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D-AF: Delegation for relations with Afghanistan

The Delegation for relations with Afghanistan (D-AF) cultivates the European Parliament's links with the Afghan Wolesi Jirga, the lower house of the country's National Assembly.

The European Parliament created a dedicated delegation for the country in 2009. This decision reflected in part the Parliament's desire to support the country's fledgling democratic institutions.

Since then, the delegation has played an active role in scrutinising the EU's involvement in Afghanistan.

Composition

The D-AF delegation counts 7 full members, as well some substitute members.

In the 8th legislature, the Chair of the delegation was Petras Auštrevičius, a Lithuanian member of the Parliament's Group of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe. He was supported by two Vice-Chairs: MEPs Eva Joly (Greens) and Lars Adaktusson (EPP).

The Chair and Vice-Chairs are elected by the members of the delegation, while the members are nominated by the Parliament's political groups. The political balance of the delegation mirrors that of the Parliament as a whole.

Working methods

The delegation holds regular meetings in Brussels on topics such as security and the peace process, migration, economic and social development, human rights issues, the rule of law, good governance and regional cooperation.

The delegation's attention to the bilateral relationship has meant it has closely examined the EU-Afghanistan Cooperation Agreement on Partnership and Development, signed in February 2017, as well as the EU's development policy and strategy for the country.

Delegation meetings are frequently conducted in cooperation with other parliamentary bodies and include stakeholders from other EU institutions, international and civil society organisations, think tanks and Embassies from the region. The delegation also holds inter-parliamentary meetings with the Wolesi Jirga.

While regular inter-parliamentary exchanges have been hampered by the security situation in Afghanistan, a small subset of the delegation were able to visit Kabul in February 2017 and in December 2018. There, the delegation exchanged views with the EU Friendship Group of the Wolesi Jirga, governmental bodies as well as with national and international stakeholders, holding intensive meetings on a broad range of issues.

2016 and 2018 Donors' Conferences in Brussels

The delegation participated as an observer to the Brussels Donors' Conference on 4-5 October 2016. At the conference, 75 countries and 26 international organisations renewed their collective commitment to deepen their cooperation with Afghanistan's unity government. The international community endorsed the ambitious reform agenda presented by the Afghan government and ensured further political and financial support for the country over the next four years. At the October 2016 Brussels Conference on Afghanistan, the European Union and its Member States pledged €5 billion out of a total €13,6 billion in support for Afghanistan in the period 2016-2020. At the Geneva Ministerial Conference on Afghanistan in 2018 the EU announced a financial package worth €474 million to support state building and public sector reforms, health, justice, and elections.