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Procedure : 2008/2289(INI)
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PV 12/03/2009 - 5
CRE 12/03/2009 - 5

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PV 12/03/2009 - 7.17
CRE 12/03/2009 - 7.17
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Thursday, 12 March 2009 - Strasbourg
EU-Mexico Strategic Partnership

European Parliament recommendation to the Council of 12 March 2009 on an EU-Mexico Strategic Partnership (2008/2289(INI))

The European Parliament,

–   having regard to the proposal for a recommendation to the Council, submitted by José Ignacio Salafranca Sánchez-Neyra on behalf of the PPE-DE Group, on an EU-Mexico Strategic Partnership (B6-0437/2008),

–   having regard to the Commission communication of 15 July 2008 entitled 'Towards an EU-Mexico Strategic Partnership' (COM(2008)0447),

–   having regard to its resolution of 11 October 2007 on the murder of women (feminicide) in Mexico and Central America and the role of the European Union in fighting the phenomenon(1),

–   having regard to the Economic Partnership, Political Coordination and Cooperation Agreement between the European Community and its Member States, of the one part, and the United Mexican States, of the other(2), signed on 8 December 1997 ('the Global Agreement'),

–   having regard to the declarations of the five summits of heads of state and government of the European Union, Latin America and the Caribbean (EU-LAC), held to date in Rio de Janeiro (28 and 29 June 1999), Madrid (17 and 18 May 2002), Guadalajara (28 and 29 May 2004), Vienna (12 and 13 May 2006) and Lima (16 and 17 May 2008),

–   having regard to the joint communiqué of the Fourth Mexico-EU summit held in Lima, dated 17 May 2008,

–   having regard to the joint communiqué of the Eighth meeting of the EU-Mexico Joint Committee, held in Mexico City on 13 and 14 October 2008,

–   having regard to the joint declaration of the Seventh meeting of the EU-Mexico Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) held in Mexico City on 28 and 29 October 2008,

–   having regard to the conclusions of the General Affairs and External Relations Council of 13 October 2008,

–   having regard to the message from the Euro-Latin America Parliamentary Assembly (EuroLat) to the Fifth EU-LAC Summit dated 1 May 2008,

–   having regard to its resolution of 24 April 2008 on the Fifth Latin America and Caribbean-European Union Summit in Lima(3),

–   having regard to the San Salvador Declaration adopted at the 18th Iberoamerican Summit of Heads of State and Government, held on 29, 30 and 31 October 2008,

–   having regard to its resolution of 14 February 2006 on the human rights and democracy clause in European Union agreements(4),

–   having regard to Rules 114(3) and 83(5) of its Rules of Procedure,

–   having regard to the report of the Committee on Foreign Affairs and the opinion of the Committee on International Trade (A6-0028/2009),

A.   whereas Mexico and the EU share a set of fundamental values, common principles and historical and cultural links,

B.   whereas respect for democratic principles and human rights, as enshrined in the democracy clause, are an essential element of both the Strategic Partnership and the Global Agreement, and must be applied by both parties,

C.   whereas Mexico is increasingly consolidating its political weight on the international stage, as is confirmed at world level by its recent nomination as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council (for 2009-2010), and at regional level by its presidency of the Pro-Tempore Secretariat of the Rio Group (for 2008-2010),

D.   whereas it is important that the EU recognise Mexico's contribution to the multilateral system, given that multilateralism is one of the basic principles which both parties, Mexico and the EU, have undertaken to promote in the international sphere,

E.   whereas Mexico has embarked on a scheme of structural reforms in strategic sectors and has become the world's tenth-largest economy, a member of the G20 and of the G5 (Brazil, China, India, South Africa and Mexico), and is, furthermore, the only Latin American member of the OECD,

F.   whereas Mexico has a population of over 100 million, with a marked preponderance of youth given that 45% of Mexicans are aged under 20, and occupies an important geostrategic position as a bridge both between North and South America and between the Caribbean and the Pacific,

G.   whereas the Global Agreement has three pillars: political dialogue, the gradual creation of a free-trade area, and cooperation; whereas, in addition, since that agreement came into force in 2000 relations between the two sides have been marked by deepening and consolidation, both politically and in the trade and cooperation fields,

H.   whereas at the Lima Summit the EU and Mexico underlined the positive development in trade and investment flows under the Global Agreement,

I.   whereas, both bilaterally and in the framework of the Global Agreement, the EU and Mexico have strengthened their contacts at all levels and as regards all institutions, notably in the parliamentary field and in the context of the EU-Mexico Joint Parliamentary Committee and EuroLat,

J.   whereas the proposal for a Strategic Partnership comes at a time of international financial and economic crisis, and there is a risk of this crisis affecting the economic and social balance of the bilateral relationship,

K.   whereas the deepening of EU-Mexico relations can help enhance the consensus between the EU and its Latin American partners on regional and global issues, facilitating the joint promotion of their shared interests and values in international and regional forums,

L.   whereas the Strategic Partnership needs to be conceived as marking a qualitative leap in EU-Mexico relations, at two different levels: multilaterally, in terms of mutual coordination on issues of world importance, and bilaterally, via the development of their relations and of particular initiatives,

M.   whereas the processes of political and economic integration, the increasing spread of economic globalisation and the importance of the debate on democracy, human rights and the environment, inter alia, have changed the priorities in the agenda of both regions,

N.   whereas Mexico's strategic situation and its network of trade agreements mean that it is of great strategic importance for European exports, the EU being its second source of foreign investment,

O.   whereas the Mexico-EU Free Trade Area (FTA) plays an important role in the EU's bilateral relations since its scope is very comprehensive (covering goods, services, procurement, competition, intellectual property rights, investment and related payments),

P.   whereas Mexican emigration to the EU, inter alia, is one of the most important and sensitive issues for Mexico, given the high number of Mexican immigrants, many of them highly skilled, in the Union,

1.  Makes the following recommendations to the Council:

   (a) hopes that the Strategic Partnership will mark a qualitative leap in EU-Mexico relations, both multilaterally in terms of issues of world importance and in strengthening the development of bilateral relations;
   (b) favours institutionalising annual EU-Mexico summits within the framework of the Strategic Partnership, as is already the case for those with the USA, Russia, China and Brazil;
   (c) trusts that the Strategic Partnership will give a new impetus to the EU-Mexico Global Agreement in its various aspects – political (including human rights), security, anti-drugs trafficking, environmental, cooperation (technical and cultural) and socio-economic;
   (d) wishes the trade chapter to be based on like-for-like treatment, solidarity, dialogue and respect for the specific characteristics of Mexico and of the EU;
   (e) reiterates its support for the Mexican Government and President Calderón in their vital work of cleaning up certain institutions of the State; believes this campaign is essential in order to stop corruption and ensure that society is not left unprotected;
   (f) believes that it falls within the sphere of its activities to fight feminicide in both regions, on a basis of dialogue, cooperation and the exchange of best practices;
   (g) trusts that the Strategic Partnership will lead to closer coordination of positions on crisis situations and issues of world importance, on the basis of shared interests and concerns;
   (h) wishes to see clear guidelines on how best to ensure close cooperation with a view to promoting effective multilateralism and reinforcing the UN's capacities for preserving and consolidating peace and ensuring respect for human rights, while also tackling, in the framework of international law, common threats to peace and security such as trafficking in drugs and arms, organised crime, terrorism and human trafficking, in line with the Lima Declaration;
   (i) urges that the Strategic Partnership be seen as an opportunity to debate how to make the human rights and democracy clause function more effectively and to evaluate compliance with it – including through development of its positive dimension – given that human rights and democracy represent essential values, in all the agreements and for both parties;
   (j) expresses in this connection its support for the Mexican government in its contributions to the work of the UN and in its fight against drug trafficking, international terrorism and organised crime, especially in view of the increasing numbers of victims of drug trafficking and consumption;
   (k) trusts that the privileged mechanisms of political dialogue arising from the EU-Mexico Strategic Partnership will result in a real impetus for relations with and between the various regional integration processes, for the safeguarding of the values and interests of the Strategic Partnership itself, and for the strengthening of multilateralism in the area of international relations;
   (l) suggests that greater weight be given to the Mexico-EU Civil Society Forum and that its recommendations be taken into account wherever possible;
   (m) stresses the role of the Strategic Partnership as an instrument that should help reinforce cooperation between the parties in international forums, such as the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the OECD, the G20 and the G8+G5, with a view to seeking solutions to the world financial crisis and launching a joint response aimed at restoring confidence in the financial institutions, in line with the San Salvador Declaration;
   (n) underlines the need, especially in the context of the world financial crisis, to promote the development of small and medium-sized enterprises, given their vital role in the strengthening of the economic and social fabric and creating worthwhile employment;
   (o) stresses the importance of all bilateral agreements concluded between the EU and Mexico, especially the Global Agreement, which includes an FTA, and the Strategic Partnership;
   (p) highlights the positive effects that the application of the Global Agreement has had for both parties, with an increase in bilateral trade of more than 100% being recorded;
   (q) underlines that the EU-Mexico Strategic Partnership will give fresh impetus to the bilateral relationship and will favour the expansion and improvement of cooperation programmes such as the Integral Support Programme for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (PIAPYME), the results of which will benefit both parties; calls in this context for an information campaign to be conducted to publicise all the programmes from which both parties will benefit within the framework of this deepening of their relations; point out that the Strategic Partnership will serve to further consolidate coordination between the two parties in the main multilateral forums and institutions;
   (r) recommends that Mexico should become a permanent member of the new financial and economic international architecture of the G20, given that, within this context, the bilateral strategic partnership with the EU will become even more relevant;
   (s) emphasises the need to establish common ground in order to devise an ambitious strategy for fighting climate change, with a view to the UN Conference on Climate Change to be held in 2009 in Copenhagen and the achievement of a global agreement;
   (t) urges that more coherent efforts be made to promote scientific and technological transfer, with a view to boosting real cooperation in fighting climate change and improving environmental protection;
   (u) wishes to see further progress in developing a comprehensive and structured dialogue on migration, both legal and illegal, as well as on the links between migration and development, in line with the experiences of both Mexico and the EU in that regard and with the Lima Declaration;
   (v) calls on the Joint Council, on the basis of the future developments clause provided for by Article 43 of the Global Agreement, to consider the timeliness of establishing, inter alia, an agreement on an immigration policy between the two parties, in particular as regards Mode 4 procedures;
   (w) calls for the reaffirmation of the commitments for attainment of the Millennium Development Goals and for renewed awareness of the need for close cooperation in the areas of social cohesion, gender equality, climate change, sustainable development, the fight against international terrorism, drug trafficking and organised crime, food security, and the fight against poverty;
   (x) believes there must be a regular flow of information from the EU institutions and the Mexican government to the European Parliament, EuroLat and the EU-Mexico Joint Parliamentary Committee on the state of play regarding the Strategic Partnership and on the monitoring of the actions taken under it;

2.  Instructs its President to forward this recommendation to the Council and, for information, to the Commission, and to the governments and parliaments of the EU Member States and the Government and Congress of the United Mexican States.

(1) OJ C 227 E, 4.9.2008, p. 140.
(2) OJ L 276, 28.10.2000, p. 45.
(3) Texts adopted, P6_TA(2008)0177.
(4) OJ C290 E, 29.11.2006, p. 107.

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