S&Ds: Equal partnership with Africa, Caribbean and Pacific Countries to address global challenges
European Interest | 28th June 2023
By European Interest
After five days of intense debates, a vote on resolutions and visits on the ground, the 43rd session of the Joint Plenary Assembly among the African, Caribbean, Pacific Countries and the EU (JPA ACP-EU) has ended. The S&D Group – through the Co-President of the Assembly, Carlos Zorrinho, the Coordinator, Hannes Heide, and all other members involved – have reiterated their firm stance in the battle to get the Post-Cotonou swiftly ratified and let the EU finally adopt a new approach towards ACP and developing countries on raw materials, migration, rule of law and due diligence.
“Let’s be frank, this week’s 43rd EU-ACP JPA has been sadly overshadowed by the sinister elephant in the room: the Polish blockage of the Post-Cotonou Agreement and the resulting uncertainty for the future of this crucial Assembly among lawmakers representing four continents, the European countries and 79 African, Caribbean and Pacific states,” commented S&D Coordinator in the EU-ACP JPA, Hannes Heide.
“The attempt from the EU Council Presidency to reassure the Assembly about a swift ratification of the Agreement has not managed to clarify what is going to happen in four months’ time when the – recently extended – existing Cotonou agreement expires. We need an effective legal and political framework to face together the challenges and threats ahead of all of us. We need the Post-Cotonou agreement in place if we want to maintain loans and financing from the European Investment Bank (EIB) amounting to billions of euros. We need to be serious and show credibility to our partners if we want to establish multilateralism based on equal footing and mutual trust,” he added.
“Taking the Post-Cotonou agreement hostage shows the short-mindedness of those not understanding the crucial need for Europe to count on ACP countries to fight climate change and gear up the green transition towards a sustainable world economy. We need to diversify our sources of critical raw materials and support ACP countries in developing industries further up the value chain. We can no longer be predatory and finance our economy and green transition at the cost of other continents, countries and people. We, as Europe, must much more steadily and strongly invest and facilitate the development of sustainable energies, electrification and infrastructures in the ACP Countries. We, as Europe, must stop looking at Africa and at all prevailing challenges solely through the prism of migration and security conditionality. We need a progressive approach centred on equal multilateralism, democracy and rule of law. We Socialists and Democrats will continue fighting for this,” he concluded.