Catherine Grèze setting out how this could be tackled. (Read more: Biopiracy: protecting genetic resources in developing countries )