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Debates
Tuesday, 11 December 2007 - Strasbourg OJ edition

Second EU/Africa Summit (Lisbon, 8 and 9 December 2007) (debate)
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  Marie-Arlette Carlotti (PSE).(FR) Madam President, Africa and Europe talked politics in Lisbon at the highest level, and this is very good news. Having said that, I would like to be sure they are speaking the same language, and particularly on three major issues. First of all, a partnership of equals. Alpha Konaré told the forum that Africa does not need either charity or paternalism. The Lisbon Declaration confirms this: we will be setting up a partnership of equals. Europe, however, has often treated this commitment rather lightly or à la carte by imposing its own agenda whenever its interests were at stake: on terrorism, migration and, at the present time, economic partnership agreements.

Secondly, a partnership of peoples. We also expect some action on this issue. The new partnership must bring together civil societies much more systematically, and also the people’s representatives, in other words the parliaments, especially by assisting with the capacities of African parliaments. This is the message conveyed by the common statement made by the European Parliament and the Pan-African Parliament, and I hope this message will be heard.

Lastly, in relation to migration: Europeans and Africans had the chance in Lisbon to send a clear political signal which would have placed human rights centre stage in our partnership. I truly believe that Lisbon was, regrettably, a missed opportunity. The new strategy still places the emphasis on protecting borders rather than on the rights of migrants. This means Europe can continue to flout the rights of migrants either here or there, for it has actually made very few commitments in its ‘Migration, Mobility and Employment’ action plan.

 
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