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Procedure : 2007/2002(INI)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : A6-0375/2007

Texts tabled :

A6-0375/2007

Debates :

PV 24/10/2007 - 13
CRE 24/10/2007 - 13

Votes :

PV 25/10/2007 - 7.12
CRE 25/10/2007 - 7.12
Explanations of votes

Texts adopted :

P6_TA(2007)0483

Texts adopted
WORD 118k
Thursday, 25 October 2007 - Strasbourg Final edition
EU-Africa relations
P6_TA(2007)0483A6-0375/2007

European Parliament resolution of 25 October 2007 on the state of play of EU-Africa relations (2007/2002(INI))

The European Parliament ,

–   having regard to the Declaration and the Plan of Action drawn up at the Africa-Europe Summit held in Cairo on 3 and 4 April 2000 under the aegis of the Organisation of African Unity and the EU,

–   having regard to the 2004-2007 Strategic Plan of the Commission of the African Union (AUC), adopted on 7 July 2004 at the third Summit of African Heads of State and Government in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia,

–   having regard to the "Outline for the Joint EU-Africa Strategy" as endorsed by the 8th EU-Africa Ministerial Troika Meeting of 15 May 2007 in Brussels,

–   having regard to the Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council of 27 June 2007 entitled "From Cairo to Lisbon – The EU-Africa Strategic Partnership" (COM(2007)0357),

–   having regard to the Commission/Council Secretariat Joint Paper of 27 June 2007 entitled "Beyond Lisbon: making the EU-Africa Strategic Partnership work" (SEC(2007)0856),

–   having regard to the Strategic Plan 2006-2010 "One Africa, One Voice" of the Pan-African Parliament (PAP), adopted in November 2005,

–   having regard to the Working Paper on Shared Vision for African Union (AU) - EU strategy of the AUC,

–   having regard to the Partnership Agreement between the members of the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP), of the one part, and the European Community and its Member States, of the other part, signed in Cotonou on 23 June 2000(1) , as amended by the Agreement amending the Partnership Agreement, signed in Luxembourg on 25 June 2005(2) ('the Cotonou Agreement'),

–   having regard to Regulation (EC) No. 1905/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 18 December 2006 establishing a financing instrument for development cooperation(3) (Development Cooperation Instrument (DCI)),

–   having regard to the Communication from the Commission to the Council, the European Parliament and the European Economic and Social Committee of 12 October 2005 entitled "EU Strategy for Africa: Towards a Euro-African pact to accelerate Africa's development" (COM(2005)0489),

–   having regard to its resolution of 17 November 2005 on a development strategy for Africa(4) ,

–   having regard to the conclusions of the General Affairs and External Relations Council (GAERC) of 21 and 22 November 2005 on the EU Strategy for Africa,

–   having regard to the conclusions of the fifth Ministerial Meeting of the African and EU Troikas in Bamako, Mali, on 2 December 2005,

–   having regard to the text "The EU and Africa: towards a strategic partnership", adopted by the European Council at its meeting on 15 and 16 December 2005 in Brussels,

–   having regard to the Joint Progress Report by the Commission and the General Secretariat of the Council to the GAERC on the implementation of the EU Strategy for Africa of 12 October 2006,

–   having regard to the results and conclusions of the African Civil Society Organisations" consultation on the AU/EU Joint Strategy for Africa's Development, organised by the AUC in Accra, Ghana, between 26 and 28 March 2007,

–   having regard to the Joint statement by the Council and the representatives of the governments of the Member States meeting within the Council, the European Parliament and the Commission on European Union Development Policy: "The European Consensus", signed on 20 December 2005(5) ,

–   having regard to the successive Human Development Reports drawn up by the United Nations (UN) Development Programme,

–   having regard to its resolutions of 12 April 2005 on the role of the European Union in the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)(6) and of 20 June 2007 on the Millennium Development Goals – the midway point(7) ,

–   having regard to the Communication from the Commission to the Council, the European Parliament and the European Economic and Social Committee of 12 April 2005 entitled "Speeding up progress towards the Millennium Development Goals - The European Union's contribution"(COM(2005)0132),

–   having regard to the UN Millennium Declaration of 8 September 2000, which sets out the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) as criteria established jointly by the international community for the elimination of poverty,

–   having regard to the Report of the International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty entitled "The Responsibility to Protect" of December 2001,

–   having regard the Maputo Plan of Action for the Operationalisation of the Continental Policy Framework for Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights 2007-2010, adopted by the Special Session of Conference of AU Ministers of Health held between 18 and 22 September 2006 in Maputo, Mozambique,

–   having regard to the Call for Accelerated Action towards Universal Access to HIV and AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria Services in Africa, adopted during the Special Summit of the AU on HIV and AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria held between 2 and4 May 2006 in Abuja, Nigeria,

–   having regard to the Fourth Assessment Report of Working Group II of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) entitled "Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability",

–   having regard to Millennium Ecosystem Assessment report from 2005, studying the use and depredation of a variety of the planet's natural resources,

–   having regard to the results of the public consultation on the Joint EU-Africa Strategy organised at the request of the European Commission and the AUC by the European Centre for Development Policy Management,

–   having regard to Articles 177 to 181 of the EC Treaty,

–   having regard to Rule 45 of its Rules of Procedure,

–   having regard to the report of the Committee on Development and the opinion of the Committee on Foreign Affairs (A6-0375/2007),

A.   whereas the international context has greatly evolved since 2000, with the rise of global challenges such as human security and migration, climate change and desertification, sustainable management of public goods, the fight against poverty and pandemics, the setting up of the AU and the enlargement of the EU,

B.   whereas at the 5th Ministerial Meeting of the African and EU Troikas on 2 December 2005 in Bamako, the African side welcomed the 2005 EU Strategy for Africa and both sides agreed to transform it into a joint Africa-EU Strategy reflecting the needs and aspirations of their peoples, and to develop an action plan for its implementation,

C.   whereas in the abovementioned Working Paper on Shared Vision for AU-EU strategy, the AU Executive Council noted that "it should be clear that the objective of a joint strategy cannot be the validation of the existing EU Strategy for Africa but to come up with a new joint strategy that can reflect the merged aspirations of both sides",

D.   whereas, therefore, the purpose of the joint strategy should be to develop a common political vision for and practical approaches to the future partnership between the EU and Africa, based on mutual respect, common interests and values and the principle of ownership,

E.   whereas the willingness on both sides to redefine the joint partnership seems to stem from a growing awareness that Africa and the EU are not necessarily any longer each other's preferred partners,

F.   whereas the abovementioned Joint Progress Report on the implementation of the EU Strategy for Africa was not drawn up on the basis of independent external assessment,

G.   whereas Africa is the world's poorest continent and the only one where poverty has increased in the last 25 years,

H.   whereas the signatories of the abovementioned Cairo Plan of Action "deplore the intolerable fact that more than half of all Africans are living in absolute poverty and agree to intensify the fight against poverty. The primary responsibility for alleviating poverty lies at home with each country, but this does not diminish the importance of the international dimension in the war against poverty",

I.   whereas in 2006 the European Parliament established an ad-hoc delegation for relations with the PAP and in 2007 the PAP established an ad-hoc committee for relations with the European Parliament,

J.   whereas parliaments in both Unions, as primary actors in the development process, have to be actively involved in strategies and action plans affecting the populations they represent,

K.   whereas most African countries are members of the ACP group and signatories of the Cotonou Agreement,

L.   whereas Africa insists on being treated as one and on being supported in its pan-African integration process, including North-Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa and South-Africa, and whereas the AU has set up its own strategic programme for the development of Africa,

M.   whereas at the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg in 2002, governments agreed that good governance should be based on sound environmental, social and economic policies; democratic institutions responsive to the needs of all people; human rights and the rule of law; anti-corruption measures; gender equality; and a favourable environment for investment,

N.   whereas it is crucial to have a holistic approach to human rights in the joint strategy, including economic, social and cultural rights,

O.   whereas the AU institutions have only fairly recently been set up and do not yet have the same level of integration, organisation and efficiency as the EU institutions,

P.   whereas effectiveness and mutual accountability require predictable and long-term financial resources, clear timelines and the fulfilment of commitments on both sides,

Q.   whereas too often lines of accountability run directly from national executives to development partners, thereby by-passing any sort of parliamentary approval of international agreements (and consultation of civil society and local authorities ),

R.   whereas Africa's historical contribution to the causes of climate change is negligible while, as a continent, it is bound to suffer its consequences most severely (estimates by the IPCC project that between 75 and 250 million people in Africa will be exposed to an increase in water stress by 2020, and in some countries rain-fed agricultural yields will be reduced by 50% by the same year,

S.   whereas the depletion of Africa's natural resources poses a serious threat to poverty reduction and to the achievement of the MDGs,

T.   whereas Africa provides a wide range of ecosystem services to the world, including the storage of carbon by its tropical forests, without due compensation,

Process, structure and principles of the joint strategy
Process and structure

1.  Welcomes the Troika outline of 15 May 2007 as a first joint effort towards a joint strategy;

2.  Deplores the fact that the abovementioned 2005 EU Strategy for Africa was adopted without in-depth consultation with the AU institutions and African governments and parliaments, and without any involvement of European and African civil society and local authorities; notes, in this regard, that this strategy dictates the main topics addressed by the proposed new joint strategy, thus running the risk of leaving out other important issues for Africa's sustainable development; hopes that the new proposed strategy will come forth from in-depth consultation of the AU institutions;

3.  Regrets that the timelimits established by the European Commission and the Council of the EU and the AUC and AU Executive Council for the establishment and adoption of the joint strategy have led to serious limitations in the process; notes the challenge of ensuring full participation by parliaments and emphasises that non-state actors and local authorities must as a matter of urgency be fully involved and be considered in all phases of the adoption, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of the joint strategy, since the Lisbon Summit should be considered as a milestone in a longer and open process;

4.  Welcomes the Commission's assertion that "Parliament clearly has an important role to play in the process", its promise "to keep Parliament regularly informed of the progress made in the preparation of the Joint Strategy" and the encouragement given to Parliament "to take part in the debates, and indeed to take the initiative"; notes, however, that the timetable for the negotiations is set by the European Commission and the AUC and therefore expects the European Commission and the AUC to take active steps to involve the European Parliament and the PAP in the process of preparing the joint strategy and in the adoption and implementation stages thereof;

Shared principles and vision

5.  Agrees with the AU Executive Council's vision statement: "Africa and Europe share a vision of development, peace, security and prosperity that places people in the centre of their efforts. This vision is driven by a partnership based on mutual respect, common interest and shared purpose that commits both regions to deepening regional integration as a means of achieving economic and social development. They also share a vision of advancing democracy, good governance and human rights as universal values for promoting development and strengthening cooperation in a context that respects the solidarity and indivisibility of the two continents";

6.  Points out that humanitarian aid is one of the means available to the international community for helping to protect threatened populations and emphasises that the EU does not wish to remain unresponsive to violations of international humanitarian law (IHL); calls for an in-depth political debate to be held by the Member States and the EU institutions on the right - if not to say the duty - of intervention in the event of serious violations of IHL and/or human rights, taking also into account the conclusions and recommendations of the abovementioned Report of the International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty entitled "The responsibility to protect";

7.  Stresses that the shared principles and vision should also include respect for the rule of law, as well as participatory democracy, pluralism and fundamental freedoms, all recognised in the abovementioned Cairo Declaration;

8.  Welcomes the objectives listed in the abovementioned Troika outline of 15 May 2007: (i) an EU-Africa political partnership, (ii) the continued promotion of peace, security, sustainable development, human rights and regional and continental integration in Africa in order to attain the MDGs, (iii) the common address of global challenges and (iv) a "people-centred partnership"; insists that these objectives should faithfully reflect the priorities expressed by Africans and points out that development is nonetheless the main priority objective of the strategy;

9.  Calls on the Commission to clarify how the new strategy will reflect on the Country Strategy Papers (CSPs) and the National and Regional Indicative Programmes under the Cotonou Agreement and how the possible new elements emerging from the establishment of the new joint strategy in December 2007 will influence these strategy papers and indicative programmes;

10.  Regrets that the Commission and the Council's contribution to the strategy does not endorse one of Africa's main requests, namely to treat Africa as one; in this regard highlights that a "continent-to-continent" approach should be taken at the level of political dialogue and negotiations without, however, hindering a differential approach at the level of policy implementation; requests the EU institutions to adapt their development cooperation instruments to this new political demand of the AU, and to fully support the political and economic integration process of Africa at continental level;

11.  Call on the EU institutions to create a new programmable and predictable financial pan-African envelope from the European Development Fund (EDF), the DCI thematic instruments and the funds of the European Neighbourhood Policy Instrument (ENPI), in order to finance and support the implementation of this new joint strategy;

12.  Regrets the fact that the joint strategy makes no reference to the abovementioned AUC 2004-2007 Strategic Plan, and urges the European Commission to direct the actions it proposes towards supporting politically, financially, logistically, technically and in terms of human resources the institutions of the AU and the initiatives and priorities worked out by them, rather than proposing new donor-driven initiatives and parallel structures;

13.  Affirms that responsibility is required from both sides, in terms of input, dialogue and mutual accountability; in this respect, insists that the joint strategy must also take into account the fact that the partners are equal in terms of rights and responsibilities but not in terms of their level of integration, and the availability and level of development of their financial, technical and human resources, and that the strategy must be implemented in a realistic way, as a result of which it is necessary to define "partnership" and "ownership" in the context of this reality;

Structure: the four priority areas for action

14.  Insists that fair and sustainable development and poverty eradication must be a shared commitment and the overarching objective of EU-Africa cooperation and the basis for any policy mix, and underlines the central role of the MDGs, which provide a globally agreed framework for this objective;

15.  Is of the opinion that the joint strategy must also emphasise the role of women, young people and civil society organisations in Africa's development processes;

16.  Calls on the Commission to ensure coherence between this new strategy and the other European policies which may have an adverse impact on the promotion of a new strategic partnership between the EU and Africa, in particular the commercial, environmental, migration and agricultural policies; insists that the political dialogue between the EU and Africa should cover these issues;

Peace and security

17.  Favours a comprehensive approach to conflict and conflict situations, based on the concept of the responsibility to protect and including conflict prevention, resolution, management and reconstruction;

18.  Is convinced that peace is vital as a first step towards political, economic and social development, and that sustainable and equitable economic development is an essential precondition for lasting peace;

19.  Takes the view that conflict prevention is also an essential precondition for lasting peace and calls for an AU/EU common strategy to address the structural causes of conflicts by putting in place a sustainable development policy, in order to meet the basic needs of the African population and fight unemployment and social and economic injustices;

20.  Recalls that the situation of fragile States must be addressed with a conflict-sensitive approach that takes into account the promotion of human security, that addresses the political economy of conflict and the sources of inequality and discrimination, in order to reach sustainable peace and security; calls for greater coherence of EU policies, e.g. by implementing its existing commitments to control the arms trade but also by upgrading the EU Code of Conduct on Arms Export to a legally binding CFSP Common Position and by accelerating the implementation of the EU Strategy to Combat the Illicit Accumulation and Trafficking of Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW); in this connection, stresses how important it is to prevent rather than to resolve conflicts; calls for international aid to be provided for the purpose of establishing regional monitoring centres on a geographical basis, capable of detecting any deterioration in inter-ethnic, inter-religious or inter-linguistic tensions and of alerting the international community to situations in Africa which may turn violent;

21.  Calls on the Commission and its delegations to be especially alert and to warn the international community in good time about situations involving ethnic and religious tensions on the continent;

22.  Considers that the existing EU Code of Conduct on Arms Export needs to be tightened so as to counteract the proliferation of SALW, which perpetuates the murderous conflicts in many developing countries; considers that the joint strategy will enhance the fight against weapons trafficking;

23.  Acknowledges that already fragile States will be under further stress as a result of climate change; stresses, in the context of the EU-Africa climate change and energy partnerships, the need to develop a comprehensive approach to climate change adaptation in relation to its security implications, including enhanced disaster prevention and improved governance and conflict prevention;

24.  Agrees that the Africa Peace Facility needs to be strengthened and encourages other civilian mechanisms to contribute to it with increased, flexible and sustainable funding; emphasises that development policy is one of the main tools for addressing the root causes of insecurity but that it should not be subordinated to security policy; in this regard, points out that the criteria established by the Development Assistance Committee of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD/DAC) for eligibility as Official Development Assistance (ODA) are currently too broad to prevent certain types of expenditure from being assigned to needs other than those relating strictly to the fight against poverty and the granting of genuine aid, and stresses that the EDF is not an adequate source for future replenishment of the African Peace Facility;

25.  Stresses the importance of sustainable democracy, including good governance and democratic elections, which must include support for parliamentary capacity-building, encouraging in particular cooperation between the European Parliament, the PAP and the African regional parliaments, and support for the organisation of civil society, and the involvement of local authorities in the political dialogue, especially fostering cooperation and exchanges between organisations of African and European civil society;

26.  In this context, calls for the enhancement of the election observation activities conducted by both the EU and the AU, as well as by other African regional bodies, and stresses the need for further cooperation among these election observation missions;

27.  Stresses the importance of democratic control of the armed forces; in this context, calls on the EU to accelerate its efforts in the field of Security Sector Reform (SSR), namely by fully implementing the Commission and Council concept papers on SSR;

28.  Calls for the inclusion in the joint strategy of provisions to address impunity; in this regard, calls for Africa's legal and judicial systems and their democratic monitoring mechanisms to be strengthened in accordance with human rights, in order to enable them to try perpetrators of serious crimes against humanity in Africa itself; draws attention to the significant progress made following the establishment of an international jurisdiction;

29.  Calls on all actors involved in fostering peace and security in Africa to adopt a gender perspective and to increase the representation of women at all decision-making levels of conflict resolution situations, including in all civilian and military peace-keeping missions; urges UN Member States to fully implement the UN Security Council Resolution on Women, Peace and Security (S/RES/1325) of 31 October 2000;

30.  Encourages the work towards a UN definition for conflict resources, so as to better fight economies of war;

31.  Calls for conflict sensitivity to be mainstreamed in all objectives of the joint strategy: not only issues of peace and security, but also in trade, natural resources management, climate change and other key development issues;

32.  Calls for the inclusion in the joint strategy of a commitment to agree on international action to address the illicit trade in natural resources as a driver of conflict, including a definition of what constitutes a conflict resource; calls for the appointment of a group of experts to develop multilateral approaches to this issue;

Governance, including human rights and the rule of law, and mutual accountability

33.  Recalls that the concept of governance, and the indicators used to assess it, cannot be imposed by external actors, but should be developed in partnership with local actors and based on common values and internationally recognised standards;

34.  Stresses the importance of good governance and democratic elections; calls for increased support for capacity-building actions targeted at parliamentarians and civil society organisations, namely with a view to ensuring budget control and to fighting corruption;

35.  Reiterates its support for the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly's (JPA) request, expressed at its 9th session in April 2005, that a suitable proportion of EDF appropriations should be used for the political education and training of parliamentarians and political, economic and social leaders, in the interests of a sustainable strengthening of good governance, the rule of law, democratic structures, and the interaction between government and opposition in pluralistic democracies based on free elections; is of the opinion that these funds should be used for the establishment of public administration colleges and for the political education of members of parliament, local authorities and people in positions of responsibility in political parties and associations;

36.  Agrees that strengthening governance in African countries is a priority; notes, however, that governance must be improved on both sides – on the European side in particular the governance and accountability as regards aid commitments and better donor coordination with a view to taking greater account of the so-called 'aid orphans'; stresses that national and continental parliaments, non-state actors and local authorities have an important role to play in this field;

37.  Welcomes the launch of the EU-AU human rights dialogue in September 2007 and hopes that in time this will develop into an effective platform, which will address pressing individual country issues and which, at the same time, will provide the opportunity for the EU and the African partners to identify areas of common concern and to coordinate their actions in the UN Human Rights Council and in other UN bodies;

38.  Reiterates its call to the Commission and to the Council that it should receive regular debriefings on the content and results of EU human rights dialogues and consultations with third countries, with a special focus on the EU-AU human rights dialogue;

39.  Stresses the role of inter-parliamentary bodies between the European Parliament and African parliaments– such as the ACP-EU JPA and the Euromed JPA - in enhancing peace and security, good governance and democracy, as well as being effective platforms for cooperation and for addressing issues of common concern;

40.  Calls for a permanent dialogue between the EU and Africa on governance and the establishment of dialogue platforms at several levels, so that dialogue is not interrupted in the event of a disagreement or political crisis;

41.  Underlines that NGOs are development actors in their own right, making significant contributions in areas such as governance, peace and conflict resolution, social service delivery, human rights, gender equality, poverty alleviation and transfer of knowledge; stresses that the principle of consultation of NGOs in policy formulation and implementing processes as well as setting the agenda for development should be adhered to by the EU-Africa partnership;

42.  Calls for increased support to existing African initiatives, such as the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM), which is the most serious effort yet by African leaders to improve governance on the continent, and the various instruments put in place by the AU, which will increase African ownership of the process;

43.  Expresses serious concern that the "governance profiles" developed by the Commission for each ACP country, which will guide programming for development assistance in relation to the EUR 2,700,000,000 additional funds under the 10th EDF, have been prepared without any participatory element; notes that eligibility for additional funds of beneficiary countries has been judged according to a set of criteria relating to such issues as migration, trade liberalisation and the fight against terrorism, with only one criterion directly linked to the MDGs; expresses dismay that the Commission's "profiles" risk hollowing out the APRM process and that, only after the programming of the additional fund is over, does the Commission propose to launch, outside the APRM process, a "Governance Forum", and that "in order to facilitate more effective support to the Pan-African governance architecture (…) the EU will explore new avenues to pull Community and Member States funding"; calls on the Commission to consult and inform the European Parliament and the Council on the follow-up and the implementation of these funds in order to make sure they are allocated to governance initiatives, to support the AU governance agenda and the APRM process;

44.  Insists that mutual accountability also means that the EU must tackle its own incoherence in the various EU cooperation agreements and financial instruments and the lack of harmonisation between the various EU actors (Member States, the Commission and its different services) and that the EU institutions should explicitly report in their evaluations on the progress made with regard to internal and external policy coherence;

45.  Insists that, as part of the abovementioned relations, both the EU and the African partners should recognise their obligations to respect, protect and fulfil human rights obligations in their international development and investment policies and practices;

46.  Urges the Commission and the Council to continue work on Policy Coherence for Development related to other EU policies such as trade, agriculture, fisheries, migration (brain drain), arms trade, etc.;

47.  Stresses the importance of parliamentary scrutiny of the geographical strategy papers; therefore welcomes the Council's decision to transmit the draft ACP CSPs to the ACP-EU JPA "for information", but points out that this is only a first step and that parliaments should be able to exercise full scrutiny over these programming documents;

48.  Notes that a reinforced EU-Africa partnership should entail supporting the development of Africa's role in the global arena and forming Euro-African alliances on issues such as climate change and desertification, trade and the governance of the international development architecture, including the international financial institutions;

49.  Notes that there must be coherence between all aspects of the EU-Africa partnership and that the objectives of the Energy Partnership should be developed in line with the objectives of the Democratic Governance Partnership and the Peace and Security Partnerships;

50.  Urges the European Commission and the AUC to use the AU support programme in order to facilitate access for African parliaments, local authorities and non-state actors to the political dialogue taking place in the AU, and to earmark part of the EUR 55,000,000specifically for strengthening the PAP;

51.  Agrees with the PAP that there is an urgent need to strengthen the role and the capacities, including the financial autonomy, of the African Court of Justice and of the African Commission on Human and People's Rights, and to increase the number of AU member states which have ratified the Protocol on the Court's establishment, and to aim at granting individuals and NGOs direct access to it, and calls upon the European Commission and the AUC to put forward proposals which could help to ensure that this essential need is met;

52.  Stresses that there is a strong need for human rights to be mainstreamed in all organs of the AU in order to ensure that full advantage is taken of all opportunities to address human rights violations;

53.  Requests the inclusion in the joint strategy of action points in the fields of promoting the consolidation of peace and international justice and combating international crime in accordance with international law, stating that the EU and its Member States will aim to share with the African States their experience in the adoption of the necessary legal adjustments required to accede to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, and therefore will provide technical assistance and establish close co-operation aimed at making the legislative and constitutional amendments required for accession to and implementation of the Rome Statute;

54.  Stresses that partnerships designed to strengthen governance at the local and national level must include building capacity in order to take climate change considerations into account in national decision-making processes, strengthening participation in international climate negotiations and multilateral institutions, and improving risk management and disaster prevention strategies;

Economic growth, trade and regional integration

55.  Stresses that development assistance is a necessary but insufficient condition for combating poverty and that only equitable and sustainable economic growth can allow a country to start climbing the development ladder and its people to gradually move out of poverty, on condition that growth is combined with the right domestic and international social and environmental policies;

56.  Believes that a joint EU-Africa strategy should be based on a sustainable development policy, which takes into account the real need of the African population, aimed at guaranteeing a decent income for small farmers, increasing local production, guaranteeing food security and rural livelihood and building domestic and regional markets to combat poverty in Africa;

57.  Considers that the joint strategy should take into account the devastating impact of climate change on African countries and calls therefore on the AU and the EU to put climate change at the heart of it;

58.  Acknowledges the potential of that foreign public and private investments to foster development; calls for the joint strategy to include assistance and capacity building measures in order to enable African countries to develop an attractive investment climate;

59.  Deplores the fact that - while poverty reduction and the attainment of the MDGs by 2015 rightly remain the first priority - the abovementioned Troika Outline of 15 May 2007 lacks concrete proposals to promote growth through the promotion of small and medium-sized enterprises and foreign direct investment, strengthened property rights, and the reduction of administrative burdens;

60.  Urges the EU to ensure that lending organisations, such as the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the Centre for the Development of Enterprise (CDE), assist small and medium-sized enterprises in Africa, and that they respect the principles laid down in the 2004 World Bank Extractive Industries Review concerning good governance in natural resources exploitation; estimates that more attention should be paid to the informal sector, and that the practice of microfinance should be extended and promoted, in view of making it also an instrument for the empowerment and social integration of women;

61.  Stresses that the liberalisation of trade is one of the most effective incentives to economic growth and to political and social progress; considers it to be indispensable in reducing poverty and an important catalyst for sustainable worldwide development;

62.  Points out that Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) must be devised and negotiated as development agreements as much as trade agreements, which means that they must be based on the principles of asymmetry in favour of the ACP regions, support for ACP regional integration, the establishment of a sound, reliable framework for the promotion of trade and investment in the ACP regions, and the establishment and consolidation of regional markets prior to any opening up of markets to the EU; therefore calls on the Commission, whenever necessary, to refrain from opening up markets until specific levels of development have been attained and to find solutions while continuing negotiations;

63.  Recognises that the EPAs can become an important tool for African trade and regional integration, provided that their substance fully accords with development policy objectives, and only on condition that they are "development-friendly", allowing for exemptions and long transition periods where needed in order for domestic producers and industries to adapt to new market situations;

64.  Believes that the joint strategy should encourage dialogue examining the level of coherence between EPAs and the Trade Agreement with North Africa, so that both can become building blocks of African continental integration;

65.  Calls for a differentiated approach based on diversification, supporting existing best practices that guarantee decent working conditions in developing countries, such as those of the international Fair Trade movement, and supporting existing regional economic communities (RECs) in Africa and allowing Pan-African integration to follow its own rhythm and agenda; stresses that reinforcing South-South trade is essential, together with the promotion of regional integration and the maintenance of higher levels of investment both from within and from outside Africa; with that in mind, also highlights the need for more technical support seeking to increase Africa's capacity to produce more varied goods and services;

66.  Insists that the RECs should be the pillars of the African integration process and the establishment of a pan-African market, and should not only be dealing directly with Europe; further insists that EPAs should not undermine Africa's own regional integration agenda, but that they should also be instruments for South-South integration and trade; calls therefore on the EU to respect Africa's own integration process, as determined by the Treaty establishing the African Economic Community of June 1991 (the Abuja Treaty), which provides for the African Economic Community to be set up through a gradual process, achieved by coordination, harmonisation and progressive integration of the activities of existing and future RECs in Africa;

67.  Notes that poverty in Africa is a predominantly rural phenomenon - over 70% of Africa's poorest depend on agriculture for their livelihood and food - and yet development assistance to agriculture is decreasing; therefore welcomes all further initiatives to increase capacity building in the African agricultural sector by, for example, supporting seed banks and research into crop diversification; and calls for locally value added exports to conform to 'Everything But Arms' initiative;

68.  Recalls the importance of good governance and transparency in the exploitation of natural resources for development; highlights that the resource sector can only become a force for sustainable development if its negative social and environmental impacts are minimised and its benefits and costs are fairly shared amongst the population; calls on all EU, African and other partners, such as China, to redouble their efforts towards achieving these ends; calls on African countries to ensure that revenue is also used to diversify their economy and to develop economic activities on a higher level in the production chain, away from the mere extraction of natural resources;

69.  Welcomes the Commission's initiative to launch an EU-Africa partnership on energy, recognising that properly used income from sustainable energy sources can be used as an engine for economic growth and development; stresses that the primary focus of the partnership should be the provision of affordable energy, in order to reduce poverty, based on efficiency and renewable energy sources rather than securing the supply of energy to Europe;

70.  Stresses that the achievement of long-term economic growth and development necessitates a comprehensive strategy reversing the ongoing depletion of Africa's natural resources; particularly stresses the urgent need to halt ongoing deforestation and remove incentives that encourage forest destruction; in this context, calls on the EU to introduce tropical forest and land use carbon credits in the EU Emission Trading Scheme (ETS) and to incentivise the regeneration of degraded ecosystems;

Investing in people

71.  Notes that Africa's priority in any partnership is focused on the socio-economic development of its people;

72.  Recalls that development targets will not be achieved if gender equality and women's rights are not upheld; notes that the EU has reiterated in key policy documents its commitment towards gender equality and that the AU itself has made far-reaching commitments in this field, which should form the basis of the partnership; therefore stresses that the joint strategy should contribute to gender mainstreaming and to the implementation of specific and concrete actions aimed at the empowerment of women;

73.  Recalls that health is one of the most important drivers of economic development and that child mortality rates in particular are a powerful indicator of poverty; therefore stresses the importance of protecting children against disease, in particular those diseases that can be prevented by new and underused vaccines;

74.  Stresses the importance of protecting the girl child and of raising awareness of early marriage, rape, sexual harassment in schools, and the vulnerability of girls to HIV/AIDS;

75.  Stresses that the current international commitments to education and health for all need to be expressly integrated in the joint strategy; notes that health and education should be at the core of any pro-poor development strategy and that special attention should be paid to access to services, especially for women, children, vulnerable groups and persons with disabilities;

76.  Considers that weak health systems, including the human resources crisis, are a major barrier to the achievement of the health MDGs, and stresses that strengthening health systems should be an essential element of the joint strategy, including the recognition of the important role that non-state health care providers, such as community-based organisations, play in supporting the delivery of health services, in particular in difficult to reach areas and among the most marginalised and vulnerable populations;

77.  Notes that 63% of all people in the world infected with HIV live in Africa, and that in a number of African countries average life expectancy is falling dramatically as a result of the AIDS pandemic; stresses therefore that universal access to HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria services, in particular universal access to means of prevention, treatment, care and support, in Africa should be included in the joint strategy as these diseases have a massive impact on Africa's economic and social development;

78.  Stresses that women and girls are particularly vulnerable to sexually transmitted infections, including HIV/AIDS, and pregnancy-related complications resulting in high maternal and neonatal mortality; calls therefore for the inclusion of Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) in the joint strategy in line with the abovementioned Maputo Plan of Action for the Operationalisation of the Continental Policy Framework for Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights 2007-2010;

79.  Notes that counterfeiting of medicinal products in Africa (which mainly concerns fatal conditions such as malaria, tuberculosis and HIV/Aids) is a growing scourge, threatening the lives of millions of people; encourages the EU and the countries concerned to take action (in particular legal and penal measures) to combat that scourge;

80.  Stresses that special attention should be paid to vulnerable populations, such as internally displaced persons (IDPs) and refugees; stresses therefore that health services, including services concerning reproductive health and supplies should be granted also during humanitarian crises;

81.  Stresses the importance of giving greater support to NEPAD (New Partnership for Africa's Development) as the main African initiative for sustainable development;

82.  Insists that agriculture and food security should be of the utmost importance in the joint strategy, and stresses that the EU policies, including subsidy policy, must not harm Africa's agricultural sector or jeopardise food security; therefore calls for the strategy to support the increased competitiveness and productivity of the African agricultural sector, also in the context of the Doha Development Round; further urges the EU to offer financial support to the Comprehensive Africa Agricultural Programme', adopted by the AU and NEPAD;

83.  Underlines, also in relation to the worrying and worsening phenomenon of desertification, the need to support sustainable agricultural methods; recalls, in this regard, that for growth to have a poverty reducing effect, it needs to be broad-based, small-holder oriented and result in greater labour opportunities;

84.  Insists that the issue of desertification and access to water for all should be of the utmost importance in the joint strategy; expresses particular concern at the multiple negative implications of desertification on, among others, food security, migration, refugees and IDPs;

85.  Points out that Africa is the continent predicted to suffer the effects of climate change most severely; therefore urges the EU, the AU and their Member States, as well as investors and business actors, to acknowledge their responsibility for climate change, and calls on them to develop an environment friendly development strategy in order to reverse the situation, including a financial framework for environmental adaptation; further calls on the EU to offer financial support to the Action Plan for the Environment Initiative of NEPAD and its operational decisions adopted by the African Ministerial Conference on Environment (AMCEN) in Brazzaville, Congo, in 2006, and endorsed by the Eighth AU Summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in January 2007;

86.  Welcomes the Commission's initiative to launch an EU-Africa partnership on climate change and to launch a Global Climate Change Alliance; in this context stresses that the EU must make significant funding available for adaptation measures in African countries; stresses also that adaptation must not be dealt with only as a humanitarian issue; emphasises that risk reduction and "climate proofing" measures must be integrated into the overarching development agenda, including in poverty reduction strategy papers (PRSPs) and CSPs;

87.  Calls for the joint strategy to address the root causes of migration and to pay particular attention to the rights and the integration of migrants and to the issue of brain drain, particularly in the health sector, by proposing practical solutions to successful circular migration; stresses that limiting migration to the EU should not be considered as either a condition for aid or as a development strategy;

88.  Considers that culture is a key factor for intercultural dialogue and inter-religious understanding, for a feeling of national and regional identity, for a strong social basis and as a secure grounding for solidarity within and between peoples, and that therefore a sustainable development agenda must include culture;

89.  Considers that, since in a number of African countries debt is still a heavy burden counteracting any development effort, debt relief should be considered on a case-by-case basis and should be conditional on strengthened governance and economic policies, on debt management and in particular on ensuring that debts are not systematically renewed by other lenders;

90.  Acknowledges the usefulness and the relevance of budget support, which in particular enables basic social services to be improved whilst, at the same time, helping to strengthen the structure of African countries; calls, however, for caution in relation to the disbursement of aid in the form of budget support; insists that budget support be treated separately for each country, depending on its particular situation and that it is not appropriate for fragile States or countries in conflict; calls for the establishment of indicators for human and social development, for gender budgeting and for education and health; in this respect, encourages the Commission to continue drawing up its proposed "MDG contract" with the intended beneficiaries of budget support; insists that budget support must be accompanied by the strengthening of the capacity of parliaments, national courts of auditors, local authorities and civil society to scrutinise the process, so as to avoid basic social services becoming under-resourced; proposes that budget support should not replace support to certain key development sectors such as education and health or sectors that risk being marginalised by recipient governments;

91.  Stresses that sustainable development is only possible if it represents development for all, including women and minority and/or vulnerable groups;

92.  Stresses the importance of EU support to strategies aimed at empowering women, including through support to microcredit, as well as to sexual and reproductive health programmes, which are crucial in the fight against HIV/AIDS;

Implementation and monitoring

93.  Calls on the Commission and the general secretariat of the Council to send all further progress reports on the implementation of the EU strategy for Africa also to the European Parliament; also requests information on the disbursement and implementation of the EUR 2.7 billion additional funds under the 10th EDF allocated to the "governance initiatives' developed by the Commission for each ACP country;

94.  Requests the Commission to indicate how the 9th EDF has been used and reprogrammed to allow for the implementation of the EU strategy for Africa; calls for an independent evaluation of the implementation of this strategy; asks the Commission to propose a joint mechanism for the implementation and evaluation of the new joint strategy, both on a technical and political basis, including all the EC financial instruments for development at all stages;

95.  Welcomes the EU's and the AU's intention to draft an action plan for the first period of the joint strategy; points out that it must contain concrete financing and measurable indicators at all levels of implementation (local, national, regional and continental) and across all the relevant financial cooperation instruments, which will make monitoring easier and more transparent; stresses that parliamentary, local authority and civil society monitoring must be part of the official monitoring process;

96.  Calls on the Commission to ensure that any monitoring framework includes the monitoring of existing commitments by the AU and EU, such as the MDGs, the above - mentioned Cotonou Agreement, the above - mentioned Abuja Call for Accelerated Action, the Universal Declaration on Human Rights;

97.  Calls for the joint strategy to explicitly include a communications strategy, in order to raise public awareness on what governments are doing and to provide the feedback loop in order to ensure that governments are in touch with the needs of their constituents on these policies;

98.  Encourages the setting up, as part of the joint strategy, of political space for a genuine and effective people-to-people dialogue, through appropriate funding and guarantees for political independence, and the establishment of mechanisms through which civil society and non-state actors can provide input into the governmental decision-making processes, and can hold authorities accountable vis-à-vis the people;

99.  Calls on the Commission to indicate how it will finance the new strategy and its programme of action; notes that the 10th EDF, the geographical programme for South Africa and the thematic programmes of DCI and ENPI are the only major funds available for the implementation of the joint strategy; urges the Commission to ensure coherence in the implementation of these cooperation instruments and the joint strategy; asks the Commission to inform the European Parliament and the PAP at all stages of the process (programming, identification, appraisal, financing, implementation and evaluation);

100.  Calls for the first action plan to include a specific financial envelope for pan-African institutions, activities to be implemented at pan African level, and the new partnerships (Lisbon initiatives); also insists that national, regional and continent-wide parliaments must be expressly considered as beneficiaries of aid;

101.  Welcomes the fact that the Council has set up an ad hoc working group with experts from interested Member States to coordinate Member States" positions on the issues covered by the joint strategy, and requests the Commission and the Council to report regularly to the European Parliament on the activities of this working group;

102.  Affirms that, as important institutions of governance, both the PAP and the European Parliament must be crucial actors in the follow-up of the joint strategy and also that local authorities and non-state actors, such as those involved in the AU's ECOSOCC and its EU counterpart ECOSOC, must play a role;

103.  Is therefore determined to closely monitor, together with the PAP, the implementation of the joint strategy and the action programmes; therefore calls for the establishment of a joint European Parliament - PAP parliamentary delegation as a forum to debate in a democratic way the issues affecting the relations between peoples of the EU and Africa;

104.  Is determined, jointly with pan-African organisations, to ensure coherence between development cooperation policy and other fields of EU policy which have an impact on developing countries in Africa;

105.  Estimates that parliamentary scrutiny and approval of development assistance packages must be a requirement for the disbursement of funds;

106.  Decides to organise, together with the PAP, a Joint Parliamentary event preceding the second EU-Africa Summit planned for December 2007 in Lisbon;

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107.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the governments and parliaments of the Member States, the AU Commission, the AU Executive Council, the PAP, the ACP Council of Ministers and the ACP-EU JPA.

(1) OJ L 317, 15.12.2000, p. 3.
(2) OJ L 209, 11.8.2005, p. 27.
(3) OJ L 378, 27.12.2006, p. 41.
(4) OJ C 280 E, 18.11.2006, p. 475.
(5) OJ C 46, 24.2.2006, p. 1.
(6) OJ C 33 E, 9.2.2006, p. 311.
(7) Texts adopted, P6_TA(2007)0274.

Last updated: 15 August 2008Legal notice