Le point sur les négociations

Le 28 septembre 2018, les ACP et l'UE ont entamé des négociations en vue d'un accord succédant à l'accord de Cotonou qui prendra fin en février 2020.

Cette section contient tout ce que vous devez savoir sur les négociations.

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SPEECH: Statement by the Secretary-General Dr. Chambas during the 5th Regional Meeting of the ACP-EU JPA in Seychelles 14-15 July 2010

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Mr. President,
Members of the ACP Parliamentary Assembly,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

In the first place I would like to thank you for giving me this opportunity to address your meeting. I also wish to extend to you my personal welcome to Mahe, Seychelles, and hope that you will have fruitful deliberations. I wish to thank the Government of Seychelles for having offered to host this Meeting, and all the facilities that they have put in place for our comfort and to ensure the success of your Meeting. My sincere gratitude goes to Hon. Waven William, who has been of great assistance to us and made us feel at home since our arrival here in Seychelles.

This is a real pleasure to discover Mahe such a beautiful island paradise that I hope will be preserved from the consequences of the climate change.

Before I proceed, allow me to thank you, Hon. Motlhale, for having graciously accepted the responsibility of Acting President of the ACP PA and Acting Co-President of the JPA. Please be assured of the full support of the ACP Secretariat during your interim tenure.
I also wish to thank the AU Commissioner for Peace and Security, H.E Ramtane Lamamra, as well as representatives from COMESA and East African Legislative Assembly among others, who have accepted to be here to assist you, and it is their experience in different respective areas that will enrich you in the deliberations.

Mr. President,

As you know, this Regional Meeting is the second meeting of the JPA, after the 19th Session of the JPA held in Tenerife, that I will be attending since I assumed office as Secretary-General of the ACP Group of States in March this year. Allow me to state categorically that the ACP Secretariat takes great interest in this August Assembly, especially the work and responsibilities that it values the work of the JPA.

Mr. President,
Hon. Members,

I would like, for my present address this afternoon, to focus on two issues that are of high significance in terms of ACP-EU relations and your role as Parliamentarians, namely the Revised Cotonou Agreement and the Lisbon Treaty.

Revised Cotonou Agreement

Mr. President,

I am glad to inform you that the 2nd Revised Cotonou Agreement was signed in Ougadougou, Burkina Faso, on 22 June 2010 at the end of the 35th Session of the ACP-EU Council of Ministers. You will recall that during the 19th Session of the JPA, the President of the ACP Council of Ministers, Hon. Paul Bunduku Latha of Gabon, outlined the main changes that had been introduced during the negotiations for the 2nd Revision.

As concerns the JPA, I am glad to inform you that Article 17 of the Revised Cotonou Agreement, as well as other related Articles in the Agreement, reinforced the importance of the parliamentary dimension of ACP-EU relations, through not only the JPA, but national parliaments as well. The JPA’s role in the monitoring of the implementation of Economic Partnership Agreements and other trading arrangements has been given legal force in Cotonou, as well as the need for the Council of Ministers to regularly report on the implementation of the Cotonou Agreement to the JPA.

Mr. President,

Another significant development that also affects ACP-EU relations is the Lisbon Treaty, which entered into force on 1 December 2009, while the JPA was in Session in Luanda, Angola. One of the important features of the Lisbon Treaty is the enhanced powers that it has given to the European Parliament.

The Parliament has been accorded co-decision powers in several areas where they could only be consulted before. Under the Lisbon Treaty, it is the European Parliament that will play a more significant role in trade policy. The Parliament and the Council will be co-legislators in determining the framework for implementing the Common Commercial Policy. Further, the Parliament will have co-decision with the Council on all trade legislation. This will allow the Parliament to have a say on the adoption of trade agreements pertaining to Generalised Systems of Preferences, anti-dumping measures, countervailing duties and amendments to EPA market access regulations.
In addition, the European Parliament will have more enhanced powers to ratify trade agreements by simple majority before the Council can adopt a decision concluding a trade agreement. In other words, the Parliament will have increased powers with regard to the final text of a Free Trade Agreement (FTA), which may de facto translate into an increased influence ahead of negotiations - in shaping the negotiation mandate - as well as during the negotiations. They will be required to report to the Parliament’s International Trade Committee on a regular basis which has codified existing practices as the Parliament was regularly briefed with respect to trade negotiations.

Mr. President,
Hon. Members,

I wanted to highlight these enhanced powers of the European Parliament, because I believe that as a stronger actor in the new set-up, the European Parliament could be a potential ally in safeguarding ACP concerns and I believe that as Members of Parliament. You have an important role to play in this regard because of your institutionalised interaction with the European Parliament, and the reinforcement of the parliamentary dimension in the Cotonou Agreement.

Given the long association of the Parliament with the ACP Group through the JPA, this should be utilised to maintain the profile of the ACP Group within the Parliament.  

As you requested during the ACP PA session held in Tenerife, the Secretariat will, in the course of your inter-Sessional meetings that shall be held in Brussels in September 2010, give you a discussion paper on these changes brought about by the Lisbon Treaty that have implications on the ACP Group.

Mr. President,

Hon. Members, I believe that Regional Meetings such as this one will become an increasingly important medium through which the European Parliament will be sensitised on the development challenges of ACP States and Regions. I therefore wish to encourage you to participate fully in this Meeting, by giving the perspectives of your own respective countries in terms of ACP-EU relations and the development agenda.

Mr. President,
Hon. Members,

In view of my observations above, I wish to encourage you to continue to be forthright and assertive in the discussion of the issues that concern your peoples, countries and governments as you interact with your European counterparts.  Doubtless, our countries and regions will continue to face certain developmental challenges for many years to come. However, I believe that the time for establishing the basic foundations and conditions for sustainable development is now. In this regard, I believe that first and foremost, we must consolidate or establish development friendly political and institutional structures that will guarantee democracy, political rights and inclusive participation, and respect for human rights and the rule of law.

That is why I am glad to see the JPA taking an active interest in the latest political crisis in Madagascar. Like you, I also hope for a peaceful resolution of the crisis in order to allow the leadership and people of the country to concentrate their efforts on poverty eradication and sustainable development. These are all important issues for all ACP States, but I believe that they are of particular significance in this region.

As many of you will acknowledge, this region has experienced more than its fare share of political and armed conflicts, electoral violence and border conflicts. Many of the countries in this region were deeply affected, directly or indirectly by the great lakes conflict.

Some of the long-running conflicts such as the one in Southern Sudan are now over but a lot of work still needs to be done to consolidate the gains of peace. This is not something that can be achieved overnight, but can be rather a slow and painful process whose building blocks must be laid now. I believe that you have a role to play as parliamentarians in your respective legislative jurisdictions as well as through the JPA. And you must not be afraid to defend the rights, priviliges and immunities of parliamentarians everywhere in the ACP Group and beyond.

Mr. President,
Hon. Members,

The ACP Secretariat, in collaboration with the JPA Secretariat in the European Parliament as well as the host country, have endeavoured to provide the best possible conditions for a successful regional meeting in the limited time available in view of the items on the agenda and invited speakers.  

Mr. President,
Hon. Members,

I thank you for your attention and wish you a wonderful stay and fruitful deliberations here in Mahe, Seychelles.

***


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