Ανακοινωθέντα

Joint Statement on the new EU Agenda for the Mediterranean (24/02/2021)

LEADING MEPs WELCOME THE NEW EU AGENDA FOR THE MEDITERRANEAN

"The EU can only gain from deepening our relationships with our southern neighbours"

Joint statement by the European Parliament's Chair of the Delegation for relations with Israel (D-IL), Antonio LÓPEZ-ISTÚRIZ WHITE (EPP, ES); the Chair of the Delegation for relations with Palestine (DPAL), Manu PINEDA (The Left, ES); the Chair of the Delegation for relations with the Maghreb countries (DMAG), Andrea COZZOLINO (S&D, IT); and the Chair of the Delegation for relations with the Mashreq countries (DMAS), Isabel SANTOS (S&D, PT)

Following the publication of the European Union's new Agenda for the Mediterranean, the Chair of the Delegation for relations with Israel (D-IL), Antonio LÓPEZ-ISTÚRIZ WHITE (EPP, ES); the Chair of the Delegation for relations with Palestine (DPAL), Manu PINEDA (THE LEFT, ES); the Chair of the Delegation for relations with the Maghreb countries (DMAG), Andrea COZZOLINO (S&D, IT); and the Chair of the Delegation for relations with the Mashreq countries (DMAS), Isabel SANTOS (S&D, PT) said:

"In recent years, the Mediterranean has increasingly become a place of geo-strategic and geo-political interest. If the European Union does not focus sufficiently and allocate adequate resources to the region, we will fail to be a key actor in our own neighbourhood. We therefore welcome the adoption of the new Agenda for the Mediterranean. The allocation of funds through the Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument (NDICI) and the development of an 'Economic and Investment Plan for the Southern Neighbourhood' provide some of the necessary tools to support the EU's work with our southern neighbours. We also welcome the Agenda's focus on common values and dialogue and its grounding in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the Paris Agreement and the European Green Deal.

Ten years on from the 2011 uprisings, southern neighbourhood countries still face many challenges, including growing unemployment and high levels of discontent among the countries' youth. The focus on achieving stability in the southern neighbourhood countries is therefore crucial at a time when the region is mired by conflict, and political and economic crises. But real stability can only be achieved through democracy, respect for the rule of law and human rights. The EU needs to redouble its efforts to ensure that stability is achieved by reinforcing our shared values of human rights, human development, good governance and the rule of law - the first policy area of the new Agenda. This work must include civil society organisations at all levels.

While the new Agenda is timely and provides a useful roadmap for our engagement with our southern neighbours, there are two policy areas or tools that are missing from the note. First, we should not underestimate the role of parliaments in delivering this new Agenda for the Mediterranean. Parliaments in the southern neighbourhood countries will have a key role to play in delivering all aspects of the Agenda, through effective legislation, budgetary scrutiny, holding the executive to account and more. Parliamentary diplomacy and cooperation must be key tools in the implementation of the Agenda. Second, we believe the EU can work more with local authorities in countries that are affected by conflict or political/economic crisis to delivery support and services to citizens.

Finally, in order to define the implementation of the Agenda with our partners and achieve a real, joint appropriation of its objectives, a summit between the EU and the southern neighbourhood countries should be organised. Such a summit should include civil society organisation, who will be key partners in the implementation of the Agenda.

As the Chairs of the Delegations for relations with the southern neighbourhood countries, we look forward to work with the national parliaments from the region to help deliver this new Agenda for the Mediterranean."

_________

Background

To relaunch and strengthen the strategic partnership between the European Union and its Southern Neighbourhood partners, the European Commission and the High Representative have adopted a joint communication proposing an ambitious and innovative new Agenda for the Mediterranean. https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/ip_21_426

For further information contact:
Office of Manu PINEDA
Tel. (+32) 2 28 45815 / e-mail: manu.pineda@europarl.europa.eu
EuroMed and Middle East Unit / e-mail: dpal@europarl.europa.eu

Statement by the Chair on settlement block expansion in Givat Hamatos (19/11/2020)

I am extremely concerned by the Israeli authorities' decision to construct an entirely new settlement block of 1257 units at Givat Hamatos, creating a ring-zone of settlements between Jerusalem and Bethlehem in the occupied West Bank. The construction of this settlement block would be particularly damaging for a peaceful solution in line with international law, as it further isolates illegally annexed East Jerusalem from the West Bank.

I denounce this serious settlement expansion and I want to join the call made by VP/HR Josep Borrell's and UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Nickolay Mladenov's statements, who both firmly condemned this illegal settlement construction and called on the Israeli authorities to reverse this step, underlining that : "any settlement construction will cause serious damage to the prospects for a viable and contiguous Palestinian State and, more broadly, to the possibility of a negotiated two-state solution in line with the internationally agreed parameters. The EU must move forward, and pass from words to actions in order to show that such moves will not pass unchallenged.

Furthermore, I strongly condemn the harassment by Jerusalem Deputy Mayor Arieh King and by some far right activists against European Union ambassadors, headed by the European Union's representative to Palestine, Sven Kühn von Burgsdorff, on Monday 16 November 2020. I extend my full solidarity with representative Kühn von Burgsdorff and the other representatives. This took place during the exercise of their duties, namely visiting Givat Hamatos to express EU countries' disapproval of the Israel Lands Authority's decision to start the bidding process for the construction of the new housing units in the neighborhood. This kind of harassment is unacceptable, and reflects the increasing obstacles and difficulties faced by different actors, both local and foreign, defending dialogue and a solution based on international law.

Manu Pineda

Statement by the Bureau on the passing of Dr. Saeb Erekat (11/11/2020)

It is with great sadness that we have learnt about the passing of the Secretary General of the PLO Executive Committee and former Chief Negotiator, Dr. Saeb Erekat.

Through his civil and political engagement, Dr. Erekat played an essential negotiating role in the talks of the Oslo Accords and in pushing for a two-state solution based on the 1967 borders. Dr. Erekat was an international spokesman for the Palestinian people for almost three decades, and he was also crucial in the process that led Palestine to gain the observer status within the United Nations.

Dr. Erekat was a close friend to the Delegation for relations with Palestine and we had the pleasure to count on his participation on 22 June 2020 for an enlightening exchange of views, where he emphasised the role that Europe must play in the negotiations between Palestine and Israel and the direct responsibilities of E.U. towards the survival of the peace process:

"We appreciate the position of the European Union telling us that you are against the Israeli annexation. But we have been urging you to tell Israel one sentence: 'If you do the annexation there will be consequences'. That is your responsibility under international law and under your own laws. [...] We want to prevent the annexation; we want to convene an international conference, on the basis of international law, to enable Palestinians and Israelis to resume negotiations to achieve the end of the occupation and the two-state solution".

On our own behalf and on behalf of the European Parliament's Delegation for Relations with Palestine, we wish to convey our deepest condolences and sympathy at this sad moment.


Manu Pineda, Evin Incir, Margrete Auken

Statement of Mr Pineda on the agreement for general elections in Palestine (01/10/20)

"I warmly welcome the agreement reached amongst Palestinian parties in order to hold general elections in Palestine within six months. It is a clear and significant step in order to restore the democratic legitimacy of Palestinian representatives, to reinforce the unity of the Palestinian people and to mend the divisions of the past.

The Palestinian cause is facing many challenges, such as the ongoing Israeli occupation and, more recently, the normalisation of relations between two Arab countries and Israel without any reference to the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative. The latter foresees the normalisation of relations between all countries of the League of Arab States and the State of Israel, in exchange for a full withdrawal by Israel from the occupied territories and the establishment of a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital. The European Union as a whole and the European Parliament in particular have consistently supported the resumption of a substantive Middle East Peace Process on the basis of the Arab Peace initiative and should continue doing so.

In this challenging context, the Palestinian elections are of particular importance and should be a stepping stone towards the resumption of meaningful negotiations and the achievement of a two-state solution based on international law, including a Palestinian State within the 1967 borders and with its capital in East Jerusalem, as the European Union has supported for so many years.

I hope that the whole electoral process will be carried out, throughout Palestine, including East Jerusalem, without any obstacles and limitations. Thus, I call on all concerned parties, to ensure fair and transparent elections by ensuring the right of Palestinians to vote freely, so that the expression of the will of the Palestinian people will be reflected in the out-coming results.

I would like to call on E.U. institutions and Member-states, as well as all other counterparts to seize this occasion to support the right of the Palestinian people to express their democratic will through free elections".