ACP-EU Parliamentary Assembly: strengthening the partnership

Cotonou Agreement European Council 2019

(Copyright: European Council)

This article is brought to you in association with the European Parliament.


MEPs and African, Caribbean and Pacific MPs discussed the future of the partnership and agreed to enhance support for education and the fight against climate change.

During the 37th session of the Joint Parliamentary Assembly (JPA), which took place from 18 to 20 March in Bucharest, Members of the European Parliament and their counterparts from 78 African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries debated and adopted a series of resolutions. They intensified the discussion on the post-Cotonou framework, called for the ACP-EU parliamentary dimension to be maintained and agreed to an ambitious partnership. They also strongly supported the Global Compact for Migration and agreed to support initiatives in a number of fields, from climate change to education to the challenges linked to the rule of law.

The texts adopted include:

  • A resolution on the strategic significance and dimension of the ACP-EU partnership. JPA members call for an overarching, legally binding ACP-EU framework for a future partnership, which is crucial to tackling global challenges such as climate change, terrorism, poverty and wealth inequality. The partnership should go hand in hand with improvements in the fields of human rights and democracy.
  • A resolution on reducing the global number of out-of-school children in ACP countries. It calls on the EU and its member states to allocate 10% of their official development assistance (OPA) to education by 2021, increasing to 15% by 2030. EU member states should also channel at least 40% of their education aid to least developed countries.
  • A resolution on the possibilities offered by renewable energies in bringing sustainable economic development to ACP countries, and particularly to remote areas. It calls for EU investments in the sectors of renewable energy and energy efficiency in ACP countries.

JPA Members also adopted two urgent resolutions:

  • One on issues at stake and challenges linked to the respect of the rule of law in the European Union and the ACP countries.
  • A resolution on environmental crimes.

Louis Michel, co-presiding his last ACP-EU JPA session after two 5-year terms, said in relation to the on-going Cotonou negotiations: “We have a duty not to miss this unique opportunity to become authentic political partners. We need a close partnership in order to tackle jointly the increasing economic, environmental, industrial, migratory, social, ethical and political challenges”. He added that the creation of a vast free trade area between the EU and Africa could be one way of achieving a more ambitious partnership.

Joseph Owona Kono, co-president of the ACP-EU JPA, said: “As we negotiate the new agreement, we need to enhance and strengthen our partnership. We call for a strong Joint Parliamentary Assembly that is fit for purpose, efficient in approach and impactful for our people and the generations to come”.

On 20 March, the co-presidents Louis Michel and Joseph Owona Kono issued a statement on the cyclone Idai that has affected Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe.

Background

The ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly (JPA) brings together Members of the European Parliament and representatives of the African, Caribbean and Pacific states that have signed the Cotonou Agreement, which is the basis for ACP-EU cooperation and development work.

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