The Delegation to the EU-Mexico Joint Parliamentary Committee (D-MX)

For many years, the European Parliament's relations with Mexico and Mexican parliamentarians were developed through its Delegation for relations with the countries of Central America and Mexico.

The delegation's remit was relatively wide, including Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Panama and Cuba as well as Mexico.

Among those countries, Mexico occupied a privileged position: not only was it the largest and most populous of the countries, but its position as a global player was being confirmed. In 1994, for example, Mexico became the only Latin American country to join the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

Focusing on Mexico

Three years later, in 1997, the EU and Mexico signed the "Global Agreement"- officially, the "Economic Partnership, Political Coordination and Cooperation Agreement". Entering into force in 2000, this was the first agreement of this kind that the EU negotiated with a Latin American country.

The Agreement included the following joint statement on inter-parliamentary dialogue:

"The Parties underline the advisability of institutionalising a political dialogue at Parliamentary level by means of contacts between the European Parliament and the Mexican Congress (Chamber of Deputies and Senate)."

As this recommendation fell one step short of formally establishing a formal, joint structure that would link members of the European Parliament and the Mexican Congress, the two legislatures took the initiative to create such a structure.

On 10 March 2004, a European Parliament "decision on the number of interparliamentary delegations" determined that, in addition to a "Delegation for relations with the countries of Central America", the Parliament would have a "Delegation to the EU-Mexico Joint Parliamentary Committee", abbreviated as D-MX.

In parallel, the Mexican Congress also created its own delegation to the Joint Parliamentary Committee.

A productive Committee

The two delegations, each including 14 members, met for the first time on 28-29 September 2005 for the constitutive meeting.

In the years since the EU-Mexico Joint Parliamentary Committee (the EU-Mexico JPC) was founded, it has become a regular and productive forum. To date, the Committee more than 20 times, in venues alternating between the EU and Mexico.

While the topics discussed at the meetings are wide-ranging, the Committee's Rules of Procedure tie its work to the EU-Mexico Global Agreement:

"The role of the Committee shall be to consider all aspects of the relations between the European Community and Mexico, and in particular the implementation of the Association Agreement."

Fortifying the bilateral relationship

The Joint Parliamentary Committee's work has become all the more important in the recent past because of developments in the EU-Mexico bilateral relationship.

In 2008, the European Commission proposed creating a "strategic partnership" between the EU and Mexico. This is a privileged relationship, which the EU has with a limited number of countries, and which entails a detailed plan of cooperation on the bilateral, regional and multilateral levels.

The European Council endorsed the partnership later in 2008, and the European Parliament voted on its own recommendations about the partnership in early 2009. A "Joint Executive Plan" for the Partnership was adopted in 2010.

Three years later, at the 2013 summit of the EU and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States, the EU and Mexico decided to consider updating their bilateral agreement.

Negotiations were launched in May 2016 on a successor to the Global Agreement, including its rules on trade. Several rounds of negotiations have been so far.

Following these negotiations and offering parliamentary input is one of the main tasks that will occupy the EU-Mexico Joint Parliamentary Committee in the coming months.
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