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A word from the chair

Welcome to the website of the European Parliament's Delegation to the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly.

I am grateful for the trust that the members of the EU Delegation to the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly have placed in me by electing me as their Chair. Succeeding personalities of great prestige and experience, who have left a legacy of great responsibility, I will be Chairman of this Delegation during a period of huge challenges.

I am committed to ensure that the EU Delegation to the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly makes a strong contribution to strengthening a partnership between equals and promotes sustainable development in line with the goals of the 2030 Agenda, within a framework that advances and defends human rights, the rule of law and respect among peoples.

I count on all the elected members of this Joint Assembly and on the technical and political teams that support them, so that together we can transform a genuine desire of cooperation and development into tangible results in people's quality of life and the planet's sustainability.

Carlos Zorrinho

JPA Co-Presidents condemn assassination of Jovenel Moïse, President of Haiti

07-07-2021 - 17:20
Carlos Zorrinho (S&D, PT) and Peter Kenilorea Jr (Solomon Islands), Co-Presidents of the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly (JPA) strongly condemn the assassination of Jovenel Moïse, President of Haiti, who was killed last night at his residence by unknown gunmen.

They extend their deep sympathies and extend condolences to the family of Mr Moïse, and their wish for a prompt recovery to First Lady Martine Moïse, who was wounded in the attack and is now receiving treatment.

They call for an end to the violence and appeal to the EU and the OACPS and their Member States to support and assist Haiti in addressing the humanitarian, political and security situation in the country. Coordinated and strengthened international support is urgently needed to improve the situation of the Haitian people.

Background

President Moïse had been in power since 2017, but the legitimacy of his rule grew to be contested by the political opposition and civil society groups, which claimed that his mandate should have ended in February of 2021.

However, the President remained in power, and ruled by decree since January 2020 after the expiration of the legislature, following the postponement of legislative elections in 2019.

This situation politically polarized and divided the population of Haiti, and in recent months gang violence became increasingly prevalent in the country, with reports of targeted gang attacks as well as a surge in kidnapping cases, which government forces have struggled to control. Haiti also faces food shortages and a growing humanitarian crisis.

In its 21 May 2021 resolution on the situation in Haiti, the European Parliament called on "the Haitian authorities to organise free, fair, transparent and credible legislative, local and presidential elections, and to guarantee sustainable security during these electoral processes; recalls that as long as the conditions of transparency, fairness and democracy have not been met, the EU should not provide any financial and technical support for the electoral processes; recalls that only a credible, transparent, participatory and peaceful election process can overcome the protracted political crisis in Haiti;"

It also underlined the need for an independent judiciary and called on the Government to respect the fundamental principles of democracy, to strengthen the rule of law and to increase efforts to end gang clashes and armed attacks on civilians and on law enforcement and to bring those responsible to justice in fair trials.

Global Refugee Forum and Africa: tracking progress on pledges and the EU contribution

20-05-2021 - 17:35
Exchange of views: Global Refugee Forum and Africa: tracking progress on pledges and the EU contribution

On 27 May, the Delegation to the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly (DACP) will hold an exchange of views on "The UN Global Refugee Forum and Africa", with UNHCR, EC, Ambassadors of Uganda and Mauritania.Mrs Tineke Strik, DACP Vice-Chair, will preside the debate, which aims at tracking progress on pledges in selected African countries and assess the EU contribution.

WHEN: 27 May at 19:00 - 21:00 CETWHERE: Online via Webex

REGISTRATION: To participate register here by 26 May EoB

Speakers:
  • Hon. Ms Tineke Strik MEP
  • Amb. Mohamed Abdi Affey, UNHCR Special Envoy Horn of Africa
  • Mr Hans Stausboll, Head of Unit 'Regional and Multi-Country Programmes for Africa', European Commission DG INTPA
  • H.E. Ms. Mirjam Blaak Sow, Ambassador of Uganda
  • H.E. Abdellahi Bah Nagi Kebd, Ambassador of Mauritania

The exchange of views will contribute to provide information ahead of the December 2021 High-Level Officials Meeting (HLOM) that will assess progress made in the implementation of the Global Compact on Refugees.

22 April: ‘Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam: Can the EU help to overcome the dispute?’

21-04-2021 - 18:43
Waterfall on the Blue Nile in Ethiopia with cattle grazing in the forefront. Waterfall on the Blue Nile in Ethiopia with cattle grazing in the forefront.
The Blue Nile originates in Ethiopia and contributes about 70% of the Nile's waters © Creative Commons Marc Veraart via Flickr
Ten years ago, in April 2011, Ethiopia started construction of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) on the Blue Nile, which is Ethiopia's first mega dam and set to become Africa's largest hydro-power plant. Downstream Sudan and Egypt depend on Nile waters and are strongly opposed to the way Ethiopia has gone about this project. As negotiations so far have failed to yield an agreement ˗ and after failed mediation attempts by the previous US administration, South Africa and the African Union ˗ Egypt and Sudan now take the view that the EU and the UN should play a stronger role in resolving the dispute. Meanwhile, Ethiopia says it will go ahead with the second filling of the dam when the rains come in June or July.

On Thursday 22 April, 16:00-17:30, Members of Parliament's delegations for relations with the Mashreq and ACP countries will discuss with experts and the EU's Special Representative for the Horn of Africa what the EU can do to overcome the dispute.

JPA Co-Presidents condemn recent brutal attacks in Palma, Cabo Delgado, Mozambique

31-03-2021 - 11:47
In a Bureau meeting of the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly on 30 March, Co-Presidents Carlos Zorrinho (S&D, PT) and Faumuina Liuga, expressed their serious concerns over the further escalating violence in the Northern Province of Mozambique, Cabo Delgado in reaction to the brutal attacks last week on the Mozambican town of Palma.

The attacks and the chaos caused by the terrorist invaders is probably one of the most serious crises the Mozambican government has faced so far during the Cabo Delgado insurgency. It raises renewed questions about the ability of the Mozambican forces to ensure adequate security for the region and its citizens. It additionally challenges the viability of the forthcoming important gas/energy projects.

In order to prevent further escalations and to restore peace and security in the Northern Province, the two Co-Presidents call upon the Mozambican government and the EU to implement the agreed comprehensive three level support-plan. It will/should establish a framework that allows support to the province in its fight against terrorism and insurgency, in cooperation and coordination with regional authorities, countries in the region and its multilateral organizations SADC.

25 March: JPA Members to discuss vaccination roll-out and Global Europe instrument

25-03-2021 - 11:23
Afro-American man getting vaccinated by a woman. Afro-American man getting vaccinated by a woman.
Covid-19 vaccinations have started worldwide but the speed is highly uneven. © Creative Commons Marc A. Hermann / MTA New York City Transit
The Joint Parliamentary Assembly ACP-EU will hold an extraordinary meeting, on Thrusday 25 March, bringing together remotely the Members of all three JPA committees.

Members will discuss the new EU financing instrument Global Europe/NDICI which will replace the European Development Fund for development cooperation with African, Caribbean and Pacific countries. The second half of the meeting will be devoted to information and debate on the global roll-out of Covid-19 vaccines. Members will exchange with representatives of GAVI, playing a key role in COVAX, and with senior EU officials, including the head of the EU vaccine strategy task force.

The meeting will be webstreamed live, Thursday 25 March, 20:00 to 22:00 CET (link below).

Chrysoula Zacharopoulou is EU candidate for the COVAX Council Co-Presidency

16-03-2021 - 11:14
MEP Zacharopoulouwith face mask at the Mayange medical centre near Kigali (Rwanda) speaking to a patient, nurse in the background. MEP Zacharopoulouwith face mask at the Mayange medical centre near Kigali (Rwanda) speaking to a patient, nurse in the background.
MEP Zacharopoulou, a medical doctor, assists first COVID-19 vaccinations at the Mayange medical centre in Rwanda © EU
European and ACP members of Parliament support Chrysoula Zacharopoulou's candidacy for the position of Co-President of the COVAX Council.

Carlos Zorrinho (S&D, PT) and Faumuina Liuga, Co-Presidents of the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly (JPA) and Tomas Tobé (EPP, SE), Chair of the European Parliament's Committee on Development, express their full support for Chrysoula Zacharopoulou (Renew, FR), EU candidate to co-chair the COVAX Shareholders Council.

They said: "We strongly give our support to Chrysoula Zacharopoulou as EU candidate to co-chair the COVAX Shareholders Council.

Mrs Zacharopoulou, First Vice-Chair of the European Parliament's Delegation to the ACP-EU JPA, Vice-Chair of the European Parliament's Committee on Development and its rapporteur for the new EU-Africa strategy, is strongly committed to the health and development agendas as well as to the partnership with ACP countries. She visits them frequently as a Member of the European Parliament and as a doctor, to contribute to giving access to health and vaccination for all."

MPs from EU and ACP: COVID-19 vaccines are a global public good

16-03-2021 - 11:12
Man from Cote d'Ivoire gets a Covid vaccine shot Man from Cote d'Ivoire gets a Covid vaccine shot
The EU finances the COVAX facility with more than 2 billion euros - Vaccinations started in Cote d'Ivoire in early March © UNICEF 2021
Fair and enhanced access to vaccines are key for overcoming the COVID-19 pandemic worldwide; the EU should urgently step up its support to African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) partner countries in tackling the pandemic. These are key messages of a resolution adopted by the Joint Parliamentary Assembly ACP-EU (JPA) on Thursday, 11 March. Following the vote, the Assembly's Co-President, MEP Carlos Zorrinho underlined the need to increase EU support to the COVAX facility, currently standing at EUR 2.2 billion, and called for an EU vaccination pact with Africa.

Vaccines are not a 'commercial good like any other', said Zorrinho, and 'must be made available quickly and at accessible prices at global scale'. He called on the EU and the African Union to raise at least an additional 4 billion euros in order to finance vaccines for two thirds of the African adult population over the next 24 months. The pandemic can only be brought to an end at home if COVID is defeated the world over, added Zorrinho.

Following online meetings of committees and the plenary over the past months, on Thursday, 11 March the Joint Parliamentary Assembly also adopted resolutions by remote voting on democracy and the respect for constitutions, diversification of ACP countries' economies, and on youth unemployment.

Women’s Forum on 8 March 2021

10-03-2021 - 16:43
At the occasion of the International Women's Day 2021 the EU-ACP JPA Women's Forum on "The COVID-19 pandemic and its specific implications and impact on women" took place remotely.

The Secretary General of the OACPS, Georges Rebelo Pinto Chikoti, made the opening remarks. The first panel focused on domestic gender-based violence against women to which Ms Oulimata Sarr, UN Women Regional Director for West and Central Africa, gave an introductory speech. The second panel dealing with the health care and vaccination situation, was opened by an intervention of Dr Kate O'Brian, WHO Director of the Department of Immunization, Vaccines and Biologicals.

Around 80 representatives of state bodies and NGOs working on gender equality attended the Women's Forum, with many of them taking part in the lively discussions.

MEP Carlos Zorrinho, Co-President of the JPA, together with MP Ana Sithole from Mozambique co-chaired the Forum.

Youth Conference on 25 February 2021

09-03-2021 - 09:52
On 25/02 - from 20 pm to 22 pm Brussels times - 150 youngsters from Benin, Romania and Rwanda debated remotely with Members of Parliaments at the ACP - EU JPA YOUTH CONFERENCE: COVID-19 pandemic and its implications and impact on youth.

It was an occasion to discuss how to improve chances for a better future of young generations, in particular during these times of COVID-19. The exchange of views also aimed to raise awareness among young people of the importance of the work and impact of the multilateral assembly and of local cooperation.

The event was co-chaired by MEP Jadwiga Wisniewska, JPA EU Vice-President co-responsible for youth issues, and Edda Mukabagwiza, JPA member from Rwanda with long-standing experience in youth issues. Rosemary Mbabazi, Hon. Minister of Youth Affairs of Rwanda joined the panel.

EU agreement with African, Caribbean and Pacific countries at risk

02-12-2020 - 17:01
No EP consent to Post-Cotonou without parliamentary dimension.

Ahead of a meeting to conclude negotiations on the new EU partnership agreement (Post-Cotonou) with African, Caribbean and Pacific countries (ACP), the Chair of the Committee on Development, Tomas Tobé (EPP, SE) and Carlos Zorrinho (S&D, PT), Chair of Parliament's ACP Delegation, told the Commission that the current negotiation draft is not acceptable. The two Chairs warned that Parliament would not give its consent to the new Post-Cotonou agreement if greater parliamentary scrutiny and democratic control were not included.

Quotes:

"We are sending a clear message to the Commission: a parliamentary dimension with a real consultative role for the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly (JPA) as well as at a regional level is a non-negotiable condition for the European Parliament in order to give its consent to a new Agreement", said (Tomas Tobé (EPP, Sweden), Chair of the Committee on Development.

"The Commission should come forward with a new text that incorporates a strengthened parliamentary dimension, with clearly identified functions and powers for the Joint Parliamentary Assembly, safeguarding its legal and operational autonomy", said Carlos Zorrinho (S&D, PT), Chair of the European Parliament ACP Delegation.

For the two Chairs, the current text falls far short of these conditions. Parliament cannot accept that this important instrument of the EU's external relations would undo the progress made over the last decades in terms of parliamentary scrutiny and parliamentary diplomacy. This position also has the backing of the ACP countries.

The consent of Parliament is required under EU law for the international agreement to come into effect.

Background:

Twenty years after its initial conclusion, the Cotonou Partnership Agreement between the EU and 78 African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries should have expired in February 2020, but has been extended until December 2021 as negotiations on a successor Agreement have taken longer than planned. The ACP-EU framework is the most comprehensive partnership between the EU and third countries and a key foundation of EU development cooperation and external relations.

The European Parliament strongly supports a deepened and continued ACP-EU partnership that is legally binding and with joint institutions, including the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly, while also supporting regionalisation in order to enhance the partnership with Africa. Parliament's position is outlined in three resolutions of 2019, 2018 and 2016.

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