Future ACP-EU partnership: MEPs agree on concrete objectives
- Post-Cotonou: renewed partnership to better reflect the reality of ACP countries
- Urbanisation and environment: reducing waste production as a priority
- Terrorism and radicalisation: ACP and EU countries must strengthen their common struggle
MEPs and African, Caribbean and Pacific MPs agreed on the future of their partnership at the 35th Joint Parliamentary Assembly in Brussels.
During the 35th session of the Joint Parliamentary Assembly (JPA) from 18 to 20 June in Brussels, Members of the European Parliament and their counterparts from 78 African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries adopted several resolutions on Wednesday afternoon.
ACP-EU post-Cotonou relations: a strong parliamentary dimension
Ahead of negotiations to renew the Cotonou Agreement, the EU-ACP partnership’s founding treaty, due to begin in August 2018, Members call for the parliamentary dimension to be strengthened in the future agreement.
The European Union and the ACP Group have undergone considerable political and economic changes since the ratification of the Cotonou Agreement, say MEPs. They insist that the financing aspect of the new partnership should be addressed and negotiated as a matter of priority, including the possible integration of the European Development Fund into the EU budget.
MEPs advocate for gender balance in JPA delegations, integration of delegates under 40, representation of opposition parties, non-state actors and civil society in the resolution adopted by show of hands.
Impact of the illegal trade in phytosanitary products, seeds and other agricultural inputs on ACP economies
A clear strategy to tackle the illegal trade in plant protection products, seeds and other illegal inputs (PPPSIs) is fundamental, MEPs and their ACP counterparts say. The meaningful action to address trafficking and food insecurity should go through technical and financial assistance, and through tough action on the part of EU member states to tackle the export, or transit through their territory, of counterfeit products.
MEPs insist on the need for a thorough review of the marketing authorisation criteria for PPPSIs. They recommend establishing, as part of ACP-EU cooperation, a common fund for public research that guarantees independence from industry, and development in the various sectors making up the field of agronomy.
Social and environmental consequences of urbanisation
The EU and the international community must actively support the development of national waste management strategies and a circular economy, by providing adequate funding and monitoring, say MEPs.
The resolution stresses that pollution is the largest environmental cause of disease and death in the world today, responsible for an estimated nine million premature deaths in 2015. 62 % of urban populations in Sub-Saharan Africa live in degraded suburbs, most often located in environmentally fragile areas, and without access to basic services such as water, sanitation, energy, transport and waste management systems. Strategies to reduce waste generation should therefore take priority, while recycling and waste treatment should be viewed only as fallback solutions.
MEPs call on the EU to develop binding rules to ensure its companies are effective partners in environmental management and invest responsibly and sustainably in ACP countries, taking into account the waste-generating consequences of their investments, as well as the opportunities for reusing or recycling the generated waste.
The urgency of new measures to fight international terrorism
There can be no justification for acts of terrorism or for supporting and financing terrorist acts, say MEPs in the first urgency resolution. They call on the EU and ACP countries to implement a comprehensive strategy that addresses the root causes of terrorism, through an effective and independent judiciary and appropriate policies.
Radicalisation and recruitment of individuals by terrorist networks is a global phenomenon, ACP MPs and MEPs say. They call on ACP countries and the EU to strengthen their efforts to combat radicalisation, in particular through educational and social integration.
Humanitarian crisis in Southern Sudan
In the second urgent resolution, MEPs and their ACP counterparts call on all parties to the conflict in Southern Sudan to immediately cease hostilities and take up a national conciliation dialogue. There can be no military solution to the conflict, they insist.
To be meaningful and inclusive, the process of national dialogue should feature neutral leadership, include opposition groups, women and south Sudanese citizens.
You can watch online the voting session.
Next ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly
The 36th session of the ACP-EU JPA will be held from 3 to 5 December 2018 in Benin (West Africa).
The ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly (JPA) brings together 78 MEPs from 78 African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries that signed the Cotonou Agreement, the basis of ACP-EU cooperation and development work.