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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 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.

Statement by the JPA Co-Presidents on Ethiopia

09-11-2020 - 09:05
Statement by the JPA Co-Presidents, read out by Co-President Liuga in the JPA joint committee meeting on 5 November 2020

We have been closely following the events in Ethiopia over the last few days with growing concern, we note that these have sadly led to deaths and injuries of civilians. We call on the federal and regional governments in Ethiopia, as well as all of its neighbours, to abstain from further military deployment or threats and to engage in a sincere, peaceful and inclusive dialogue. The situation calls for action to ensure that it does not lead to possible destabilisation of Ethiopia and the wider region. We call on the regional organisations and international partners to mediate, encourage and facilitate the dialogue that is needed to promote widely backed and peaceful solutions for Ethiopia and its people. We align our remarks with the position expressed by the African Union, the European union and the United nations on this matter.

Statement of the Co-Presidents on maintaining Joint Assembly in future Agreement

06-10-2020 - 16:29
Joint Statement of the Co-Presidents of the ACP - EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly on maintaining the Joint Assembly in the future Partnership Agreement.

The Co-Presidents of the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly (JPA), Mr Carlos Zorrinho, MEP and Mr Faumuina Liuga, MP of Samoa, welcome the progress made so far by the chief negotiators on post-Cotonou negotiations. They take note that efforts are underway to conclude these negotiations and remain optimistic that the proposed new agreement will contribute to meeting the aspirations of the people of Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific and EU citizens.

The Co-Presidents of the JPA recall the critical role played by the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly in advancing the democratic ideals of the Partnership, improving accountability, consolidating parliamentary diplomacy and facilitating joint action and to build effective coalitions in international fora.

In this regard, the Co-Presidents welcome the support given by the German Presidency of the Council of the EU for maintaining the Joint Parliamentary Assembly in the post- Cotonou Agreement. They recall that an ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly, as part of the institutional framework of the future agreement, is foreseen in the negotiating mandate of the ACP states and defined as a "non-negotiable request in terms of the European Parliament giving its consent to the future agreement". They reiterate the need to ensure that this JPA should be organisationally autonomous, be supported by a strong co-secretariat and meet at regular intervals.

The Co-Presidents express their appreciation for the priority given by Germany to the forthcoming conclusion of the negotiations of a new agreement between the EU and the countries of Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific, which will pave the way for the support of the agreement by the European Parliament and national parliaments.

Stop extremist violence in northern Mozambique

29-06-2020 - 17:07
The Chair of the European Parliament Delegation to the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly, Carlos Zorrinho (S&D, PT) expresses his serious concerns over the continuously deteriorating security and humanitarian situation in the Northern Province of Mozambique, Cabo Delgado.

Violence has escalated, including reported killings. In the past three month, some 50.000 inhabitants of the province have been displaced. It seems that the extremist and militant Islamic group locally known as "Al Shabaab", whose goal is to establish an Islamist caliphate, is responsible for this alarming high level of violence.

In order to prevent further escalations, Carlos Zorrinho calls upon the Mozambican authorities to take effective and decisive action and to protect the citizens of Cabo Delgado. The main priority of the government must be to bring all those suspected of criminal responsibility to justice in fair trials. As a member of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), Mozambique should exploit possible options for cross-border cooperation. SADC's organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation (OPDS), with a multinational fighting unit for tackling serious counter-insurgency situations, could be an important element for managing and condemning this conflict in the short term.

In the long term, an integrated and coordinated approach will be necessary. This includes the promotion of democracy, human rights, effective local governance and the effective restoration of the rule of law.

Carlos Zorrinho insists that socio-economic conditions fostering instability and violent extremism need to be addressed as well. He stresses that the European Union is ready to support Mozambique in the necessary economic and political governance reforms.

Background:

Since 2017, an Islamist group is responsible for violent attacks, killings and displacements of civilians in particular in the northern province Cabo Delgado of Mozambique. It commits coordinated and simultaneous attacks against civilians and government institutions. Hundreds of people have been killed since then, while according to UN sources more than 210.000, most of them women and children, have had to flee their homes.
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