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Debates
Tuesday, 19 June 2007 - Strasbourg OJ edition

ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly (debate)
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  Marie-Arlette Carlotti (PSE). – (FR) Mr President, I must thank my honourable colleague Thierry Cornillet for his excellent report. He expresses clearly and forcefully the power of work that the Joint Parliamentary Assembly accomplished in 2006. Through the quality of its output, I believe the Assembly has established itself as a pivotal player in the dialogue on North-South cooperation.

The Assembly has made its mark by expressing itself forcefully on Darfur in Vienna, by scorning taboos to apportion blame and by proposing a road map designed to end the crisis. It also made its mark by expressing its views on the crucial question of the economic-partnership agreements in Bridgetown. Its message, moreover, was a unanimous declaration that these agreements must remain instruments of development, as Commissioner Michel reaffirmed a short while ago during the previous debate.

The political clout of the Joint Assembly will continue to increase over the coming months now that the Commission has undertaken to grant it the right to examine all country and regional strategy papers for the African, Caribbean and Pacific areas and now that the Assembly can convene regional conferences in order to come up with specific responses on major issues such as migration.

In view of these new powers – even if they are not really powers – we must take care to ensure that the Assembly has the means to perform its tasks. I wish to say to the Commission and the Commissioner that we shall have to act together to find flexible and effective ways to work jointly on the procedure for the exercise of this new right to examine strategy papers. It is cumbersome, it is difficult, but we must rise to the challenge.

I also appeal to the working group on parliamentary reform to take account of the specific characteristics of the Joint Parliamentary Assembly and the constraints affecting it, because, when the parliamentary calendar is compiled these days, some of our commitments clash with the work of the Assembly.

Finally, I would like to pay tribute to Mrs Kinnock for the manner in which she has been co-chairing the Assembly.

 
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