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Procedure : 2019/2832(RSP)
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O-000035/2019 (B9-0057/2019)

Debates :

PV 27/11/2019 - 19
CRE 27/11/2019 - 19

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Debates
Wednesday, 27 November 2019 - Strasbourg Revised edition

19. On-going negotiations for a new EU-ACP Partnership Agreement (debate)
Video of the speeches
PV
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  Przewodnicząca. – Kolejnym punktem porządku dnia jest debata:

– nad pytaniem wymagającym odpowiedzi ustnej skierowanym do Rady przez TomasaTobé w imieniu Komisji Rozwoju w sprawie trwających negocjacji w sprawie nowej umowy o partnerstwie UE–AKP (O-000035/2019 - B9-0057/2019) oraz

– nad pytaniem wymagającym odpowiedzi ustnej skierowanym do Komisji przez Tomasa Tobé w imieniu Komisji Rozwoju w sprawie trwających negocjacji w sprawie nowej umowy o partnerstwie UE–AKP (O-000036/2019 - B9-0058/2019).

Chciałabym przypomnieć, zabrania głosu z sali i do procedury niebieskiej kartki można zgłosić się zarówno tradycyjnie, jak i w systemie elektronicznym. Instrukcje są dostępne przy wejściu do sali obrad plenarnych.

 
  
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  Tomas Tobé, author. – Madam President, the Cotonou Agreement between the European Union and the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States is the most comprehensive partnership agreement which the EU has concluded to date. The Cotonou Agreement covers cooperation with nearly 80 countries worldwide and it covers a wide set of policy areas.

In these times, times of increasing global uncertainty, we, the European Union, must defend and promote multilateralism, global cooperation and a rule-based world order. These are all core values of our European Union.

The Cotonou Agreement expires in February next year. Negotiations for the next agreement have already started. Prior to that, Parliament has outlined what we want to see in the new agreement. Parliament’s consent will be required once the negotiations are concluded.

So far, the ACP and the EU have agreed that the foundation of the future partnership shall focus on key values and principles and on overarching priorities. Attached to the foundation agreement, three regional partnership protocols will detail cooperation priorities tailored to the regions’ specificities. It is agreed that the foundation and the regional partnerships will be one legally binding instrument. The latter was not a given when the first discussions with EU Member States started, but it was one of Parliament’s key demands.

But in today’s debate we need more clarity and we also need the new resolution, because some of Parliament’s key concerns have not been addressed. On behalf of the Committee on Development, I have therefore tabled questions to the Council and to the Commission. We would like to hear clear answers to them today. We believe that these questions will provide guidance to the incoming Commissioner.

The first question is: where do we actually stand on the key demand of Parliament that the new agreement should reinforce the parliamentary dimension at ACP level? I would like to make clear that the European Parliament cannot accept that the executive level of government might have no parliamentary counterpart: that there will be a Joint Council of Ministers, a Joint Committee, but no parliamentary meetings. We agree with a reinforcement of parliamentary cooperation at the level of the three regional pillars, but this is not sufficient. We don’t want to lose the benefits of peer-to-peer discussions at ACP level.

Another important issue, and also on behalf of the Committee on Development: where do the Council and the Commission and the ACP stand when it comes to reinforcing provisions to combat discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity and to ensure that sexual and reproductive health and rights are integrated and supported through the new agreement? These are key values of the European Union, and we need to make sure that this will also be within the agreement.

Another important question is about civil society. We know that in some countries this is of very serious concern, and we want to see an increased role for civil society. This needs to be recognisable in the agreement and also at ACP-EU levels.

Last, but not least, Parliament clearly stated that the new agreement should provide for a peer-review mechanism for monitoring progress as well as gaps in implementing the Sustainable Development Goals on a regular basis. We need more clarity on which way this will be integrated into the next agreement.

Before I end with a very clear message from the European Parliament, I would like to thank Commissioner Mimica for all your hard work. You have worked very hard with the European Parliament and we are really thankful for the cooperation so far, and also with the Council.

We now count on the Commission and the Council to be champions of our demands in the coming weeks and the coming months and to provide answers also today; hopefully clear answers.

 
  
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  Tytti Tuppurainen, President-in-Office of the Council. – Madam President, it’s a pleasure to address this House on the ongoing negotiations for the future agreement between the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP) and the European Union. This is indeed a very timely discussion. Post—Cotonou continues to be a key file for the Council. Negotiations are ongoing and until now five negotiation rounds took place at political level, the latest one in September in New York. The next meeting of the chief negotiators is foreseen to take place in December.

Both parties agree that the future development cooperation framework should be based on the 2030 Agenda and the Paris Agreement on climate change and must reflect and adapt to the changing global context, new challenges and opportunities. The ambitions are high on both sides to use the relationship for joint positions in international fora. The EU shares the ambition of the ACP—EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly and the European Parliament to strengthen the parliamentary dimension.

Our EU negotiating directives clearly stipulate that the parties shall pursue an inclusive and open multi—stakeholder approach, including by strengthening the role of national parliaments, local authorities, civil society and the private sector. These directives aim to strengthen regular political dialogue at all levels, enabling the active engagement of a wide variety of actors, including civil society, in dialogue and cooperation processes. They also aim to strengthen the role of civil society and the private sector as the key partners in realising the objectives of the partnership.

The negotiations on migration issues are ongoing. The EU’s aim is to arrive at a more operational text compared to the Cotonou Agreement. The EU negotiation mandate also stipulates that all elements of migration cooperation would be addressed in the regular political dialogue, which would ensure regular discussions with our partners on this important topic.

Economic partnership agreements help regional economic communities by providing necessary expertise, technology and experience for trade integration. They are tools to enhance trade and investment, value addition and industrialisation, and economic integration. The work done so far on these agreements should inspire the future trade arrangements between the ACP and the EU.

The EU negotiating directives are very clear when it comes to non—discrimination based on sexual orientation and sexual and reproductive health and rights. They aim to commit the parties to the promotion, protection and fulfilment of the right of every individual to have full control over and decide freely and responsibly on matters related to their sexuality and sexual and reproductive health, free from discrimination, coercion and violence. The EU aims for an agreement that ensures universal access to quality and affordable comprehensive sexual and reproductive health information, education, including comprehensive sexuality education and healthcare services.

 
  
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  Neven Mimica, Member of the Commission. – Madam President, I would like to thank the honourable Chair, Mr Tobé, and all the members of the Committee on Development for their excellent work and for the close collaboration between our respective institutions on this important file. I welcome your resolutions and the questions on the ongoing negotiations on the renewed partnership agreement between the European Union and the countries of the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States.

The negotiations are progressing, I would say, at moderate pace. As chief negotiator, I have to be realistic. When the Cotonou Agreement expires on 29 February next year, the negotiations will not have sufficiently advanced and there will be a need to have transitional measures in place. Therefore, I am glad that the Council has adopted a decision supporting the extension of the Cotonou Agreement until 31 December 2020. This way, a solid legal basis can remain in place during the transition period. The EU-ACP Committee of Ambassadors will take the final joint decision by the end of January 2020 at the latest.

At this advanced stage of the negotiations I appreciate that Parliament wishes to reiterate the core elements formulated in the two earlier resolutions of October 2016 and June 2018. Your opinion has been heard. You have one key demand: the strengthening of the parliamentary dimension, including at the EU-ACP level. I strongly believe that the role of Parliament should be enforced in the future agreement. However, in line with the negotiation directives from the Council, I also believe that this can best take place at the level of the regional protocols and less so at the level of the EU—ACP. Nevertheless, the Commission takes note of the recommendation formulated by Parliament on this heading.

I would also like to recall that the recommendation by the Commission to the Council of December 2017 included the proposal that the three regional parliamentary configurations could be brought into one on specific occasions. Eventually, that proposal did not become part of the Council’s negotiation directives.

Honourable Members, I welcome your question on political dialogue. We have put forward to our ACP partners a proposal for comprehensive dialogue covering all objectives, priorities and policy areas. I also welcome your concern for a genuine multi—actor partnership. The EU has a clear position: we are seeking from all parties a commitment to facilitate the active engagement of a wide variety of actors in dialogue and cooperation processes.

Concerning your call for reinforcing provisions to fight against discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity, and for upholding sexual and reproductive health and rights, I can say that we are aligned on this but I note that our proposals to the ACP side have not received a positive feedback and further negotiation is required. So far, we have a bracketed part of this paragraph.

On migration, the Commission appreciates the concern of Parliament. The European Union and the ACP are currently negotiating a balanced text seeking a substantial compromise between the negotiation interests of both parties.

Concerning the economic partnership agreements, I would like to recall that these are self—standing international agreements. However, the post—Cotonou Agreement will provide a coherent framework for cooperation with ACP States, linking all negotiated and future EPAs to respect for essential and fundamental elements.

Lastly, honourable Members, your question on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) is welcome. It gives me the opportunity to recall that the UN Agenda 2030 will frame the future ACP—EU partnership agreement. Our comprehensive dialogue with the ACP partners and a multi—actor approach will be essential to put in place the conditions and instruments for regular monitoring and implementation of the SDGs.

 
  
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  György Hölvényi, a PPE képviselőcsoport nevében. – Tisztelt Elnök asszony! Tisztelt Kollégák! Az afrikai, karibi és csendes-óceáni országok és az Unió együttműködése nélkül elképzelhetetlen, hogy olyan kihívásokra megoldást találjunk, mint a migráció, klímaváltozás, oktatáshoz való hozzájárulás, hozzájutás és a biztonság kérdése.

A jelenleg még érvényben lévő Cotonui Megállapodás éppen ezeknek a kihívásoknak a kezeléséhez kínál együttműködési keretet. Az új egyezmény életbelépésének lehetséges késése Európát egyszerűen versenyhátrányba hozza. Európa csak abban lehet érdekelt, hogy a fejlődő országokban csökkentse az elvándorlást fokozó hatásokat, megerősítse a demokratizációs folyamatokat és a biztonságot.

Az együttműködés fejlesztése vonatkozásainak legfontosabb eleme az oktatás és a szakképzés kérdése. Engedjék meg, hogy ebben egy speciális dologra felhívjam a figyelmet. Az AKCS-országok tekintetében az egyházi szervezetekkel való együttműködés szinte elengedhetetlen, de jelenleg majdnem a nullával egyenlő. Vegyük figyelembe, hogy a Világbank adatai szerint a Szubszaharai-Afrikában az egészségügyi és oktatási ellátás ötven százalékát vallási szervezetek biztosítják. Ennek megfelelően nagyon fontos, hogy a fejlesztési partnereink között ott legyenek az egyházi szervezetek is.

Az új megoldásban – a Bizottságnak megoldás kell – az új megállapodásban a Bizottságnak megoldást kell találnia a migráció kiváltó okainak kezelésére, legalábbis meg kell kísérelni. Ahogyan ezt meghallgatása során Urpilainen biztos asszony is elmondta, a kiváltó okok kezelésére kell összpontosítanunk a következő években. Olyan megállapodást várunk, amely az eddigieknél hatékonyabban rendezi a migránsok visszafogadását, stratégiai célként tekint a szülőföldön való megmaradásra, a biztonságra, a minőségi oktatásra, a tisztességes munka helyben történő megerősítésére.

A fenti célok érdekében 2021-től az NDICI -t kell alkalmaznunk, amelybe a Bizottság javaslata alapján lehetséges, hogy beolvad az EFA is, az AKCS-országok számára nyújtott fejlesztési hozzájárulások legfontosabb forrása. Világosan kell látnunk, hogy miként tervezi a Bizottság kialakítani a Post-Cotonui Megállapodás és az NDICI közötti összeköttetést. Figyelembe kell vennünk az AKCS-országok sajátos igényeit, egyenlő partnerként kezelve őket.

Összefoglalva: olyan megállapodást várunk el a Bizottságtól, amely a migráció kérdésében a helyben maradást és a visszatérést segíti, tekintettel van a különböző AKCS-országok sajátos karaktereire, és megerősíti az Európai Parlamentnek az AKCS–EU-együttműködésben betöltött szerepét. Köszönöm, hogy meghallgattak.

 
  
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  Carlos Zorrinho, em nome do Grupo S&D. – Senhora Presidente, o debate suscitado pela Comissão do Desenvolvimento sobre as negociações para um novo acordo ACP—União Europeia é muito oportuno, e saúdo o seu Presidente pela iniciativa. E como foi aqui dito, o Parlamento Europeu tem expressado ao longo do tempo posições muito claras sobre os objetivos e os mecanismos de concretização do futuro acordo.

Uma posição que, aliás, foi refletida e partilhada na passada semana em Quigali, no Ruanda, onde decorreu a 30.º Assembleia Parlamentar Paritária, à qual copresidi em representação do Parlamento Europeu. E dessa reunião, entre mais de cem países que representam quase dois biliões de pessoas, emergiu um consenso forte, um consenso para que se cumpram os timings e os mandatos para ser possível fechar o acordo em novembro de 2020, traduzindo uma parceria robusta, entre iguais, inspirada pela Agenda do Milénio. Mas também um consenso para que prevaleça uma visão flexível que permita conciliar um quadro partilhado para o desenvolvimento sustentável no âmbito da relação ACP-União Europeia, mas também com as parcerias económicas e comerciais sub-regionais, e em particular com a parceria União Europeia-União Africana. E, finalmente, um consenso para que seja racionalizada e reforçada a dimensão parlamentar do acordo, como parte da nossa matriz diferenciadora num contexto geopolítico cada vez mais competitivo em que temos que saber fazer a diferença.

Tenho consciência que falar do Acordo de Cotonu ou do acordo que lhe vai suceder diz muito pouco à maior parte dos europeus. Mas se tornarmos claro como ele é decisivo para fazer face à certificação, às alterações climáticas, às migrações forçadas, aos conflitos gerados pela exploração da pobreza endémica e à fragilidade das instituições, seremos capazes de mostrar que um bom desenho, uma boa concretização do acordo, é boa para os povos de África, das Caraíbas e Pacífico, da União Europeia e para a Humanidade em geral. E então teremos a maioria dos europeus connosco e seremos mais fortes enquanto União Europeia.

Queria aproveitar os últimos segundos da minha intervenção para saudar e felicitar o Senhor Comissário pelo excelente trabalho desenvolvido.

 
  
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  Chrysoula Zacharopoulou, au nom du groupe Renew. – Madame la Présidente, Monsieur le Commissaire, au fond, nous savons tous, dans cette salle, que nos destins, ceux des pays ACP et de l’Union européenne, sont liés et qu’ils le seront encore plus demain. Ce n’est qu’ensemble que nous pourrons apporter les réponses aux défis globaux, en commençant par la gestion de la crise climatique et de la crise de la biodiversité.

Nos amis des pays ACP tirent la sonnette d’alarme car les conséquences des changements climatiques mettent en péril leur survie. Le soutien de l’Union européenne en matière d’adaptation au changement climatique est essentiel si nous voulons agir avant qu’il ne soit trop tard. Autre grand défi, la lutte contre le braconnage et le trafic d’animaux sauvages, qui doit faire partie des priorités pour sauver la biodiversité.

Ensuite, je voudrais rappeler le rôle de la jeunesse et des femmes. De la jeunesse africaine, en particulier, dépend absolument le destin d’un continent en transition. L’Union européenne et les pays ACP devront construire des ponts entre leurs jeunes dans le domaine de l’éducation, de l’entrepreneuriat et des échanges académiques et culturels. C’est ainsi qu’ils pourront bâtir leur avenir en commun mais aussi l’égalité des genres, l’autonomisation des femmes, leur éducation, y compris leur éducation sexuelle et reproductive, qui sont essentielles. Libérer le potentiel féminin est le meilleur pari que nous puissions faire pour l’avenir.

Monsieur le Commissaire, après plus de 60 ans de partenariat et alors que de nouveaux acteurs s’affirment sur la scène de la coopération internationale, l’Union européenne ne peut pas se passer de ses alliés historiques. À Kigali, nous avons vu que nos partenaires des pays ACP voulaient un vrai partenariat. Moi aussi, en tant qu’Européenne, je veux ce vrai partenariat. Nous avons tout en main pour bâtir une nouvelle relation, basée toujours davantage sur la coopération et le respect mutuel.

 
  
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  Pierrette Herzberger-Fofana, au nom du groupe Verts/ALE. – Madame la Présidente, le nouvel accord Union européenne-ACP sera l’occasion de nouer des relations de partenariat sur un pied d’égalité, basées sur un véritable partenariat et non sur une relation paternaliste. Tout dépendra de l’issue des négociations, qui s’avère déjà problématique. En effet, avec l’ouverture du libre-échange, de nombreux pays ACP ne sont pas en mesure de concurrencer les produits à bon marché de l’Union européenne qui inondent les pays du Sahel en Afrique. Illustrons notre propos avec l’exemple du lait en poudre venu d’Europe et vendu sur les marchés africains. Ce lait défie toute concurrence face au lait local.

En outre, la migration est le sujet d’actualité qui préoccupe aussi bien l’Union européenne que les pays ACP. Cependant, nous devons veiller à ce que les fonds de développement ne soient pas liés aux mesures draconiennes de la politique migratoire de l’Union européenne, qui est devenue un outil à double tranchant. Elle a permis aux racistes d’actionner les sirènes de la peur et de dissimuler ainsi leur haine et leur xénophobie sous le couvert du manque de sécurité. Nous devons au contraire chercher à ajuster nos priorités sur celle de nos partenaires – l’élimination de la pauvreté, l’éducation et la formation professionnelle, la promotion de la migration légale et la possibilité d’un retour au pays d’origine suivi d’une réinsertion volontaire – afin de parvenir à un véritable accord qui corresponde aux objectifs du développement durable.

Nous ne devons pas conditionner l’aide au développement en érigeant des barrières trop élevées en matière de climat, de migration et de sécurité. Promouvoir une telle politique est contradictoire aux valeurs de l’Union européenne et aux principes qui régissent les rapports entre partenaires. Imposer ce genre de politique aux pays ACP est par bien des points comparables à une politique néo-colonialiste. Nous devons avoir avec nos partenaires des atomes crochus en vue d’un partenariat qui reflète les aspirations aussi bien de l’Union européenne que des pays ACP.

 
  
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  Dominique Bilde, au nom du groupe ID. – Madame la Présidente, à l’heure où, de la Chine à la Russie, tous ont perçu le potentiel de l’Afrique comme continent du XXIe siècle, l’Union européenne, quant à elle, aborde ces négociations en position de faiblesse, non seulement parce que rien n’a été prévu pour pallier le départ du Royaume-Uni, contributeur financier et acteur diplomatique majeur, mais parce qu’on ne peut que constater l’échec de Cotonou.

L’échec est d’abord politique, puisque ni le dialogue multilatéral, incarné par des institutions qui ont peiné à produire le moindre résultat concret, ni les instruments contraignants n’ont été couronnés de succès.

L’échec porte ensuite sur l’immigration, puisque, alors même que l’article 13 a été sans effet, cette résolution s’enferre dans le rejet de tout conditionnement de l’aide au contrôle des flux migratoires par les pays d’origine, ce qui devrait être, au contraire, une de nos premières exigences.

Enfin, sur le plan économique, le bilan d’étape indigent, révélé la semaine dernière, du pacte avec l’Afrique, lancé par l’Allemagne, est un énième coup d’épée dans l’eau en matière de relance de l’investissement privé. Il en sera de même de son cadre d’action global, pompeusement baptisé plan Marshall pour l’Afrique. Comment pourrait-il en être autrement alors que les conditions matérielles élémentaires ne sont pas garanties?

Dans le Sahel, la disparition tragique de treize de mes compatriotes rappelle que, contre le terrorisme islamique, les soldats français se battent bien seuls. Alors que tant d’engagements internationaux n’ont pas été tenus sur le terrain, l’indifférence se paye au prix du sang.

 
  
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  Miguel Urbán Crespo, en nombre del Grupo GUE/NGL. – Señora presidenta, hace un año el Parlamento Europeo aprobó las negociaciones para un nuevo acuerdo entre la Unión Europea y los setenta y ocho países de la Asociación de Estados de África, del Caribe y del Pacífico. Esta negociación integraba en su texto inicial la necesidad de enfrentarse a desafíos como el de la crisis climática. Daba mayor protagonismo a la sociedad civil y reforzaba el control parlamentario del acuerdo.

No entendemos cómo hace un mes, en la Comisión de Desarrollo, el texto de este acuerdo fue refrendado mayoritariamente, pero ahora el Grupo del Partido Popular amenaza con desvirtuar el acuerdo. ¿Qué es lo que quieren el Grupo del Partido Popular y la extrema derecha?

Lo decían alto y claro en la anterior intervención: condicionar la ayuda al desarrollo al control migratorio, que, en la práctica, está suponiendo en muchos lugares violaciones sistemáticas de los derechos humanos.

Demasiadas barbaridades hemos visto ya en estos años con la utilización de los fondos de la ayuda al desarrollo de la Unión Europea como para ahora seguir incidiendo en condicionar la ayuda al desarrollo al control migratorio. Esto, señorías, no solo es infame y neocolonial sino que también —y hay que decirlo alto y claro— incumple todos los protocolos internacionales.

No cometamos ese error mañana, señorías. Apostemos por una política de desarrollo que no esté al servicio de la «Europa fortaleza», que no responda a los intereses de la extrema derecha sino que esté al servicio de los pueblos y del planeta. De su voto dependerá lo que decidan, dependerá estar al servicio de la gente o estar contra la gente. Ustedes decidan.

 
  
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  Álvaro Amaro (PPE). – Senhora Presidente, em boa hora se faz este debate e se discute com a Comissão e o Conselho este acordo de parceria pós-Cotonu e o futuro do caminho que iniciámos juntos com os nossos países parceiros de África, das Caraíbas e do Pacífico, em Lomé, em 1975.

Nunca é demais lembrar que este acordo tem três objetivos fundamentais: reduzir a pobreza e a prazo erradicá-la, o desenvolvimento sustentável e ainda contribuir para a integração progressiva dos países ACP na economia mundial.

Se são estes os seus objetivos primeiros, e pós-Cotonu, tem que reassumir estes compromissos. O mandato negocial da Comissão diz exatamente isso: o acordo terá como base e reforçará os valores e princípios fundamentais deste acordo que termina agora no próximo ano. É esta, pois, a primeira ideia que gostaria de deixar num cenário atual em que é necessário tomar medidas concretas com vista a promover e fazer aplicar os direitos humanos ou defender a democracia, o crescimento económico e o investimento, combater as alterações climáticas, promover a paz e a segurança, bem como agir em termos de mobilidade e migrações. O objetivo primário de erradicar a pobreza em consonância com os objetivos do desenvolvimento sustentável deverá continuar a ser o nosso maior propósito.

E sobre o futuro do acordo gostaria de deixar três notas, até porque já muito foi dito também neste debate. Em primeiro lugar, a manutenção da dimensão parlamentar na futura parceria dos países ACP-UE. A resolução que votaremos amanhã sublinha muito bem este propósito, reiterando a importância de reforçar esta dimensão parlamentar, ou seja, o futuro quadro institucional deverá incluir uma Assembleia Parlamentar Paritária ACP-UE, e à semelhança do que os nossos Copresidentes da Assembleia Parlamentar Paritária fizeram, e cumprimento o meu colega Carlos Zorrinho, em Quigali na sua declaração conjunta, e naturalmente o Senhor Presidente da Comissão do Desenvolvimento sobre este tema, também eu considero que esta reivindicação não deve ser negociável no contexto da aprovação do futuro acordo pelo Parlamento Europeu.

Em segundo lugar, defender o multilateralismo como único caminho verdadeiramente eficaz para uma paz duradoura, prosperidade económica e o desenvolvimento sustentável. Só conseguiremos implementar na prática numa escala verdadeiramente eficaz os ambiciosos objetivos do desenvolvimento sustentável se o fizermos através dos diversos fóruns mundiais existentes, e com esta nossa parceria isto poderá funcionar como uma alavanca para posições comuns. Deveremos ainda, nesses fóruns, difundir os nossos ideais e princípios junto das populações, como muito bem diz aquele ditado: sozinhos até poderemos ir mais depressa, mas juntos vamos seguramente mais longe.

Em terceiro e último lugar gostaria de sublinhar algo que é pouco falado, e que é a importância da diplomacia parlamentar para o estímulo da aproximação institucional em termos multilaterais, quer a nível dos parlamentos, dos governos, dos poderes regionais ou locais e, obviamente, das administrações públicas, e também, para terminar, acrescentarei o maior envolvimento da sociedade civil no processo político para o incentivo à realização de vários tipos de eventos.

A diplomacia parlamentar contribui ainda, e termino, Senhora Presidente, para a divulgação dos valores fundamentais que defendemos, nomeadamente os direitos humanos.

 
  
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  Monica Semedo (Renew). – Madam President, last week I had the honour of attending the 38th ACP-EU Joint Assembly in Kigali, Rwanda, and I had many fruitful conversations with my ACP colleagues who expressed their regret and concern that the post-Cotonou negotiations are taking longer than anticipated. We agreed that the greatest future potential of the ACP countries lies with the youth, and we should promote it now.

Young citizens have innovative ideas for shaping the future relations between the ACP and the EU. Therefore, my question is, have youth organisations and associations been involved in the consultation on the post-Cotonou negotiations? If so, at what level and, if not, given that the negotiations are still ongoing, would you consider including their voices?

 
  
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  Tineke Strik (Verts/ALE). – Madam President, we are at an important moment in time. The new treaty between the EU and the ACP countries will consolidate and give new impetus to our strong partnership and we are happy to learn that we are approaching the final stage of concluding a treaty. However, there are still some problem issues, and they seem to concentrate on the issue of migration and mobility, and this is why I focus on this issue.

The treaty is based on the principle of equality and shared responsibility. But if you look at the EU text proposal, it applies very concrete requirements on the ACP countries, such as readmission of migrants, strengthening border controls and combating irregular migration, whereas in exchange, the EU hardly offers any concrete commitment regarding legal migration. Adopting this text would deprive the countries of remittances and other benefits of migration, without any clear perspective on labour migration. This does not really resonate the equality of the partnership.

Regarding shared responsibility, I find the only provision on refugees and international protection pretty meagre. Africa hosts so many more refugees than we do. Why don’t we see a stronger EU commitment to support the protection and reception of refugees through financial means or through resettlements? That would be shared responsibility, and also in line with the UN Global Compact on Refugees. The EU’s responsibility for refugees in Africa will even grow if this migration cooperation leads to more refugees stuck in transit countries without any access to asylum. So, if this paragraph is still in negotiation, please make sure that the EU also delivers on migration, mobility and international protection.

 
  
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  João Ferreira (GUE/NGL). – Senhora Presidente, Senhor Comissário, a relação entre a União Europeia e os países ACP – de África, das Caraíbas e do Pacífico –, deve pautar-se por uma genuína cooperação para o desenvolvimento que se distancie de visões interesseiras e de práticas de recorte neocolonial, e que seja respeitadora da soberania destes países. O futuro quadro de cooperação deve reconhecer e preservar a integridade e a unidade do bloco ACP.

Rejeitamos, por isso, as tentativas de dividir para reinar que já foram patentes na imposição a todo o custo, por parte da União Europeia, dos chamados acordos de parceria económica contra a vontade dos países ACP, e são novamente visíveis na negociação da futura parceria.

Contrariando caminhos que acentuam a dependência e a subordinação dos países ACP, é necessário estimular a diversificação da sua base económica, fortalecer os respetivos sistemas produtivos, estimulando a sua autonomia e coerência, promover o desenvolvimento dos serviços públicos, investir na saúde, na educação, no saneamento e no abastecimento de água, na habitação e no melhor aproveitamento do potencial endógeno de cada país.

É necessário reforçar o papel do Fundo Europeu de Desenvolvimento, reforçando as suas dotações e alinhando-o com estas prioridades, rejeitando qualquer lógica de condicionalidade à aceitação das políticas da União Europeia, designadamente no domínio migratório. É necessário romper com a lógica das políticas de ajustamento estrutural, com o livre comércio e com as permanentes tentativas de exportar modelos neoliberais que se revelaram e revelam desastrosos.

O cancelamento da dívida dos países menos desenvolvidos, e termino, Senhora Presidente, é uma questão de justiça que permitiria canalizar recursos adicionais para o desenvolvimento. Isto mesmo foi aprovado na recente Assembleia Parlamentar Paritária em Quigali, no Ruanda, e não queríamos deixar aqui de o valorizar.

 
  
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  Pietro Bartolo (S&D). – Signora Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, sono ancora tanti i quesiti che restano aperti sui negoziati per un nuovo accordo di partenariato tra l'Europa e il gruppo dei paesi ACP. Crescita sostenibile e riduzione della povertà, Stato di diritto e democrazia, sviluppo economico e culturale, gestione dei flussi migratori e cambiamenti climatici: ecco i temi cruciali da rilanciare nell'ambito di una cooperazione rafforzata congiunta dopo il 2020.

L'accordo di Cotonou ci ha consentito di intraprendere le vie del dialogo e della cooperazione e in questi anni i risultati raggiunti sono stati importanti, ma siamo sinceri, non sono significativi. Siamo ancora distanti anni luce dagli obiettivi della riduzione e dell'eliminazione della povertà, nonché dell'integrazione dei paesi ACP nell'economia mondiale.

Continuiamo quindi nel nostro percorso di dialogo parlamentare aperto, democratico e globale e non perdiamo mai di vista il rispetto dei diritti umani e dei principi democratici e dello Stato di diritto, che devono rimanere alla base della nostra cooperazione.

 
  
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  Marie-Pierre Vedrenne (Renew). – Madame Présidente, Monsieur le Commissaire, l’avenir de nos relations, après février 2020, et l’expiration de l’accord de Cotonou ont été au cœur de nos échanges la semaine dernière à Kigali.

En tant que vice-présidente de l’Assemblée parlementaire ACP-UE, je regrette profondément que ce cadre multilatéral, pour lequel nous sommes ici tous profondément engagés, soit menacé par ces négociations. Un véritable partenariat gagnant-gagnant avec les ACP ne verra le jour qu’avec le maintien et le renforcement de la dimension parlementaire. S’il est vrai que le fonctionnement de cette assemblée doit être réformé pour gagner en efficacité, la supprimer serait un contresens.

Protection des droits de l’homme, état de droit, objectifs du développement durable ou encore lutte contre le changement climatique, autant de thèmes qui trouveront des solutions si nous agissons ensemble, et la diplomatie parlementaire est le vecteur de véritables progrès. À titre d’exemple, nous avons adopté, à Kigali, une approche commune pour la COP 25 qui se tiendra dans quelques jours à Madrid. Dans ce sens, je souhaite appeler de nouveau la Commission européenne à faire de l’accord de Paris un élément essentiel de ce futur partenariat.

 
  
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  Evin Incir (S&D). – Fru talman! Jag skulle vilja ta upp och verkligen betona fyra viktiga budskap till kommissionen och medlemsländerna.

1. Se till att avtalet är väl förankrat i FN:s globala hållbarhetsmål och förstärk frågorna om respekt för mänskliga rättigheter, demokrati, grundläggande friheter, rättsstatsprincipen och god samhällsstyrning.

2. Det är viktigt att framtida avtal innehåller en större roll för civilsamhället, och mångfald måste vara ett ledord för inkluderingen. Det är extremt viktigt för att kunna motverka det krympande demokratiska utrymme som vi ser runtom i världen.

3. Jämställdhet och kvinnors egenmakt måste genomsyra hela avtalet. Sexuell och reproduktiv hälsa och rättigheter måste vara prioritet.

4. Slutligen får vi inte glömma ödesfrågan: miljö- och klimatfrågorna. Vi måste alla ta ett gemensamt ansvar om vi vill säkerställa en planet att leva på i framtiden.

Jag hoppas att dessa budskap tas med, och att ni jobbar för ett brett, jämbördigt och mer modernt partnerskap som täcker in våra gemensamma utmaningar, och som kan hjälpa till att bekämpa fattigdom och ojämlikheter.

 
  
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  Alex Agius Saliba (S&D). – Sinjura President, minn meta ġie adottat il-Ftehim ta' Cotonou għoxrin sena ilu, id-dinja nbidlet b'mod mill-aktar sinifikanti. Għalhekk in-negozjati tagħna fil-Ftehim il-ġdid AKP-UE għandhom iwasslu kunsens politiku ambizzjuż u komprensiv illi javvanza żvilupp sostenibbli u inklużiv, u jiffoka fuq il-prijoritajiet imfassla, bħad-demokrazija u d-drittijiet tal-bniedem, it-tkabbir ekonomiku u l-investiment, it-tibdil fil-klima, il-qerda tal-faqar, il-paċi u s-sigurtà, il-migrazzjoni u l-mobbiltà.

Barra minn hekk nixtieq ukoll nenfasizza l-importanza tat-tisħiħ tad-dimensjoni parlamentari tal-futur, fejn jeħtieġ illi tkun assigurata responsabbiltà demokratika fil-livelli kollha. Għalhekk huwa essenzjali illi l-Assemblea Parlamentari Konġunta AKP-UE tkompli tiltaqa' darbtejn fis-sena fit-totalità tagħha fis-sessjoni plenarja u darba fis-sena f'kull waħda mit-tliet reġjuni.

Ix-xhur li ġejjin se jkunu kruċjali hekk kif wasalna biex nidħlu f'era ġdida fir-relazzjoni tagħna mal-pajjiżi AKP, li se jippermettu wkoll l-iżviluppi ulterjuri għar-relazzjonijiet tagħna bħala "kontinent ma' kontinent" Afrikan.

 
  
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  Julie Ward (S&D). – Madam President, the Partnership Agreement between the EU and ACP, known as the Cotonou Agreement, was signed in 2000 and will expire in February 2020. Negotiations for the successor to the agreement are still ongoing and we must remember why this partnership is important. It’s fostered key political dialogue, strengthening relations between us and the ACP countries via frameworks based on human rights, democracy and the rule of law. It’s allowed for important discussions on issues such as freedom from discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation or gender identity, and sex and relationship education, as well as provisions for corporate social responsibility and assistance to tackle tax evasion.

We must revitalise and reinforce the EU’s relations with the ACP countries. We must emphasise the importance of the parliamentary dimension of the future agreement in order to ensure democratic accountability at all levels and to promote the legitimacy and visibility of the partnership. We must also scale up the involvement of civil society and ensure any new agreement is rooted in the 2030 Agenda with a peer review mechanism for SDG implementation. The EU and the ACP are collectively a strong global voice and we can tackle shared challenges, and the new Partnership Agreement must reflect this.

 
  
 

Zgłoszenia z sali

 
  
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  Juan Fernando López Aguilar (S&D). – Señora presidenta, comisario Mimica, le saludo con reconocimiento en esta su última comparecencia en un Pleno del Parlamento Europeo para debatir nada menos que el Acuerdo entre la Unión Europea y África-Caribe-Pacífico —setenta y ocho países— después de veinte años de vigencia, y con el mandato del Parlamento de reforzar el carácter de la sociedad civil, el compromiso con los valores y el control parlamentario.

Pero, sobre todo, hay que mantener vivo este ejercicio de diplomacia parlamentaria, que es una oportunidad de diálogo horizontal para explicar el esfuerzo gigantesco de la Unión Europea en cooperación y en ayuda humanitaria, que debe ser fiel a sus valores. En ningún caso debe ser una herramienta ni un subterfugio para la política de retornos o de control de emigraciones, sino que debe serlo para intercambiar buenas experiencias en materia de derechos humanos, de refuerzo del estado de Derecho, de integración, de inclusión, de lucha contra toda forma de discriminación y, por supuesto, de potenciación del papel de la mujer en África, el Caribe y el Pacífico. Son regiones muy distintas entre sí, pero África es el gran gigante. África es el interlocutor inexorable de la Unión Europea.

Animo a la Comisión Von der Leyen —que hoy acaba de recibir su investidura— a que lleve a buen término esta negociación y haga prevalecer el papel del Parlamento en la relación con África, el Caribe y el Pacífico.

 
  
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  Irena Joveva (Renew). – Gospa predsednica! Prejšnji teden sem imela privilegij biti del zasedanja skupne parlamentarne skupščine AKP in EU v Kigaliju, kjer sem izkusila, kaj tak partnerski sporazum dejansko pomeni.

Državam na različnih kontinentih omogoča povezovanje pri reševanju ali izboljševanju stanja na skupnih področjih, kot so človekove pravice, demokracija, enakost, mir in varnost, podnebje, okolje in še bi lahko naštevala.

Pred nami je dokument, ki bo vplival na oblikovanje prihodnjega sodelovanja med državami AKP in EU, zato je pomembno, da evropski poslanci kot vključeni institucionalni igralci v tem sporazumu prisostvujemo pri njegovem nastanku.

Temelj priprave novega sporazuma je nadgradnja dosedanjega, hkrati pa resolucija poziva k enaki zastopanosti držav Afrike, Karibov, Pacifika in držav EU, k večjemu vključevanju civilne družbe, političnemu dialogu in k trajnostnemu razvoju. Le skupaj lahko dosežemo mirne, stabilne, uspešne države in družbe.

 
  
 

(Koniec zgłoszeń z sali)

 
  
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  Neven Mimica, Member of the Commission. – Madam President, since the official launching of the negotiations on 28 September last year, the European Union and the ACP Group of States have gone a considerable distance in establishing our future partnership.

Leading the negotiations for the EU has been an honour and a challenge for me. I believe we have made sufficient progress in a relatively short time. My successor, Jutta Urpilainen, will have a solid and comprehensive base upon which to conclude the negotiations with success.

I’m confident that already negotiated but bracketed parts of the future agreement, tabled differences in our respective positions and parts of the agreement that we still have to open and address do not constitute unsurmountable difficulties that could endanger final consent on the draft text of the post—Cotonou partnership agreement.

This negotiation process is very much about the time needed to conclude an agreement, rather than about the lack of political will of the parties to have it concluded. The support and the engagement of Parliament all along this process are so important.

I remain certain that Parliament will continue working to ensure a strong parliamentary dimension and will contribute to ensuring that the EU keeps on standing for its values in our partnership with ACP countries.

 
  
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  Tytti Tuppurainen, President-in-Office of the Council. – Madam President, post-Cotonou continues to be the key file for the Council. Let me assure you of that. I would like to also take the opportunity to thank Commissioner Mimica for his strong commitment to this work.

The EU welcomes the commitment of the African, Caribbean and Pacific region’s side to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and the Paris Agreement on climate change, as well as adapting the partnership to the changing global context, new challenges and the obvious opportunities that we also have.

We believe that the 2030 Agenda and the Paris Agreement should facilitate reaching an agreement, even on the most difficult topics. Our Finnish Presidency will continue to pay the utmost attention to the ongoing negotiations and will seek to ensure that the Council contributes to the progress on this important dossier. Thank you very much, ladies and gentlemen, for your important and valuable remarks.

 
  
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  Przewodnicząca. – Otrzymałam jeden projekt rezolucji złożony zgodnie z art. 136 ust. 5 Regulaminu.

Zamykam debatę.

Głosowanie odbędzie się w czwartek 28 listopada 2019 r.

Oświadczenia pisemne (art. 171)

 
  
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  Janina Ochojska (PPE), na piśmie. – Umowa z Kotonu podpisana w 2000 r. stanowi filar partnerstwa pomiędzy UE, państwami członkowskimi UE i 79 państwami AKP. Jej celem jest m.in wyeliminowanie ubóstwa, zagwarantowanie praworządności, wspieranie zrównoważonego rozwoju gospodarczego i społecznego krajów partnerskich, oraz stopniowa integracja ich gospodarek z gospodarką światową. Sytuacja globalna i nowe światowe wyzwania takie jak kryzys migracyjny, terroryzm czy zmiany klimatu spowodowały, że podstawowe założenia partnerstwa muszą zostać zdefiniowane na nowo. Negocjacje i prace nad nowym kształtem umowy przedłużają się, jednak musimy zadbać o to, aby podstawy prawne i założenia polityczne przyszłego porozumienia UE-AKP były solidne, oparte na zasadach równości między partnerami, zamiast dotychczasowej relacji donor-darczyńca, która nie sprawdza się. Trzeba zadbać też o to, aby trzy porozumienia regionalne oparte na innych założeniach ramowych między UE i osobno Afryką, Pacyfikiem oraz Karaibami nie odwróciły uwagi od głównych priorytetów całego partnerstwa. Dlatego jestem zadowolona, że osiągnięcie Celów Zrównoważonego Rozwoju jest uznawane za kluczowy element przyszłego porozumienia i zgadzam się, że trzeba stworzyć mechanizm, który zagwarantuje by implementacja umowy skutecznie przyczynia się do osiągania i promowania CZR. Jestem zdania, że Wspólne Zgromadzenie UE-AKP odgrywa znaczącą rolę w sprawowaniu demokratycznego nadzoru nad przyszłym porozumieniem i powinno utrzymać swoją pozycje jako organ kontrolny jak i opiniodawczy.

 
Last updated: 6 December 2019Legal notice