Extracts from the report by Ana Maria Gomes, Member of the EP, on the EU's role in Iraq, with the participation of Benita Ferrero-Waldner
End production: 12/03/2008 First transmission: 12/03/2008
The Members of the EP will vote on a report that urges greater EU involvement in Iraq, increased transparency and efficiency of EU aid and more support for the United Nations' efforts in the country. The suggestions are part of a recommendation to the Council on the EU's role in Iraq, contained in an own-initiative report drafted for the EP Foreign Affairs Committee by Ana Maria Gomes, Member of the EP. In the draft report, the Foreign Affairs Committee urges the Council "to adopt, together with the Commission, a new strategy that will step up, both in quantitative and especially in qualitative terms, EU support for UN efforts to help build a safe, stable, unified, prosperous, federal and democratic Iraq that upholds human rights, protects its minorities and promotes inter-ethnic tolerance so as to pave the way towards regional stability and security". The Council is also asked "to focus EU aid in Iraq generally on relevant technical assistance and capacity-building in the fields of the rule of law and justice and human rights, good governance, financial and budget management, gender equality, health and education, and on the strengthening of federal, regional and local government institutions". The Commission should "ensure the transparency and efficiency of EU assistance for Iraq", among other things "by providing complete, regular and transparent information on the actual disbursement and implementation of EU assistance". The EU should also "foster the renewal of bilateral political, diplomatic, cultural and economic relations and exchanges between Member States and Iraq" alongside "a new strategy for proactive involvement on the part of the EU and its Member States in Iraq". The draft report mentions the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights, which it says could be used extensively to fund civil society organisations that deal with the rights of women, minorities and children, and to fight arbitrary detention torture and the death penalty.
Only the original language version is authentic and it prevails in the event of its differing from the translated versions.
||Exterior view of the European Parliament in Strasbourg
||Ana Maria Gomes, Member of the EP, (in PORTUGUESE) saying that the main message of this report is that Europe today has a golden opportunity to bring a positive contribution to the fate of Iraq and to the fate of the entire region; they need to have inter-action with the Commission; they have reached a consensus already with this report; Europe is now ready to take up its responsibilities;
48 thousand dollars were set aside for Iraq for 2008, she does not think that Iraq needs more money; what it needs is something else, it is technical assistance; the EU needs to help them to build the technical capacities to make sure that the State functions and that the civil society functions as well; these are the resources that need to be used in this country; they need to be sure that everything is done for the benefit of the people, and that the immense resources can get to the people, including the millions displaced inside the country and for the refugees in the neighbouring countries
||Janez Lenarčič, Slovenian State Secretary for European Affairs and President in office of the Council, (in SLOVENIAN) saying that the dialogue and cooperation between Iraq and Turkey is important; they encourage the government and also Kurdistan to find an amicable solution and avoid conflict
||Benita Ferrero-Waldner, Member of the EC in charge of External Relations and European Neighbourhood Policy, (in ENGLISH) saying that the Iraqi government expressed its eagerness to work with the EU; on this basis they shall try to fund alongside other bilateral and international donors; and they will help strengthening the institutions, the capacity of the administration of a State which remains weak; they shall explore ways forward to take more direct action as has been asked by the Parliament, bearing in mind however the security environment; and they would like to ensure the maximum efficiency, visibility and accountability of their assistance
||Ignasi Guardans Cambó, Member of the EP, (in SPANISH) saying that first of all, Iraq needs to become reintegrated into the international economic system and he welcomes the fact that Iraq is joining the World Trade Organisation; it is a positive step in the right direction
||Jana Hybášková, Member of the EP, (in CZECH) saying that the main task for Europe is to make sure that law is strengthened, that they provide technical assistance to the police force, to the interior organisation of the country; they want to make sure that the country can benefit from the resources that it has, mainly oil
||Cutaways (3 shots)