Press Statement by DMAG Chair Andrea Cozzolino - Delegation to Algeria from 19 to 21 September 2022


A delegation representing the European Parliament (EP) Delegation for relations with Maghreb countries held a visit to the People's Democratic Republic of Algeria from the 19th to the 21st of September 2022, on the occasion of the 1st Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) between the EP and the Algerian Parliament. This is part of the ongoing structured dialogue between the two Parliaments. The constitutive meeting of the JPC took place in 2018, in Brussels. The JPC is seeking for the strengthening of the relations between the two parliaments and is building on the dialogue held in the 16 inter-parliamentary meetings organised before.

Led by Mr Andrea Cozzolino (S&D, Italy), Chair of the EP Delegation for relations with Maghreb countries, and Co-Chair of the JPC, and composed by five other Members, Mr Stanislav Polčák (EPP, Czech Republic), Ms Adriana Maldonado Lopez (S&D, Spain), Ms Margarida Marques (S&D, Portugal), Mr Javier Nart (Renew, Spain) and Ms Salima Yenbou (Renew, France), the delegation met with Member of People's National Assembly Mr Sidehmed Temamri, the Algerian Co-Chair of the Joint Parliamentary Committee, Ms Leila Brahimi, Algerian Vice-Chair of the JPC and Vice-President of the Council of the Nation, as well as with the other parliamentarians, members of the JPC. The Joint Parliamentary Committee adopted a joint declaration (annexed). The EP delegation also met with the Speaker of the People's National Assembly, Mr M.Brahim Boughali as well as with the Speaker of the Council of the Nation, Mr Saleh Goujil.

The delegation met with the Prime Minister, Mr Aymen Benabderrahmane, the Minister of energy and mines, Mr Mohamed Arkab, the Minister of knowledge economy, start-ups and micro-enterprises, Mr Yacine Oualid, as well as with high-ranking officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and representatives of civil society organizations.

The delegation highly appreciated the visit of the IOM-run transit centre for Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration Programme in Algeria and the meeting with the Chief of Mission IOM Algeria, Mr Paolo Caputo and his team. Members highly valued the opportunity to discuss directly with the migrants present in the centre, on their concrete situation and needs, including from the perspective of EU financing of the assisted voluntary returns.
With all its interlocutors, the EP Delegation stressed their willingness to consolidate bilateral dialogue with Algeria, as key strategic partner in the Southern Neighbourhood, underlining the importance of the EU-Algeria partnership, particularly in the current geopolitical context.

The delegation underlined the importance of joint efforts to achieve the objectives of the EU - Algeria Association Agreement and to implement the common partnership priorities, notably on political dialogue, governance, rule of law and promotion of fundamental rights, as well as on socio-economic development and trade, energy, security and human dimension, migration and mobility.

The EP delegation welcomed the adoption of the Investment Law 2022 and its application measures, published at the time of the visit, expressing the hope that these new provisions will boost the increase of foreign direct investment in Algeria, while stressing the importance of a business climate that offers the necessary predictability and stability for the confidence of potential investors.

The delegation expressed the importance of the economic and trade relations between Algeria and the EU internal market, without discrimination, in the mutual interest of both parties.

The EP delegation underlined the highest importance of preserving and promoting human rights, individual freedoms and notably the freedom of expression and of media, in Europe and in Algeria, central elements of the EU - Algeria Association Agreement.

The delegation welcomed Algeria's role as key partner of the EU in the region, in particular as a reliable energy supplier, and underlined Algeria's enormous potential for renewable energy and the EU willingness of cooperation in this respect.

The delegation reiterated the commitment to remain engaged, notably through the Joint Parliamentary Committee continuous dialogue, in boosting the implementation of the EU-Algeria partnership priorities and in striving for increasing cooperation, notably on human resources and economic opportunities.

Thanking its Algerian hosts for their hospitality and openness for dialogue, the EP Delegation stressed the importance of the cooperation with Algeria, a key partner for the EU.

Statement by Andrea Cozzolino, DMAG Chair, on the postponement of elections in Libya

23 December 2021

The announcement by the High National Electoral Commission (HNEC) of the postponement of Libya's elections of 24 December is a disappointing signal amid the efforts to mark a new and healing start for Libya, through free, fair and inclusive national presidential and parliamentary elections that will enable the Libyans to elect representative and unified institutions, in order to contribute to the strengthening of the independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity and national unity of Libya.

My hope is that a new date for elections will be agreed soon and that the electoral calendar will be effectively implemented and that the electoral commission and all Libyan institutions involved will make best use of this time to solve the problems related to their organization, including finalizing the list of presidential candidates and clarifying the rules on the selection of candidates. Dialogue between all stakeholders is of utmost importance at this stage for establishing the security and political conditions enabling this complex electoral process leading towards a peaceful transition.

Libya is a strategic country for the EU and we will not spare our efforts to support the democratic process, needed to consolidate the peace, so that it can finally bring a stable future for the Libyan citizens.

Déclaration de M. Andrea Cozzolino, Président de la Délégation du Parlement européen pour les relations avec les pays du Maghreb (DMAG)

Le 3 novembre 2021

L'annonce, par le président algérien Abdelmadjid Tebboune, de la suspension des relations commerciales entre la société nationale Sonatrach ("Société nationale pour la recherche, la production, le transport, la transformation, et la commercialisation des hydrocarbures") et l'établissement public marocain de l'ONEE ("Office national de l'électricité et de l'eau potable"), ainsi que le non-renouvellement de l'accord d'approvisionnement en gaz qui a expiré le 31 octobre, est une source de grave préoccupation.

En effet, cet accord d'approvisionnement concerne directement, non seulement le Maroc, mais aussi l'Union européenne.
Quelles que soient les raisons qui ont motivées une telle décision, l'utilisation de l'approvisionnement en gaz comme moyen de pression ne saurait constituer une solution appropriée. Ceci est particulièrement vrai dans la période actuelle de forte tension sur les prix de l'énergie, lorsque ce sont les citoyens européens qui risquent d'en faire les frais.

En tant que président de la Délégation du Parlement européen pour les relations avec les pays du Maghreb (DMAG), et eu égard à l'importance et à la qualité des relations euro-algériennes, j'appelle le gouvernement algérien à reconsidérer cette décision et à reprendre la voie du dialogue. J'appelle également le Service européen d'action extérieure et la Commission européenne à engager une initiative diplomatique afin d'encourager les autorités algériennes à revoir leur décision.

Call for dialogue with President Saïed and Speaker Ghannouchi

27 July 2021

The political situation in Tunisia is worrying, with the country already seriously affected both by the health crisis and a persistent economic crisis. President Kaïs Saïed's decision to suspend the activities of the Assembly of People's Representatives (ARP) and to lift the immunity of all its Members illustrates the institutional dysfunction of the country.
We shall continue to follow very closely the unfolding of events, while maintaining our unwavering support for the democratic aspirations of the Tunisian people and our aim to ensure respect for the rule of law, civil liberties and the Constitution.

Fully respecting Tunisian national sovereignty, the European Union (EU) needs to live up to its responsibility to help the Tunisian people, to safeguard the precious achievements of its Revolution and to mediate between all parts of the Tunisian society, civilian and political actors alike. In this respect, it is essential to avoid any violence and to allow the institutions to resume their normal functioning as soon as possible.
We shall remain very attentive to the respect of the 30-day period after which the ARP will have to resume its normal activities. We also call for the strengthening of the EU's support to Tunisia in regards to the health crisis. Finally, we urge HR/VP Josep Borrell to undertake a mission to Tunis as soon as possible, and we call on EP President David Sassoli to hold talks with President Kaïs Saïed and with ARP Speaker Rachid Ghannouchi.

STATEMENT by DMAG Chair, MEP Andrea COZZOLINO, on new Government of National Unity in Lybia

16 March 2021

Libya - Following the confirmation and the swearing-in of the new Government of National Unity of Libya, the Chair of the Delegation for relations with the Maghreb countries, MEP Andrea COZZOLINO (S&D, IT) has declared:

"On the occasion of the vote of approval by the House of Representatives and their swearing-in, I warmly congratulate Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Mohammed Dbeibah and all the members of his government of national unity.

Indeed, the formation of the new government marks an important and long-awaited milestone in the political process towards a unified, peaceful and democratic Libya.

I join my voice to the EU High Representative in expressing my appreciation for the efforts consented by all the Libyan parties involved. By setting aside some of their particular demands, they have ensured that the spirit of national unity and reconciliation would prevail.

As Chair of the Maghreb Delegation of the European Parliament, I am confident that my Libyan counterparts from the House of Representatives will continue to work together in a very constructive way and join forces with the Government of National Unity and the High National Electoral Commission in order to make all necessary preparations for the holding of the national elections

At this crucial stage in the history of Libya, the prospects for stability and peace should not be threatened by any spoilers. All efforts should be done to fully implement the ceasefire agreement. The foreign fighters should be withdrawn. A comprehensive reform in the security sector, including by the dismantling of militias and unifying armed forces under civilian oversight, should be implemented effectively.

Please rest assured that the European Parliament, which enjoys a long and comprehensive experience in the electoral field, stands ready to engage in an all-encompassing dialogue with our Libyan counterparts in order to support the collective endeavour towards a unified and democratic Libya for the benefit of all Libyan citizens."

Leading MEPs welcome 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)

Brussels, 24 February 2021

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."

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.

Statement by DMAG Chair, Andrea Cozzolino

17 December 2020

Libya: Chair Andrea Cozzolino welcomes the news of the release of the fishermen detained in Libya since September

"A wonderful news: the fishermen of Mazara del Vallo detained for 108 days, without any legal procedure in Libya, under LNA surveillance, have finally been released. A great relief for their families with whom they can finally be reunited. Appreciations to the European efforts and appeals to help solving this case."

Statement by DMAG Chair, Andrea Cozzolino

Libya: Chair Andrea Cozzolino discusses with Deputy Prime Minister Maiteeq the need to pursue the intra-Libyan political dialogue

7 December 2020

A video-conference meeting was held on Saturday 5 December 2020 between the Chair of the European Parliament Delegation for relations with the Maghreb countries (DMAG), Andrea Cozzolino, and the Deputy Prime Minister of the Government of National Accord (GNA) of Libya, Ahmed Maiteeq.

Chair Cozzolino stressed the need to pursue the political dialogue in order to reach a peaceful solution to the crisis in Libya. Both expressed the relief of the Libyan people for the current cessation of hostilities and the unblocking of the oil production.

Whilst the Deputy Prime Minister recalled that "Libya expected a lot from Europe", the DMAG Chair reiterated "the readiness of the European Union to lend a hand to support the process as well as the economic recovery". Ahmed Maiteeq mentioned his role in the mediation that had led to the unblocking of crude oil production, and stressed that, "since the start of the civil war in 2011, Libya had not produced as many barrels as it had resumed doing in the past few weeks".

The Deputy Prime Minister invited the DMAG Chair to undertake a visit to Tripoli. The Chair thanked him for this invitation which he was ready and willing to accept as soon as the conditions would allow, and he also invited the Deputy Prime Minister to come to the European Parliament on the occasion of his next visit to Europe. The conversation ended with an exchange of information about the situation of the Italian fishermen which had been kidnapped in Benghazi and the prospects for their release.

Joint statement by DROI and DMAG Chairs on the killing of Ms Hanan Al-Barassi

JOINT STATEMENT by the Chair of the Subcommittee on Human Rights, Maria ARENA, and by the Chair of the Delegation for relations with the Maghreb countries, Andrea COZZOLINO

11 November 2020

Ms Hanan Al-Barassi, who was killed yesterday in a busy artery in Benghazi's city centre by unidentified armed men, had been an outspoken critic of corruption, abuse of power and human rights violations committed in areas controlled by the Libyan National Army under the control of so-called Field Marshall Haftar.

DROI Chair, Maria Arena and DMAG Chair, Andrea Cozzolino, stated:

"We condemn in the strongest terms this assassination. It is appalling that, while direct talks towards a political solution to the conflict just started between Libyan representatives from all sides, perpetrators are silencing a voice who was only speaking in defence of women rights. This latest killing unfortunately adds to many other crimes, like the disappearance, more than a year ago, from her house in Benghazi, of another prominent women's rights defender and Member of Parliament, Siham Sergiwa, who has never been seen since.

We strongly add our voices to the requests of full investigation of the killing of Ms Al Barassi and, once more, on the disappearance of Ms Sergiwa, as well as of the other pending cases. It is time to end impunity and bring the perpetrators and those who give orders to justice."

Déclaration du 7 octobre 2020 sur le dialogue inter-libyen

Déclaration du Président de la DMAG, Andrea Cozzolino

À l'issue du deuxième round du dialogue inter-libyen entre les délégations du Haut Conseil d'État et de la Chambre des représentants, tenu à Bouznika (2 - 6 octobre), et de la deuxième conférence de Berlin du 5 octobre, le président de la Délégation du Parlement européen pour les relations avec les pays du Maghreb (DMAG), Andrea Cozzolino, a déclaré:

« Je salue les progrès accomplis par les parties libyennes vers un accord global sur les critères concernant les postes de souveraineté conformément à l'article 15 de l'Accord politique libyen, et je félicite le Royaume du Maroc pour son initiative renouvelée visant à surmonter les divisions et à instaurer la paix et la stabilité en Libye ».

Andrea Cozzolino a souligné l'importance du soutien apporté par l'Union européenne à l'effort collectif de la communauté internationale, et notamment à rétablir la provision de services de base et de sécurité au peuple libyen, qui subit depuis si longtemps les conséquences dévastatrices du conflit auxquelles s'ajoute maintenant la pandémie COVID-19.

Le président de la DMAG a fermement appuyé le message du secrétaire général de l'ONU à la récente conférence de Berlin. Il a rappelé que tous les Libyens doivent œuvrer pour un cessez-le-feu durable et contribuer au Forum de dialogue politique libyen facilité par l'ONU. Andrea Cozzolino a réitéré la nécessité d'une cessation immédiate des interventions militaires étrangères en Libye et de la mise en œuvre effective de l'embargo de l'ONU sur les armes.