ACP-EU is a partnership between equals in rights and obligations

2013-06-19, 16:45
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Mali, military coups, health and development were among the issues discussed by MEPs and their counterparts from 78 African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries, during the 25th session of the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly in Brussels on 17-19 June. We asked the Assembly's co-presidents Louis Michel, a Belgian member of the ALDE group, and Dr Joyce Laboso, deputy speaker of the Kenya´s national assembly, about the partnership and if it was being affected by the crisis.

Mr Michel, at last year's meeting you insisted on the need to move from humanitarian aid to common development policies to lift ACP societies out of poverty. What progress has been made since then?


The relationship between the north and the south has clearly evolved over the last few years Since 2007 the ACP-EU partnership has been based on a relationship between equal partners who share the same rights and obligations. Development aid is only one way of supporting development strategies.


Poverty can only be tackled in an efficient and durable way by achieving growth, which creates wealth. We should combine development aid with medium and long-term economic policies that aim to create the conditions needed for developing the private sector and enable developing countries to compete on a global level.


Dr Laboso, do you feel that the economic crisis in the EU can affect EU-ACP relations?


It is only natural that if members of their own group are undergoing any economic crisis that they would want to deal with that first before dealing with members that are far away in Africa, Pacific or the Caribbean. So yes, one can imagine that it will affect relations, but I hope that the EU will find a way to deal with it and continue the relationship and the agreements that have been reached with ACP countries.


REF. : 20130617STO12375

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