Procedure : 2016/2053(INI)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : A8-0263/2016

Texts tabled :

A8-0263/2016

Debates :

OJ 03/10/2016 - 12
CRE 03/10/2016 - 13

Votes :

PV 04/10/2016 - 7.9

Texts adopted :

P8_TA(2016)0371

REPORT     
PDF 356kWORD 82k
12 September 2016
PE 582.322v02-00 A8-0263/2016

on the future of ACP-EU relations beyond 2020

(2016/2053(INI))

Committee on Development

Rapporteur: Norbert Neuser

MOTION FOR A EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT RESOLUTION
 OPINION of the Committee on Foreign Affairs
 OPINION of the Committee on International Trade
 OPINION of the Committee on Budgets
 RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMITTEE RESPONSIBLE
 FINAL VOTE BY ROLL CALL IN COMMITTEE RESPONSIBLE

MOTION FOR A EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT RESOLUTION

on the future of ACP-EU relations beyond 2020

(2016/2053(INI))

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), and to its revisions of 2005 and 2010(1),

–  having regard to the Georgetown Agreement of 1975 setting up the ACP Group, and to its revision of 1992(2),

–  having regard to the Commission communication of 8 October 2003 entitled ‘Towards the full integration of cooperation with ACP countries in the EU budget’ (COM(2003)0590)(3),

–  having regard to the Joint Consultation Paper of the European Commission and the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy of 6 October 2015 entitled ‘Towards a new partnership between the European Union and the African, Caribbean and Pacific countries after 2020’ (JOIN(2015)0033)(4),

–  having regard to its earlier resolutions on ACP-EU relations, in particular that of 11 February 2015 on the work of the ACP-EU Parliamentary Assembly(5), that of 13 June 2013 on the second amendment to the Cotonou Agreement of 23 June 2000(6), that of 5 February 2009 on the development impact of Economic Partnership Agreements(7), and that of 1 April 2004 on the budgetisation of the European Development Fund(8),

–  having regard to the past resolutions of the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly, and in particular that of 9 December 2015 on ‘Forty years of partnership: evaluation of the impact on trade and development in the ACP countries and prospects for enduring relations between the ACP countries and the European Union’(9),

–  having regard to its previous resolutions on policy coherence for development (PCD),

–  having regard to the joint statement of 9 December 2015 by the Co-Presidents of the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly on the future of ACP-EU relations(10),

–  having regard to the EU global strategy for foreign and security policy, to be submitted to the European Council at its meeting of 28 and 29 June 2016,

–  having regard to the Joint Communication to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions of 21 March 2012 entitled ‘Towards a renewed EU-Pacific development partnership’,

–  having regard to the joint communication of 26 June 2012 entitled 'Joint EU-Caribbean partnership strategy' (JOIN(2012)0018),

–  having regard to the Joint Africa-EU Strategy, adopted by the African and European Heads of State and Government at the Lisbon summit on 9 December 2007(11),

–  having regard to its resolution of 6 October 2015 on the role of local authorities in developing countries in development cooperation(12),

–  having regard to the joint ACP-EU declaration of 12 June 2014 on the post-2015 agenda(13),

–  having regard to the Sipopo Declaration of the 7th Summit of ACP Heads of State and Government held on 13 and 14 December 2012, entitled ‘The Future of the ACP Group in a Changing World: Challenges and Opportunities’(14),

–  having regard to the Third International Conference on Financing for Development of 13-16 July 2015 and to the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, endorsed by the UN General Assembly on 27 July 2015(15),

–  having regard to the United Nations Summit on Sustainable Development and the outcome document adopted by the UN General Assembly on 25 September 2015, entitled ‘Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development’(16),

–  having regard to the 41st session of the ACP-EU Joint Council, held in Dakar (Senegal) on 28 and 29 April 2016,

–  having regard to the 8th Summit of ACP Heads of State and Government in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea on 31 May and 1 June 2016 adopting the Waigani Communiqué on the future perspectives of the ACP Group of States and the Port Moresby Declaration, accepting the final report of the Eminent Persons Group reflecting on the future of the ACP Group,

–  having regard to Rule 52 of its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on Development and the opinions of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, the Committee on International Trade and the Committee on Budgets (A8-0263/2016),

A.  whereas the strength and acquis of the Cotonou Agreement are based on a number of unique characteristics: it is a legally binding document, it has an unparalleled numerical strength of 79+28 member states, it is comprehensive through its three pillars of development cooperation, political cooperation and economic and trade cooperation, it has a joint institutional framework, and it has a large budget in the form of the European Development Fund (EDF);

B.  whereas the overarching objective of the Cotonou Agreement: ‘reducing and eventually eradicating poverty consistent with the objectives of sustainable development and the gradual integration of the ACP countries into the world economy’ is firmly anchored in Article 1 thereof; whereas the partnership is based on a set of basic values and principles, including respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, democracy based on the rule of law and transparent and accountable governance;

C.  whereas over 80 % of the world’s least developed countries (LDCs) are from ACP regions, which gives particular relevance to the EU-ACP partnership;

D.  whereas there have been changes to the political and economic landscape in the ACP Group and the European Union since the Cotonou Agreement was signed;

E.  whereas the future of ACP-EU relations should be based on a new reflection on the potential and obstacles ahead for EU-ACP cooperation;

F.  whereas the numerical strength of the ACP and EU member states has not sufficiently translated into joint action in global fora;

G.  whereas the ACP-EU partnership has played an important role in progress towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs);

H.  whereas, on the other hand, results as regards the objectives of poverty eradication and integration of ACP countries into the world economy have been insufficient to date, given that half of the ACP member states are still among the world’s least developed countries (LDCs) and that the ACP member states together account for less than 5 % of global trade and around 2 % of global GDP;

I.  whereas trade relations form the second pillar of the Cotonou Agreement, and whereas Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) are a means of furthering those relations;

J.  whereas Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) are defined in Article 36 of the Cotonou Agreement as development instruments with the ‘aim to foster smooth and gradual integration of ACP States into the world economy, especially by making full use of regional integration and south-south trade’; whereas the inclusion of EPAs in the Cotonou Agreement promotes policy coherence for development;

K.  whereas the Cotonou Agreement takes account of the growing importance of regional integration in ACP countries and in ACP-EU cooperation, as well as its role in fostering peace and security, promoting growth and tackling cross-border challenges;

L.  whereas the Cotonou Agreement addresses new global challenges related to climate change, migration, peace and security (such as the fight against terrorism, extremism and international criminality), but has produced few concrete results in these areas;

M.  whereas meetings of joint ACP-EU institutions, and notably the Joint Council of Ministers, have produced few concrete results and have seen both low and low-level attendance;

N.  whereas the EU finances approximately 50 % of the costs of the ACP secretariat; whereas a number of ACP member states are not paying their full membership contributions;

O.  whereas political dialogue on essential elements, as referred to in Articles 8 and 96 of the Cotonou Agreement, is a concrete and legal means of upholding the common values of the ACP-EU partnership and promoting democracy and human rights, which are fundamental for sustainable development;

P.  whereas there is a clear need to ensure that human rights conditionality is maintained, and to strengthen political dialogue in the new agreement;

Q.  whereas, despite the recognition of their importance, the involvement of national parliaments, local authorities, civil society and the private sector in political dialogue has been rather limited; whereas the role of the ACP Group as such has been limited to cases where Article 96 is invoked; whereas political dialogue, and Article 96 in particular, have mostly been used at a late stage of political crises and not in a preventative manner;

R.  whereas despite the clear recognition of the role of national parliaments, local authorities, civil society and the private sector in the Cotonou Agreement following its 2010 revision, their participation in deliberations on ACP-EU policies and activities has been limited;

S.  whereas civil society organisations are facing increasingly restrictive legislation and other obstacles that limit their activities and space;

T.  whereas the ACP region includes a number of overseas countries and territories (OCTs) associated with the European Union whose special links with the EU argue in favour of a move away from the traditional development assistance approach, so as to take better account of their membership of the European family; whereas although OCTs enjoy a special status, they continue to receive funding under the 11th European Development Fund (EDF), in the same way as the ACP countries;

U.  whereas the EDF is financed through direct contributions from EU Member States and is not subject to normal EU budgetary rules; whereas Parliament does not have any power over the EDF budget other than by granting discharge for disbursements already made, nor does it have formal scrutiny rights over EDF programming;

V.  whereas under the 11th EDF some EUR 900 million is set aside for the African Peace Facility and some EUR 1.4 billion from the EDF reserve will be used for the EU Trust Fund for Africa;

W.  whereas the domestic resources of the ACP countries, together with remittances from diaspora communities, could play a key part in funding development;

X.  whereas budgetisation of the EDF would allow for democratic scrutiny, enhance visibility and increase transparency in the use of EU development funds; whereas, on the other hand, the multiannual nature of EDF programming allows for resource predictability, and budgetisation could lead to a decrease in development funds to ACP countries in favour of other external policy priorities and could be seen to weaken the privileged EU-ACP partnership; whereas budgetisation of the EDF could also jeopardise the financing of the African Peace Facility, and of other important initiatives such as the Africa Trust Fund, unless a dedicated instrument for financing security expenses linked to development cooperation is created;

1.  Affirms that ACP-EU cooperation is a valuable and unique achievement that has strengthened bonds between ACP and EU peoples and countries and their parliaments throughout the last 40 years; underlines – in light of the ACP countries' demonstration of their commitment to taking joint action as a group – that in order to improve the effectiveness of cooperation and adapt it to new challenges, a new structure must be adopted that maintains those parts of the ACP-EU acquis that are universal in nature, such as a commitment to human rights and gender equality, human development, good governance and democracy, the objective of the rule of law, and exchange of best practice in a common framework, while the main work must be carried out in accordance with the principle of subsidiarity, that is, it must take place in regional agreements that are tailored to specific regional needs and to the mutual interests existing between the EU and the respective region;

2.  Emphasises that both the common framework and the regional agreements should be legally binding; underlines that, in order to strengthen their effectiveness, reduce duplication and avoid overlapping policy frameworks, the regional agreements with Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific should be designed in a way that takes into account existing regional and sub-regional organisations, e.g. the African Union, Regional Economic Communities, regional strategies or regional agreements such as Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs), and should allow the inclusion of additional countries, such as northern African countries, or the creation of groupings in accordance with specific interests or needs (e.g. development status, as in the case of LDCs, or geographical peculiarities, as in the case of small island developing states);

Objectives, principles and terms of cooperation

3.  Calls for the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to be placed at the centre of a new agreement, and for the creation of strong monitoring mechanisms to ensure that implementation of the agreement contributes to and promotes the SDGs;

4.  Calls for an ACP-EU peer monitoring, accountability and review mechanism to scrutinise SDG implementation in member states on a regular basis, with ACP and EU representatives not only from central governmental institutions but also from parliaments, regional and local authorities, civil society and scientific communities, drawing up yearly conclusions and recommendations for national, regional and global review processes and follow-up;

5.  Stresses, furthermore, that full account should be taken of knowledge-based policies during the programming, adoption and implementation of the sector-specific public policies provided for under the new agreement;

6.  Calls for the fight against, and ultimate eradication of, poverty and inequalities and the promotion of sustainable development to be the overarching objectives of ACP-EU cooperation; insists, however, that a new agreement must primarily be a political project based on the principle of ownership and clearly leave behind the donor-recipient mentality; considers that cooperation should take place in areas of common interest where mutual gains can be expected, not just in economic terms but also with regard to peace and security, human rights and the rule of law, good governance and democracy, migration, the environment, climate change and other areas related to the prosperity of both ACP and EU populations;

7.  Reiterates its view that policy coherence for development (PCD) is a key element for achieving the new sustainable development agenda; believes that the comprehensive nature of the Cotonou Agreement promotes PCD and should therefore be safeguarded in a new agreement; points out the need to maintain specific provisions on PCD and to strengthen dialogue on related issues in the framework of the new agreement; recalls its proposal of instituting standing PCD co-rapporteurs in the framework of the Joint Parliamentary Assembly;

8.  Believes that respect for internationally agreed aid effectiveness principles is key for accomplishing the 2030 Agenda, and considers that a reference to this should be included in a future agreement;

9.  Calls for the essential elements in the Cotonou Agreement regarding human rights, democratic principles and the rule of law to continue to form the value-based foundation of a new agreement; calls for good governance to be added as an essential element, in line with new SDG 16, covering peace and justice and effective institutions; reiterates the importance of fully implementing Article 9 of the Cotonou Agreement;

10.  Stresses that political dialogue is a fundamental part of the Cotonou Agreement, and that Articles 8 and 96 are a concrete and legal means to uphold the essential elements of ACP-EU relations, though they have not always been used effectively in the past; calls for political dialogue to remain a central and legal pillar in the overarching framework and at the regional level of the new agreement; calls for political dialogue to be used more effectively and systematically and in a proactive way in order to prevent political crises;

11.  Points out that Article 97 of the Cotonou Agreement provides for a consultation procedure and appropriate measures to deal with serious cases of corruption, and considers it regrettable that this article has been invoked only once to date; calls for that procedure to be strengthened in the new partnership agreement between the EU and the ACP countries, so as to make it fully operational;

12.  Underlines in this regard that political dialogue is a valuable basis for improving the situation of the peoples of the partner countries; regrets the insufficient use of this instrument and its weak effectiveness so far; calls, therefore, for improved monitoring of the human rights situation and of the other essential and fundamental elements of the agreement, stresses that the monitoring must be inclusive and participatory and calls for a regular biennial or multiannual evaluation and joint reports on respect of these elements by all ACP-EU member states with the purpose of naming, shaming and praising; calls for the results of these reports to be presented at the overarching ACP-EU meetings and used as a basis for political dialogue and for them to be consulted during national, regional and global SDG implementation reviews;

13.  Calls for stronger participation of national parliaments and regional and local authorities, both in ACP and EU countries, at all stages of ACP-EU policies and activities, from future planning and programming to implementation, evaluation and monitoring, particularly from the viewpoint of the principle of subsidiarity;

14.  Urges all the parties to the new agreement to undertake to give local and regional government greater autonomy and build up its capacity, so that it is able to carry out its duties effectively and to play a significant role in the development of ACP countries;

15.  Calls for stronger involvement in political dialogue, programming and implementation and support for capacity-building by civil society, especially for local groups that are directly concerned by policies; underlines in this regard the danger of shrinking space for civil society in some countries, and the need also to include groups such as minorities, young people and women that are unable to organise their interests or that are, despite a legitimate democratic interest, not recognised by their government;

16.  Believes that the private sector can play a pivotal role in the development process and can contribute to financing development, provided investment occurs with respect for the people, for traditional ownership or use, and for the environment, in line with the UN guiding principles on business and human rights; calls, therefore, for private investment to be supported under the auspices of the European Investment Bank (EIB), provided it is in line with international human rights law and social and environmental protection rules; underlines that in the new partnership priority should be given to small-scale producers and farmers and on securing an enabling environment for micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs); calls, furthermore, for local and national private sectors to be listened to during policymaking, and at the programming and implementation stages;

Future ACP-EU institutions

17.  Calls for Joint ACP-EU Council meetings to include topical and urgent political debates, including on sensitive issues, with the aim of adopting joint conclusions on them; calls on the relevant ACP and EU member state ministries to improve their participation at the level of ministers, in order to give the meetings the necessary political legitimacy and confer the needed visibility on the principle of partnership;

18.  Calls for the new cooperation agreement to include a strong parliamentary dimension, through a Joint Parliamentary Assembly (JPA), that will provide for an open democratic and comprehensive parliamentary dialogue, including on difficult and sensitive subjects, advance common (regional) political projects, provide a democratic underpinning for them through the participation of multi-stakeholders, scrutinise the executive's work and development cooperation, promote democracy and human rights, and thus make an important contribution to a new cooperation partnership on an equal footing; underlines the importance of the early involvement of the JPA in all relevant discussions regarding the post-2020 ACP-EU partnership;

19.  Strongly believes that the JPA should ensure the adequate democratic and proportional representation and participation of all political forces in its debates; calls, therefore, for the national delegations to the JPA to include parliamentary representatives of their national political spectrum and to guarantee the presence of opposition;

20.  Calls for the JPA to be aligned with the new regional structure, thus focusing its work in regional fora on issues of regional importance, strongly involving the national and regional parliaments, while also maintaining regular, but less frequent, joint ACP-EU meetings; calls for thematic topical meetings with civil society, local authorities and the private sector to be included in JPA sessions with a view to further developing and broadening debates on topics linked to the JPA agenda;

21.  Calls on the JPA Bureau to develop a more strategic orientation of the Assembly’s work programme; calls for future JPA Committee reports to make a clear link to the 17 SDGs so as to allow for continuous monitoring of each of these goals; calls for an alignment of common resolutions in the overarching ACP-EU forum on urgent international topics, delays regarding SDG-relevant topics and breaches of human rights, and an alignment of resolutions in regional or other respective meetings on current topics and issues that are urgent and of particular interest for a region or a specific group; in this context, reminds the VP /HR of the political importance of the presence of the Council at ministerial level in the JPA sessions; calls for the Co-Presidents of the ACP-EU JPA to be invited to Joint Council meetings in order to ensure an effective and reciprocal flow of information and to improve institutional cooperation;

22.  Calls for further efforts to be made to improve JPA scrutiny of development programming, bearing in mind the development effectiveness principles and follow-up to such scrutiny; calls on the Commission and governments to promote the involvement of national parliaments, local and regional authorities, civil society actors, the private sector and diaspora communities in all the different scrutiny phases of development programming, and to supply all available information in a timely and transparent manner to national parliaments in order to assist them in their exercise of democratic scrutiny;

23.  Considers that the EU-ACP partnership should try to engage further with other partners at the global level (such as the African Union or the United Nations) and other international powers wherever possible, and work on enhanced coordination and cooperation, without duplicating work or missions, in order to tackle the challenges of wars, internal conflicts, insecurity, fragility and transition;

Future funding

24.  Is convinced that the simultaneous expiry of the Cotonou Agreement and of the Union’s multiannual financial framework (MFF) provides an opportunity to finally decide on the budgetisation of the European Development Fund in order to enhance efficiency and effectiveness, transparency, democratic scrutiny, accountability and the visibility and coherence of EU development financing; stresses, however, that this budgetisation should be conditioned by i) a guaranteed ring-fencing of developing funds to maintain the level of financing for developing countries, and ii) a permanent and separate solution for EU financing of security expenses that are linked to and in coherence with development cooperation; stresses that, even if budgetised, the EDF should include benchmarks that are aligned with EU development cooperation; urges the two parties to modernise funding instruments and to promote general and sectoral budget support when possible;

25.  Points out that the Union budget already provides instruments targeted at specific partners and that EDF budgetisation can be designed so as to reflect and promote the privileged ACP-EU relationship with a view to promoting sustainable development; calls on the Commission to present a roadmap which addresses the abovementioned issues, prior to presenting the necessary proposals for the next MFF;

26.  Recalls that future ACP-EU relations must be of a political nature, e.g. working towards common political projects in different international fora, and not mainly of a donor-recipient nature; stresses, therefore, that EU development aid principles must be applied on an equal basis to all developing countries, and that advanced ACP countries must therefore graduate out of receiving EU development aid on the same terms as non-ACP countries; considers that a higher degree of self-financing by the ACP countries would be in line with the ACP ambitions to be an autonomous player, and stresses in this context the importance of including in the new agreement enhanced tools for building ACP countries' capacity to fund vital economic sectors; calls on the parties to redouble their efforts to build capacity in the ACP countries and to harness and make good use of domestic resources by, in particular, strengthening tax systems, ensuring sound management of natural resources and fostering industrialisation and the processing of raw materials for local, regional and world markets;

27.  Underscores that the 11th EDF is the main source of funding for the African Peace Facility (APF), despite the fact that this was meant to be a provisional solution when the APF was established in 2003; calls for the creation of a dedicated instrument for financing security expenses linked to development cooperation;

28.  Notes the Commission communication of 7 June 2016 on establishing a new partnership framework with third countries under the European Agenda on Migration; notes that the EU budget and the EDF contribution to the package of EUR 8 billion is exclusively composed of aid which was already planned; calls for development assistance to beneficiaries not to be jeopardised and for migration-related initiatives to be financed with fresh appropriations;

29.  Calls for the introduction of a dedicated instrument for all OCTs which is in keeping with their special status and their membership of the European family; calls for closer cooperation between ACP countries and OCTs, with a view to fostering inclusive and sustainable development in their respective regions and integrating OCTs more fully into their regional environments;

Trade dimension: Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs)

30.  Reiterates that EPAs constitute a basis for regional cooperation and that they must be instruments for development and regional integration; highlights, therefore, the relevance of legally binding sustainability provisions (on human rights, social and environmental standards) in all EPAs, and underlines the importance of creating effective monitoring systems that include a wide range of civil society in order to identify and prevent any potential negative effects due to trade liberalisation;

31.  Calls for a post-Cotonou Agreement as a political umbrella agreement under which binding minimum requirements for EPAs are set, in order to ensure continuity for EPA linkages in the existing Cotonou Agreement to sustainability provisions on good governance, respect for human rights, including among the most vulnerable people, and respect for social and environmental standards, and because it would provide an adequate framework for sustainable development and policy coherence; calls for a joint parliamentary scrutiny and monitoring process on the impact of the EPA as well as structured civil society monitoring mechanisms;

°

°  °

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

(1)

http://www.europarl.europa.eu/intcoop/acp/03_01/pdf/mn3012634_en.pdf

(2)

http://www.epg.acp.int/fileadmin/user_upload/Georgetown_1992.pdf

(3)

https://ec.europa.eu/europeaid/sites/devco/files/communication-co-operation-acp-countries-in-the-eu-budget-com2003590_en.pdf

(4)

http://ec.europa.eu/europeaid/sites/devco/files/joint-consultation-paper-post-cotonou_en_0.pdf

(5)

OJ C 310, 25.8.2016, p. 19.

(6)

OJ C 65, 19.2.2016, p. 257.

(7)

OJ C 67E, 18.3.2010, p. 120.

(8)

OJ C 103E, 29.4.2004, p. 833.

(9)

http://www.europarl.europa.eu/intcoop/acp/2015_acp2/pdf/101905en.pdf

(10)

http://www.europarl.europa.eu/intcoop/acp/2015_acp2/pdf/1081264en.pdf

(11)

http://www.africa-eu-partnership.org/sites/default/files/documents/eas2007_joint_strategy_en.pdf

(12)

Texts adopted, P8_TA(2015)0336.

(13)

http://www.acp.int/content/acp-eu-stand-together-post-2015-development-agenda

(14)

http://www.epg.acp.int/fileadmin/user_upload/Sipopo_Declaration.pdf

(15)

UN General Assembly resolution A/RES/69/313.

(16)

UN General Assembly resolution A/RES/70/1.


OPINION of the Committee on Foreign Affairs (19.7.2016)

for the Committee on Development

on the future of ACP-EU relations beyond 2020

(2016/2053(INI))

Rapporteur: Javier Couso Permuy

SUGGESTIONS

The Committee on Foreign Affairs calls on the Committee on Development, as the committee responsible, to incorporate the following suggestions into its motion for a resolution:

1.  Highlights the need to rebuild the ACP-EU relationship on fresh foundations as a partnership that promotes the strategic interests and shared values of the different partners, and contributes to the strengthening of global governance and a rules-based multilateral order; stresses that the partnership must have as its objectives the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the meeting of basic needs and respect for human rights, and promote both predictability and strategy ownership in development cooperation;

2.  Is convinced that the review of the ACP-EU partnership should take account of the growing importance of regionalisation in order to avoid simply imposing a Union political framework; emphasises that it is crucial that the countries which make up the ACP Group should play a full part, as a group and as regions, in the review process; emphasises, in that connection, the role of regional organisations, such as the African Union or the African regional economic communities; calls for the ACP partnership to be more strongly regionalised and placed on a differentiated institutional footing, given that the three partner regions – Africa, the Caribbean, and the Pacific – are unalike;

3.  Points to the significance of ACP relations, especially as regards the neighbouring African continent and the existing special relations with the African Union, which could be developed further; suggests that consideration be given to identifying the most efficient structures and mechanisms in the future cooperation, which may mean merging the existing Cotonou Agreement structures and policies with those of the Joint Africa-EU Strategy (JAES), and that an appropriate framework be established for relations with the Caribbean and Pacific countries; believes that, before any decision is taken on the future of the institutional set-up of ACP-EU relations, there should be a thorough analysis of the past achievements and failures of the existing framework;

4.  Considers that, while strong political alliances based on common interests and shared values should continue to form the basis of the ACP partnership, further cooperation on global issues should be strengthened and the adequate mechanisms created so as to tackle more effectively the global challenges of today, such as climate change and water, energy, food security, migration flows, terrorism, extremism, international crime, biodiversity, health and financial issues;

5.  Draws attention to the vital importance of consistency between the Union’s external policies and of consistency between the objectives of its internal and external policies, in particular in the areas of trade, agriculture, the environment, energy, security and migration; adds that it is still important that the countries in the ACP Group should take full ownership of the ACP-EU partnership and that the review should give the partnership fresh political impetus, over and above any technical or institutional adjustments required;

6.  Stresses that ACP-EU cooperation should be stepped up in areas of common interest such as security, conflict prevention including in relation to reducing hunger and the effects of climate change, human rights, the rule of law and democracy; points out in this connection that the possibilities for political dialogue within the framework of Articles 8 and 96 of the Cotonou Agreement have not been fully exploited by either the EU or the ACP side; highlights the important role of the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly in this context;

7.  Recalls that respect for human rights, democracy and the rule of law, good governance as well as other essential elements referred to in Article 9 of the Cotonou Agreement constitute the foundation of the ACP-EU partnership; highlights the need to respect human rights and the importance of section 2 of Article 9 of the current Cotonou Agreement and of the democratic clause contained therein and further developed in Article 96; recalls the importance of fully implementing those provisions wherever necessary;

8.  Stresses that different mechanisms of the Cotonou Agreement such as political dialogue, financial support, appropriate measures and suspension of development cooperation should be further enhanced in order to effectively contribute to the improvement of respect for human rights, democracy, the rule of law and good governance, especially the fight against corruption;

9.  Emphasises how important it is that the new post-Cotonou partnership should produce a ‘win-win’ outcome and that it should be based on the principles of joint growth and joint development between the EU and Africa; takes the view that the partnership must foster the industrialisation of the African continent and the development of agriculture and encourage investment in innovative policies and in sustainable development;

10.  Stresses that official development assistance (ODA), as defined by the United Nations SDGs and ‘Addis Ababa Action Agenda’ on financing development, remains crucial for ACP countries, in particular the least developed countries (LDCs); insists that this issue be fully integrated in future ACP-EU relations after 2020; notes the European Union’s commitment to allocating development assistance to ACP countries; deplores the fact that many EU Member States did not reach the target of allocating 7 % of their gross national product (GNP) to ODA in 2015; calls on all partners to fully honour their commitments;

11.  Calls for the inclusion of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in the review of the ACP-EU cooperation framework as a single, universal set of development goals applicable to all; believes that the joint ACP-EU Council should make concrete recommendations on the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals in the framework of ACP-EU cooperation;

12.  Stresses the importance, from the point of view of the ACP countries, of Article 12 of the current Cotonou Agreement, which allows ACP countries to enter into dialogue on EU policies that might affect their development;

13.  Emphasises the importance of partnership agreements for the governments of ACP countries to enhance the overall performance of their economies; takes the view that the new partnership will need to be based on developing the countries’ productive capacities within a clear logic of sustainable development and without illegal exploitation of natural resources by state-owned foreign companies, completing the most advantageous regional integration processes while taking advantage of existing nurturing structures such as the African Union, complementing traditional agriculture with efficient methods of agricultural exploitation, distribution and marketing to the benefit of the population, and combating land grabbing by foreign and domestic forces; recommends that consideration be given to privatising national natural resources and public services; calls for the EU, in this connection, to promote the consolidation of land property rights, including adequate registration and titling of property, in the partner countries concerned, so as to prevent economic exploitation of the most vulnerable groups;

14.  Points to the role and added value of economic relations, especially when they involve SMEs and family businesses on both sides; calls for specific measures to promote more intensive exchanges;

15.  Supports the UN decision to create a comprehensive legal instrument to ensure that businesses respect human rights, in order to put an end to labour exploitation, modern-day slavery, illicit capital flows and the financing of terrorism and armed conflicts; calls for the EU and the ACP partners to step up cooperation on combating money-laundering and tax evasion;

16.  Stresses in particular the need for sustainable development strategies to combat climate change in future cooperation agreements, including sound water management and sustainable agriculture practices, in order to increase food and water security with a view to ensuring healthy lives and ending hunger and poverty; considers that there are great prospects for new cooperation on climate and energy policy, maritime biodiversity conservation, including innovative measures to combat plastic marine litter, and joint disaster relief, to be organised by setting up efficient emergency points;

17.  Stresses that it is necessary to jointly find solutions for tackling the root causes of migration in some of the ACP countries; believes that working towards an effective multilateral framework for managing global migration flows should become a strategic priority for a future ACP-EU partnership;

18.  Highlights that the future partnership framework should allow for a comprehensive approach to peace and security and that, in this regard, sufficient planning and coordination should be established so as to avoid existing and possible duplications between regional and national support provided by the EU Member States and ACP countries;

19.  Believes that the provisions on peace and security should be strengthened further and that the future partnership should provide for more effective joint action on conflict prevention, including early warning and mediation, peace-building and the tackling of transnational security challenges in order to confront the current trans-regional security threats related to terrorism and violent extremism, all forms of trafficking, including of human beings, weapons and drugs, as well as piracy by which the EU and ACP countries are affected;

20.  Stresses that a stable security environment is an essential pre-condition if the sustainable development goals are to be achieved; supports, to this end, the creation of a financial instrument dedicated to security and peace within the framework of the future ACP-EU partnership;

21.  Calls for the political dimension of the ACP-EU partnership to be strengthened, in particular with a view to carrying out joint actions and exerting greater influence in international forums; considers that the ACP-EU partnership should try to engage further with other partners at global level (such as the AU and UN) and other international powers wherever possible, and work on enhanced coordination and cooperation, without duplicating work or missions, in order to tackle the challenges of wars, internal conflicts, insecurity, fragility and transition;

22.  Encourages the partners to broaden the framework of eligible states and institutions beyond the group of ACP countries, so long as the countries concerned meet the set requirements; highlights the need to review and reinvigorate the ACP-EU dialogue structures in order to ensure a plurality of partners in institutional dialogues at parliamentary and senior political level; invites the ACP countries to examine the prospects of a more structured relationship with Asian, Latin American, Middle Eastern and North American states, in order to exchange experiences;

23.   Stresses the importance of the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly in promoting political dialogue and in developing of an equal partnership between ACP and EU countries.

RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMITTEE ASKED FOR OPINION

Date adopted

12.7.2016

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

53

10

1

Members present for the final vote

Lars Adaktusson, Michèle Alliot-Marie, Nikos Androulakis, Francisco Assis, Petras Auštrevičius, Amjad Bashir, Mario Borghezio, Elmar Brok, Klaus Buchner, James Carver, Fabio Massimo Castaldo, Lorenzo Cesa, Javier Couso Permuy, Andi Cristea, Mark Demesmaeker, Georgios Epitideios, Knut Fleckenstein, Anna Elżbieta Fotyga, Eugen Freund, Michael Gahler, Sandra Kalniete, Manolis Kefalogiannis, Afzal Khan, Janusz Korwin-Mikke, Andrey Kovatchev, Eduard Kukan, Ilhan Kyuchyuk, Arne Lietz, Barbara Lochbihler, Sabine Lösing, Andrejs Mamikins, David McAllister, Tamás Meszerics, Francisco José Millán Mon, Javier Nart, Pier Antonio Panzeri, Demetris Papadakis, Ioan Mircea Paşcu, Vincent Peillon, Alojz Peterle, Tonino Picula, Cristian Dan Preda, Jozo Radoš, Sofia Sakorafa, Jacek Saryusz-Wolski, Jaromír Štětina, Charles Tannock, Ivo Vajgl, Geoffrey Van Orden, Hilde Vautmans, Boris Zala

Substitutes present for the final vote

Laima Liucija Andrikienė, Andrzej Grzyb, Marek Jurek, Soraya Post, Igor Šoltes, Eleni Theocharous, Traian Ungureanu, Bodil Valero, Marie-Christine Vergiat

Substitutes under Rule 200(2) present for the final vote

Therese Comodini Cachia, Edouard Ferrand, Liliana Rodrigues, Janusz Zemke


OPINION of the Committee on International Trade (19.7.2016)

for the Committee on Development

on the future of ACP-EU relations beyond 2020

(2016/2053(INI))

Rapporteur: Pedro Silva Pereira

SUGGESTIONS

The Committee on International Trade calls on the Committee on Development, as the committee responsible, to incorporate the following suggestions into its motion for a resolution:

1.  Underlines that existing ACP-EU cooperation has not delivered optimal results for the parties to the agreement and stresses, therefore, that future use of the same instruments in relations with the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries can have only limited effects on their development;

2.  Calls for an effective post-Cotonou framework adapted to the new and emerging global challenges, based on ownership by and responsibility of the ACP countries, and underlines the paramount role of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and human rights; highlights that the post-Cotonou framework must be defined in close cooperation with the ACP countries, including civil society, in coordination with relevant regional organisations, and must also draw on the analysis and the lessons learnt from the Cotonou Partnership Agreement, while avoiding the duplication of efforts and structures; requests that the new post-Cotonou framework place growth and development at the heart of its objectives; stresses that a revised general framework agreement, which is legally binding in nature, together with the regional Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) and other trade instruments, namely the ‘Everything But Arms’ initiative and the Generalised System of Preferences (GSP/GSP+), must support fair and sustainable trade, regional integration and, ultimately, wealth creation, sustainable development and reduction of inequality and poverty, and must also contain enforceable mechanisms to ensure human rights;

3.  Recalls that EPAs are a key development instrument for helping alleviate poverty in the long run; stresses, however, that trade liberalisation must be accompanied by effective measures and development support in terms of capacity building, production, infrastructure and export capacity, and domestic private sector development, especially for the least-developed countries, in order to help them take advantage of the opportunities offered by trade;

4.  Supports the establishment of a continental free trade area (CFTA) targeting deep economic integration among the 54 states of the African continent; calls for the redefinition of the EU-ACP partnership to make it compatible with the creation of this CFTA;

5.  Notes that trade is one of the three pillars of the Cotonou Agreement and stresses that the post-Cotonou process should offer a framework within which to discuss trade issues of common concern with all the ACP countries and the relevant stakeholders; calls for a post-Cotonou agreement as a political umbrella agreement under which binding minimum requirements for the EPAs are set, including joint parliamentary scrutiny and structured civil society monitoring mechanisms; calls on the Commission to ensure regular monitoring of the implementation of the EPAs with a view to their possible upgrading; calls for a strengthening of trade cooperation, which is fair and balanced while encouraging systemic economic reforms and taking into account the specificities and the priorities of the different ACP countries and regions; defends such trade relations but with a values-driven approach and improved Policy Coherence for Development, as proposed in the ‘Trade for All: Towards a more responsible trade and investment policy’ communication; calls for a post-Cotonou framework that takes into consideration the gender dimension of trade; believes that inclusive growth, decent job creation, economic governance, regional integration, the promotion of investment cooperation, the development of the private sector (especially of micro and small enterprises), economic diversification, the promotion of infant industries, and sustainable agricultural development and sustainable management of natural resources should be central in a future economic partnership;

6.  Stresses that not only trade agreements, including EPAs, but also investment are of great importance for the development of ACP economies and the decrease in unemployment and social exclusion; to this purpose, believes that future arrangements after 2020 should provide adequate provisions to support investment processes;

7.  Stresses that the post-Cotonou framework must promote sustainable development, human rights, core labour standards and good governance, including by tackling corruption and illicit financial flows on the basis of international standards; calls for strong and enforceable sustainable development provisions and a proper framework for corporate social responsibility; asks, in particular, for the human rights ‘essential elements’ clause to remain in the future agreement, in line with the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, so that the linkage clauses in the EPAs – especially the non-execution clauses – continue to function after 2020;

8.  Considers that it is very important for the post-Cotonou framework to introduce trade facilitation measures in order to expand the intra-African exchange of industrial and agricultural products;

9.  Notes the importance of a renewed ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly, and of its involvement in all stages of discussion regarding the post-Cotonou framework, and defends strong parliamentary oversight of the future framework; asks for results-oriented and periodic monitoring of ACP-EU cooperation, especially with regard to human rights, trade, sustainable development and fair trade;

10.  Stresses that the involvement of civil society and interested stakeholders, such as trade unions, businesses – including SMEs – and local authorities, is a must throughout the implementation of the EPAs and the post-Cotonou process; calls on the Commission to promote civil society participation in formal EU-ACP relations;

11.  Recalls the Financing for Development commitments of the Addis Ababa Action Agenda and their importance for the realisation of the SDGs; underlines the need for the elaboration of clear and transparent taxation rules for the improvement of domestic revenues; notes the importance of trade capacity building, as industrialisation and diversification of ACP economies remains limited, and calls for a thorough analysis of ACP needs for the development of trade and investment; asks the EU to ensure adequate and effective funding for Aid for Trade to foster technology transfer and support the ACP countries’ efforts to implement the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement, progressively integrate into the world economy and move up the global and regional value chains; notes that financial aid has to be intertwined with concrete cooperative projects directed at improving infrastructure and educational and social systems in the ACP countries;

12.  Also calls on the EU to upgrade its support to help resource-rich countries implement the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative principles of greater transparency and accountability in the oil, gas and mining sectors.

RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMITTEE ASKED FOR OPINION

Date adopted

14.7.2016

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

30

0

4

Members present for the final vote

William (The Earl of) Dartmouth, Laima Liucija Andrikienė, Maria Arena, Karoline Graswander-Hainz, Yannick Jadot, Ska Keller, Jude Kirton-Darling, Alexander Graf Lambsdorff, Bernd Lange, Emmanuel Maurel, Anne-Marie Mineur, Sorin Moisă, Godelieve Quisthoudt-Rowohl, Inmaculada Rodríguez-Piñero Fernández, Marietje Schaake, Helmut Scholz, Joachim Schuster, Joachim Starbatty, Iuliu Winkler, Jan Zahradil

Substitutes present for the final vote

Reimer Böge, Victor Boştinaru, Klaus Buchner, Seán Kelly, Gabriel Mato, Bolesław G. Piecha, Pedro Silva Pereira, Ramon Tremosa i Balcells, Wim van de Camp, Jarosław Wałęsa, Pablo Zalba Bidegain

Substitutes under Rule 200(2) present for the final vote

Mara Bizzotto, Bernd Kölmel, Jozo Radoš, Dariusz Rosati, Paul Rübig, Mylène Troszczynski


OPINION of the Committee on Budgets (14.7.2016)

for the Committee on Development

on the future of ACP-EU relations beyond 2020

(2016/2053(INI))

Rapporteur: Eider Gardiazabal Rubial

SUGGESTIONS

The Committee on Budgets calls on the Committee on Development, as the committee responsible, to incorporate the following suggestions into its motion for a resolution:

1.  Is convinced that the simultaneous expiry of the Cotonou Agreement and of the Union’s multiannual financial framework (MFF) provides an opportunity to finally decide the budgetisation of the largest geographic instrument in the policy area of development cooperation, the European Development Fund (EDF), with the condition of clear guarantees of ring-fencing for ACP-EU cooperation and the maintenance of the level of financing; believes that the current set-up of the EDF is an anomaly at the root of several shortcomings; stresses that budgetisation will boost the legitimacy, efficiency and predictability of development aid while ensuring better policy coherence and visibility, provided that this EDF funding is in addition to the current EU budget; reiterates that the budgetisation of the EDF will allow a simplification and harmonisation of the development aid framework; recalls that, even if budgetised, the EDF should include benchmarks that are aligned with EU cooperation, such as the current ones dedicated to human development and climate change;

2.  Points out that the Union budget already provides instruments targeted at specific partners and that EDF budgetisation can be designed so as to reflect and promote the privileged ACP-EU relationship with a view to promoting sustainable development; calls on the Commission to present a roadmap which addresses the abovementioned issues, prior to presenting the necessary proposals for the next MFF;

3.  Recalls that fighting poverty is the Union’s overarching objective in development cooperation and a primary way to address the root causes of forced migration and displacement; warns, in the context of the EU Trust Fund for Africa, against diverting appropriations from their intended purposes and breaching the objectives of the legal bases; recommends that steps be taken to continue the implementation of measures designed to increase the degree of autonomy and empowerment of communities, thereby enabling them to better represent their own interests in a responsible and sustainable way; recalls also the positive role of the African Peace Facility as a key instrument for stabilisation, and expects a solution to be found as part of EDF budgetisation which ensures its continuation in full observance of the Treaty;

4.  Notes the Commission Communication of 7 June 2016 on establishing a new Partnership Framework with third countries under the European Agenda on Migration; notes that the EU budget and the EDF contribution to the package of EUR 8 billion is exclusively composed of aid which was already planned; calls for development assistance to beneficiaries not to be jeopardised and for migration-related initiatives to be financed with fresh appropriations;

5.  Supports blending grants with financial instruments, streamlining funding and ensuring the sustainability of projects in order to maximise the impact of development assistance and address market failures and investment gaps; stresses that innovative financing must not replace grants, nor must it replace the responsibility of developed countries regarding official development assistance (ODA) or of developing countries to provide essential public services; notes the intention to launch an external investment plan in Africa and the Mediterranean, building on the example of the European Fund for Strategic Investment; calls for clear additionality vis-à-vis existing financial instruments and blending platforms, including via fresh appropriations, to be ensured and for Parliament to be fully involved in the establishment of the plan.

RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMITTEE ASKED FOR OPINION

Date adopted

12.7.2016

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

25

3

0

Members present for the final vote

Jean Arthuis, Reimer Böge, Lefteris Christoforou, Jean-Paul Denanot, Gérard Deprez, José Manuel Fernandes, Eider Gardiazabal Rubial, Jens Geier, Esteban González Pons, Ingeborg Gräßle, Iris Hoffmann, Bernd Kölmel, Zbigniew Kuźmiuk, Vladimír Maňka, Ernest Maragall, Siegfried Mureşan, Victor Negrescu, Liadh Ní Riada, Paul Rübig, Petri Sarvamaa, Patricija Šulin, Eleftherios Synadinos, Paul Tang, Indrek Tarand, Isabelle Thomas, Marco Zanni

Substitutes present for the final vote

Marco Valli, Derek Vaughan


RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMITTEE RESPONSIBLE

Date adopted

31.8.2016

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

20

5

1

Members present for the final vote

Louis Aliot, Beatriz Becerra Basterrechea, Ignazio Corrao, Manuel dos Santos, Doru-Claudian Frunzulică, Nathan Gill, Charles Goerens, Enrique Guerrero Salom, Heidi Hautala, Maria Heubuch, György Hölvényi, Teresa Jiménez-Becerril Barrio, Stelios Kouloglou, Arne Lietz, Linda McAvan, Norbert Neuser, Maurice Ponga, Cristian Dan Preda, Lola Sánchez Caldentey, Eleni Theocharous, Paavo Väyrynen, Bogdan Brunon Wenta, Rainer Wieland, Anna Záborská

Substitutes present for the final vote

Brian Hayes, Joachim Zeller

Substitutes under Rule 200(2) present for the final vote

Liliana Rodrigues


FINAL VOTE BY ROLL CALL IN COMMITTEE RESPONSIBLE

20

+

ALDE

Beatriz Becerra Basterrechea, Charles Goerens, Paavo Väyrynen

ECR

Eleni Theocharous

EFDD

Ignazio Corrao

PPE

Brian Hayes, György Hölvényi, Teresa Jiménez-Becerril Barrio, Cristian Dan Preda, Bogdan Brunon Wenta, Rainer Wieland, Joachim Zeller, Anna Záborská

S&D

Doru-Claudian Frunzulică, Enrique Guerrero Salom, Arne Lietz, Linda McAvan, Norbert Neuser, Liliana Rodrigues, Manuel dos Santos

5

-

EFDD

Nathan Gill

GUE/NGL

Stelios Kouloglou, Lola Sánchez Caldentey

VERTS/ALE

Heidi Hautala, Maria Heubuch

1

0

ENF

Louis Aliot

Key to symbols:

+  :  in favour

-  :  against

0  :  abstention

Last updated: 21 September 2016Legal notice