Brussels, 20 May 2016/ EP/ACP: The 31st plenary session of the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly will take place in Windhoek, capital of Namibia, in Southern Africa, from 13 to 15 June 2016. The session will be officially opened by its co-presidents, Louis Michel for the European Parliament, and Netty Baldeh (Gambia) for the ACP (Africa Caribbean Pacific) countries.
The plenary session will be preceded and prepared by meetings of the three standing committees on 11 June. These are the Committee on Economic Development, Finance and Trade, the Committee on Political Affairs and the Committee on Social Affairs and the Environment. The meeting of the Bureau is held on 12 June.
The plenary session will also be attended by Peter Hitjitevi Katjavivi, Speaker of the National Assembly of Namibia.
The ACP Assembly meets before the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly from 8 to 10 June in a separate meeting.
The JPA 31st session in Windhoek, Namibia will be the opportunity to have a strategic discussion on the future of the partnership between the EU and ACP countries after 2020. The Cotonou partnership agreement, which governs relations between the ACP countries and the EU will expire in the year 2020. While the three pillars of this framework addressing political dialogue, development cooperation and trade have generally served their purpose well, there are clear signs that substantive changes have occurred within the ACP group and the EU as well as within the wider international landscape, which calls for a different articulation of future relations. A future partnership and framework would therefore need to take on board key issues such as Poverty Reduction, the Sustainable Development Goals and the EPAs.
Furthermore, the Assembly will debate and vote on three resolutions:
Continental area of free trade in Africa: opportunities to stimulate exchanges on the African continent and potential benefits for ACP countries (debate Tuesday, co-rapporteurs: Jean-Marie Bulambo (DRC) and Marielle de Sarnez);
Migration between ACP countries and the Member States of the Union: causes, consequences and strategies for joint management (debate Tuesday, co-rapporteurs: Magnus Kofi Amoatey (Ghana) and Norbert Neuser); and
Improved participatory governance through decentralization and strengthening of local governance (debate Tuesday, co-rapporteurs: James Kembi-Gitura (Kenya) and Aymeric Chauprade).
Two urgent topics will be discussed and concluded by resolutions:
pre-electoral and security situation in the Democratic Republic of Congo (debate Tuesday, vote Wednesday); and
Rape and violence against women and children in armed conflicts (debate and vote Wednesday).
On 14 June, MEPs and their counterparts from national parliaments of the ACP countries will also discuss the impact of the falling price of oil and other strategic commodities in the ACP economies. The new face of conflict and global security threat – impact on world peace and stability will be one of the topics discussed on 15 June. MEPs will also debate with Commissioner Neven Mimica on 13 June, and with representatives of ACP and EU Councils on15 June.
Background information about the JPA
The ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly (JPA ) brings together MEPs and MPs from 78 European Union (EU) and African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) states that have signed the Cotonou Agreement, which is the basis for ACP-EU cooperation and development work.
Press Contacts:
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Josephine LATU-SANFT
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