Procedure : 2011/0207(NLE)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : A7-0110/2013

Texts tabled :

A7-0110/2013

Debates :

PV 13/06/2013 - 5
CRE 13/06/2013 - 5

Votes :

PV 13/06/2013 - 7.2
Explanations of votes

Texts adopted :

P7_TA(2013)0273

RECOMMENDATION     ***
PDF 172kWORD 95k
22.3.2013
PE 480.585v02-00 A7-0110/2013

on the draft Council decision on the conclusion of the Agreement amending for the second time the Partnership Agreement between the members of the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States, of the one part, and the European Community and its Member States, of the other part, signed in Cotonou on 23 June 2000, as first amended in Luxembourg on 25 June 2005

(16894/2011 – C7‑0469/2011 – 2011/0207(NLE))

Committee on Development

Rapporteur: Michael Cashman

DRAFT EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT LEGISLATIVE RESOLUTION
 EXPLANATORY STATEMENT
 OPINION of the Committee on International Trade
 RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMITTEE

DRAFT EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT LEGISLATIVE RESOLUTION

on the draft Council decision on the conclusion of the Agreement amending for the second time the Partnership Agreement between the members of the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States, of the one part, and the European Community and its Member States, of the other part, signed in Cotonou on 23 June 2000, as first amended in Luxembourg on 25 June 2005

(16894/2011 – C7‑0469/2011 – 2011/0207(NLE))

(Consent)

The European Parliament,

–   having regard to the draft Council decision (16894/2011),

–   having regard to the Agreement amending for the second time the Partnership Agreement between the Members of the African, Caribbean and Pacific group of States, of the one part, and the European Community and its Members States, of the other part, signed in Cotonou on 23 June 2000, as first amended in Luxembourg on 25 June 2005 (09565/2010)(1),

–   having regard to the request for consent submitted by the Council in accordance with Articles 217 and Article 218(6), second subparagraph, point (a) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (C7‑0469/2011),

–   having regard to Rules 81 and 90(7) of its Rules of Procedure,

–   having regard to the recommendation of the Committee on Development and the opinion of the Committee on International Trade (A7-0110/2013),

1.  Consents to conclusion of the agreement;

2.  Expresses its strongest reservations about parts of the Agreement which do not reflect the position of the European Parliament and the values of the Union;

3.  Urges all parties to revise the unsatisfactory clauses accordingly during a third revision of the Agreement, including the explicit introduction of non-discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation within Article 8(4);

4.  Instructs its President to forward its position to the Council, the Commission and the governments and parliaments of the Member States and of the members of the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States.

(1)

OJ L 287, 4.11.2010, p.3.


EXPLANATORY STATEMENT

Background

ACP-EU relations started in the 1970s, following the independence of most of the ACP countries. The first Lomé Convention, signed in 1975, created a unique model of development cooperation between the EU and ACP countries. Its multidimensional nature, combining aid and trade, its contractual aspect, covering a period of five years, its non-reciprocal preferences for most exports from ACP to EU countries and its guaranteed funding for ACP countries was what constituted the originality of Lomé.

The "ACP-EC Partnership Agreement" (known as the Cotonou Agreement) signed in Cotonou, Benin, on 23 June 2000, replaced the Lomé framework of development cooperation. It was concluded for a twenty-year period from 1 March 2000 to 28 February 2020. While preserving the ‘acquis’ of the Lomé Convention, the Cotonou Agreement introduced some radical changes in the ACP-EU cooperation.

Article 95 of the Cotonou Agreement provides for the possibility of a review of the Agreement every five years.

The first review of the Cotonou Agreement was conducted between May 2004 and February 2005. Following the review and further negotiations, the parties signed on 25 June 2005 an Agreement amending the original Agreement. The 2005 review focused mainly on changes in the political chapter of the agreement.

On 28-29 May 2009 the second revision of the Cotonou Agreement was officially initiated at the ACP-EC Council of Ministers. The negotiations were due to be concluded in February 2010 but lasted until 11 March 2010. The main reasons for the second revision of the Cotonou Agreement were:

–  to preserve the relevance and outstanding character of the partnership between ACP and EU countries;

–  to adapt the Agreement to recent major changes in international and ACP-EC relations;

–  to further develop several themes that are essential for both parties: the political/institutional dimension; economic cooperation/regional integration/trade; development financing cooperation/aid programming and management.

For the EU side, negotiations were conducted by the European Commission on a mandate granted by the Council, and the European Parliament produced a Report with recommendations on 20 January 2010.

Both the EU and ACP Councils have signed the revision, EU and ACP Member States need to ratify the Agreement and the European Parliament is now asked for its consent.

Analysis of the Agreement

The revision reconfirms the strategic long-term importance both sides attach to the partnership.

Your Rapporteur welcomes that the text:

–  introduces the need to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), aid effectiveness and fight climate change as main objectives of the partnership;

–  promotes joint cooperation approaches in dealing with major challenges to meet the MDGs - food security, HIV/AIDS and sustainability of fisheries - and their importance for sustainable development, growth and poverty reduction;

–  recognises the continental dimension of Africa, and makes the African Union a partner of the EU-ACP relationship;

–  highlights the need to strengthen the capacity of the ACP countries to resist exogenous shocks and to assist them using all means, including the vulnerability FLEX mechanism;

–  better reflects trends towards increased regionalization and pan-African development. The European Union's action on the international scene needs to promote and encourage regional integration;

–  strengthens the role of local authorities, non-state actors and national ACP parliaments to make the Cotonou processes more democratic, boosting their capacity to help them play an active role in the dialogue, programming, implementation, monitoring, review and control of the Agreement;

–  strengthens the need for mutual accountability and encourages EU development partners to coordinate and align their programmes with the strategies of developing countries;

–  gives more visibility to fisheries and aquaculture in view of their socio-economic importance to the parties;

–  supports Policy Coherence for Development as a key element of the Partnership.

However, your Rapporteur regrets that the text:

–  fails to successfully address the issue of readmission of illegal immigrants to their country of origin. Article 13 of the Cotonou Agreement makes reference to the principle of the return of illegal immigrants, but the EU maintains that it does not allow for an operational approach;

–  lacks commitment by the parties to raise the profile of good fiscal governance and fight against tax havens;

–  fails to establish a mechanism to strengthen monitoring, reviewing and enforcement of the Cotonou Agreement;

–  does not include a joint declaration on the future financing of EU-ACP cooperation because of, the refusal by the EU side to accept an increase in the number of EU Member States that would participate, adaptation to climate change and the adjustment costs relating to the Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs);

–  fails to include a reference to trade and finance and fair trade;

–  does not address tax-related aspects of development;

–  fails to promote microcredits to facilitate investment and development.

Your Rapporteur notes with the deepest concern that:

–  negotiations to reinforce the principle of non-negotiable human rights clauses and sanctions for failure to respect such clauses have been dramatically unsuccessful, despite the European Parliament's repeated calls for EU agreements to include binding and non-negotiable human rights clauses;

    Article 8.4 (non-discrimination clause in policy dialogue) has not been reworded to reflect the EU’s values, and only includes the wording of Article 2 of the UN Declaration of Human Rights. The ACP side refused the interpretation of the Commission and the inclusion of sexual orientation into the scope of Article 8.4 and, on 28 September 2010, issued the 'Declaration of the 21st Session of the ACP Parliamentary Assembly on the Peaceful Co-existence of Religions and the Importance Given to the Phenomenon of Homosexuality in the ACP-EU Partnership', in which it asks for "due respect for the cultural differences and social diversity of the two Parties";

    homosexuality is still a crime in 38 ACP countries, including five in which the death penalty may apply. Your Rapporteur believes that the EU cannot agree to compromise on this ground. Remaining silent means tacitly accepting such legislation, and your Rapporteur does not believe that political dialogue can take place in the future on this issue if it is not explicitly addressed in the Cotonou Agreement, which is the framework of many other agreements, including the EPAs. Your Rapporteur deplores that the Commission did not insist further during the negotiations, in accordance with Article 21 of the TEU, which states that the "Union's action on the international scene shall be guided by the principles which have inspired its own creation, development and enlargement, and which it seeks to advance in the wider world";

–  therefore, the political dialogue under Article 8 and Article 9 and its response under Articles 96 and 97 are stripped of their use as a tool of diplomacy to promote good governance, democracy, transparency and human rights.

Your Rapporteur notes that this revision does not have any budgetary implications.

Conclusion

Your Rapporteur expresses strong reservations with parts of the Agreement which do not reflect the position of the European Parliament and the values of the European Union. However, he believes that consent should be given to the Agreement in order to offer leverage to the Commission and the EEAS in the two years preceding the third revision. Your Rapporteur insists that the unsatisfactory clauses must be revised accordingly during the third revision of the Agreement, including Article 8.4, and in conformity with our Treaties and values.

The EU needs to take a more development-friendly and human-rights based approach in future international negotiations, taking into account the human development of the citizens of these countries. Your Rapporteur believes that such an approach will be mutually beneficial.


OPINION of the Committee on International Trade (26.1.2012)

for the Committee on Development

on the draft Council decision concerning the conclusion of the Agreement amending for the second time the Partnership Agreement between the members of the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States, of the one part, and the European Community and its Member States, of the other part, signed in Cotonou on 23 June 2000, as first amended in Luxembourg on 25 June 2005

(16894/2011 – C7-0469/2011 – 2011/0207(NLE))

Rapporteur: Daniel Caspary

SHORT JUSTIFICATION

In 2000 the Cotonou Agreement was concluded for 20 years. It was agreed that there would be a possibility of revision every five years. The first revision had little impact on the economic and trade chapter. The Council authorized the opening of the negotiations for the second revision on 23 February 2009. The amending Agreement was signed on 22 June 2010. Parliament consent is required.

On 20 January 2010 the EP adopted a resolution on the second revision of the Cotonou Agreement calling amongst others for:

· consideration of problems of the ACP related to the financial crisis, preference erosion, increasing food prices, climate change etc.;

· inclusion of policy coherence in the Agreement;

· updating the economic and trade chapter, taking into account the EPAs and the expiry of the non-reciprocal trade preferences by 2007;

· more attention for trade adaptation strategies and tailor made 'Aid for Trade' measures;

· support for the ACP requests to include trade and development, trade and finance, fair trade and trade in arms;

· Deletion of the special review procedure for the economic and trade cooperation in Article 95 (3) of the Cotonou Agreement;

· addressing tax-related aspects of development;

· promotion of micro-credits to facilitate investment and development of SMEs.

The result of the negotiations took most of the above mentioned points on board. For future negotiations the Parliament asks the Council to also include amongst others:

· support for the ACP requests to include trade and finance and fair trade;

· addressing tax-related aspects of development;

· Promotion of micro-credits to facilitate investment and development of SMEs.

******

The Committee on International Trade calls on the Committee on Development, as the committee responsible, to propose that Parliament give its consent.

RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMITTEE

Date adopted

26.1.2012

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

25

0

3

Members present for the final vote

William (The Earl of) Dartmouth, Laima Liucija Andrikienė, María Auxiliadora Correa Zamora, Christofer Fjellner, Yannick Jadot, Metin Kazak, Bernd Lange, Emilio Menéndez del Valle, Vital Moreira, Paul Murphy, Cristiana Muscardini, Godelieve Quisthoudt-Rowohl, Niccolò Rinaldi, Helmut Scholz, Peter Šťastný, Gianluca Susta, Keith Taylor, Jan Zahradil, Paweł Zalewski

Substitute(s) present for the final vote

Josefa Andrés Barea, George Sabin Cutaş, Mário David, Albert Deß, Syed Kamall, Silvana Koch-Mehrin, Inese Vaidere

Substitute(s) under Rule 187(2) present for the final vote

Jutta Haug, Jean Roatta


RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMITTEE

Date adopted

19.3.2013

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

24

0

0

Members present for the final vote

Thijs Berman, Michael Cashman, Ricardo Cortés Lastra, Véronique De Keyser, Nirj Deva, Leonidas Donskis, Charles Goerens, Catherine Grèze, Eva Joly, Miguel Angel Martínez Martínez, Gay Mitchell, Andreas Pitsillides, Jean Roatta, Birgit Schnieber-Jastram, Michèle Striffler, Alf Svensson, Keith Taylor, Patrice Tirolien, Anna Záborská, Iva Zanicchi

Substitute(s) present for the final vote

Emer Costello, Enrique Guerrero Salom, Fiona Hall, Krzysztof Lisek

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