Procedure : 2010/0310(NLE)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : A7-0411/2012

Texts tabled :

A7-0411/2012

Debates :

OJ 16/01/2013 - 71

Votes :

PV 17/01/2013 - 12.2

Texts adopted :


RECOMMENDATION     ***
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11 December 2012
PE 498.021v03-00 A7-0411/2012

on the draft Council decision on the conclusion of a Partnership and Cooperation Agreement between the European Union and its Member States, of the one part, and the Republic of Iraq, of the other part

(10209/2012 – C7-0189/2012 – 2010/0310(NLE))

Committee on Foreign Affairs

Rapporteur: Mario Mauro

DRAFT EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT LEGISLATIVE RESOLUTION
 EXPLANATORY STATEMENT
 OPINION of the Committee on International Trade
 RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMITTEE

DRAFT EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT LEGISLATIVE RESOLUTION

on the draft Council decision on the conclusion of a Partnership and Cooperation Agreement between the European Union and its Member States, of the one part, and the Republic of Iraq, of the other part

(10209/2012 – C7-0189/2012 – 2010/0310(NLE))

(Consent)

The European Parliament,

–   having regard to the draft Council decision (10209/2012),

–   having regard to the draft Partnership and Cooperation Agreement between the European Union and its Member States, of the one part, and the Republic of Iraq, of the other part (05784/2011),

–   having regard to the request for consent submitted by the Council in accordance with Articles 79(3), 91, 100, 192(1), 194, 207 and 209 and Article 218(6), second subparagragh, point (a), of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (C7-0189/2012),

–   having regard to Rules 81 and 90(7) of its Rules of Procedure,

–   having regard to the recommendation of the Committee on Foreign Affairs and the opinion of the Committee on International Trade (A7-0411/2012),

1.  Consents to conclusion of the agreement;

2.  Instructs its President to forward its position to the Council, the Commission, and the governments and parliaments of the Member States and of the Republic of Iraq.


EXPLANATORY STATEMENT

On 23 March 2006, the Council authorised the Commission to negotiate a Trade and Cooperation Agreement with Iraq. At the seventh round of EU-Iraq negotiations, the two parties agreed to enhance the status of the draft agreement to a “Partnership and Cooperation Agreement” through the creation of a Cooperation Council meeting regularly at ministerial level. This EU-Iraq Partnership and Cooperation Agreement marks the first ever contractual relation between the EU and Iraq. Concluded for a period of 10 years (renewable), its aim is to build a solid basis for strengthening ties between Iraq and the EU.

There are three aspects to the Agreement. The first is political and involves the introduction of an annual dialogue at ministerial and at senior official level on peace, foreign and security policy, national dialogue and reconciliation, democracy, the rule of law, human rights, good governance and regional stability and integration. Clauses on combating terrorism, countering proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, the fight against the illicit trade of small arms and light weapons are included in the Agreement. With specific regard to human rights, the agreement very importantly features a specific clause concerning cooperation on the accession of Iraq to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC) and a clause on cooperation in the promotion and effective protection of human rights in Iraq with the important caveat that failure by Iraq to protect, enhance and respect human rights will negatively affect cooperation and economic development programmes. This approach is certainly most welcome, although a stricter conditionality would have given greater emphasis on the importance of substantial progress in human rights. It is recommended that the bilateral discussions with Iraqi authorities highlight the particular importance the EU attaches to the observance of human rights and individual fundamental freedoms, including those of religious and ethnic minorities and vulnerable parts of Iraqi society, such as women, refugees and displaced persons. The EU should support Iraq as much as possible in acceding to the ICC.

With respect to trade and investments, the non-preferential agreement incorporates basic World Trade Organization (WTO) rules, although Iraq is not yet a member of the WTO. It provides for some substantial preferential elements, namely as regards public procurement and services and investments.

Finally, the EU’s cooperation activities programmed in the field of human and social development aim to combat poverty and respond to the core health, education and employment needs prioritised by the Government of Iraq. It will, however, be necessary to check that these activities are carried out within the framework of capacity and institution building, taking into account the principles of inclusiveness, transparency and good governance.

This is a historic agreement between the EU and Iraq. It comes at a key point in time to accompany Iraq’s transition to democracy over the coming years as it meets the challenges of reconstruction and development, the restoration of its sovereignty and the normalisation of its relations with the international community. The EU should be fully engaged alongside the Iraqi people and their authorities who will be faced with many challenges, with the security and stability of the country being the primary concern. The Iraqi security forces are gaining in competence out in the field, but suffer from a lack of internal cohesion and the absence of a legal framework and democratic scrutiny. In addition, whilst there has been a marked decline in violence, it remains a menacing fact of life. There is still a risk of the situation getting out of control or a return to civil war, with religious minorities – particularly the Christian minority – facing the greatest threat. National reconciliation should thus be a priority for both Iraqi policy makers and the international community. Full support should be given to the consolidation of inclusive political and institutional governance within the framework of a democratic, federal and pluralist State based on respect for human rights and the rule of law. Finally, the coming years will also be marked by the challenge of developing one of the poorest countries on the planet, despite its large oil resources, in which the vast majority of the population does not have access to basic needs (drinking water, electricity, sanitary infrastructure, etc.). A democratic, stable, pluralist Iraq committed to the socio-economic development of its citizens and with strong democratic institutions will play a leading role in the stability of a critical region for international security. This requires a long-term strategic vision which should guide the Union's policy on Iraq for the years to come. Key to Iraq's stability will be not only strong support for sustainable fully democratic and pluralistic institutions, but continuous technical assistance to secure the sustainability and efficiency of the Iraqi economy with full, proper implementation of International contract law, effective procurement procedures, a functioning administration and an effective framework for the fight against corruption. This will generate a process of access to the economy and economic independence to progressively larger parts of Iraqi society. Emphasis on interreligious dialogue and reconciliation will also be essential for the future of Iraq.

Whilst the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement is testament to the EU’s determination to play an important role in Iraq’s transition, the commitments made by the Union should be reflected in the mobilisation of human and financial resources that live up to its political ambitions and the strategic stakes involved.


OPINION of the Committee on International Trade (7.11.2012)

for the Committee on Foreign Affairs

on the draft Council decision on the conclusion of a Partnership and Cooperation Agreement between the European Union and its Member States, of the one part, and the Republic of Iraq, of the other part

(10209/2012 - C7-0189/2012 - 2010/0310(NLE))

Rapporteur: Maria Badia i Cutchet

SHORT JUSTIFICATION

The original mandate of the Council in 2006 authorised the Commission to negotiate a "Trade and Cooperation Agreement with Iraq". In 2009 in Baghdad, both Iraq and the EU agreed to enhance the status of the draft Agreement, by changing the title of the Agreement to “Partnership and Cooperation Agreement”. Nonetheless, the new agreement includes a sizeable Trade content in it, with a whole Chapter dedicated to "Trade and Investment".

The Rapporteur welcomes this agreement, as it is the first ever contractual relation between the EU and Iraq and goes in the right direction. The non-preferential trade agreement included in the PCA incorporates basic World Trade Organization (WTO) rules, even though Iraq is not yet a member of the WTO. It also includes an efficient dispute settlement mechanism, featuring binding panel rulings and compliance procedures.

It is in the interest of both Iraqis and Europeans to see a stable and democratic Iraq. In this respect, the Rapporteur believes that trade facilitation is a good way to increase the stability and prosperity in a country that badly needs both. For this reason the Rapporteur is proposing that the European Parliament gives its consent to the agreement. However, the Rapporteur would also like to underline that in her opinion this is the first step, and that Iraq would need technical and logistical help so that it is able to make the best out of the agreement, particularly the trade part. Thus, the Rapporteur hopes that the Commission will also provide our partners with the necessary tools and know-how to exploit the benefits of the agreement and also to live up to their end of the bargain.

*******

The Committee on International Trade calls on the Committee on Foreign Affairs, as the committee responsible, to propose that Parliament gives its consent.

RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMITTEE

Date adopted

6.11.2012

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

21

3

2

Members present for the final vote

William (The Earl of) Dartmouth, Maria Badia i Cutchet, Marielle de Sarnez, Yannick Jadot, Metin Kazak, Franziska Keller, Bernd Lange, David Martin, Paul Murphy, Franck Proust, Godelieve Quisthoudt-Rowohl, Helmut Scholz, Peter Šťastný, Robert Sturdy, Gianluca Susta, Henri Weber, Jan Zahradil

Substitute(s) present for the final vote

Josefa Andrés Barea, Catherine Bearder, George Sabin Cutaş, Béla Glattfelder, Syed Kamall, Pablo Zalba Bidegain

Substitute(s) under Rule 187(2) present for the final vote

Edite Estrela, Jean-Paul Gauzès, Oldřich Vlasák


RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMITTEE

Date adopted

3.12.2012

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

47

2

0

Members present for the final vote

Sir Robert Atkins, Frieda Brepoels, Arnaud Danjean, Marietta Giannakou, Andrzej Grzyb, Anna Ibrisagic, Anneli Jäätteenmäki, Jelko Kacin, Ioannis Kasoulides, Tunne Kelam, Nicole Kiil-Nielsen, Evgeni Kirilov, Maria Eleni Koppa, Andrey Kovatchev, Paweł Robert Kowal, Eduard Kukan, Alexander Graf Lambsdorff, Krzysztof Lisek, Mario Mauro, Francisco José Millán Mon, María Muñiz De Urquiza, Annemie Neyts-Uyttebroeck, Raimon Obiols, Ria Oomen-Ruijten, Pier Antonio Panzeri, Alojz Peterle, Bernd Posselt, Cristian Dan Preda, Tokia Saïfi, José Ignacio Salafranca Sánchez-Neyra, Jacek Saryusz-Wolski, György Schöpflin, Werner Schulz, Laurence J.A.J. Stassen, Charles Tannock, Sir Graham Watson

Substitute(s) present for the final vote

Laima Liucija Andrikienė, Marije Cornelissen, Elisabeth Jeggle, Agnès Le Brun, Carmen Romero López, Marietje Schaake, Helmut Scholz, Ivo Vajgl, Luis Yáñez-Barnuevo García, Paweł Zalewski, Janusz Władysław Zemke

Substitute(s) under Rule 187(2) present for the final vote

Danuta Jazłowiecka, Giovanni La Via

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