EU-Iraq partnership and cooperation agreement: - extracts from the report Mario MAURO (EPP, IT)

Type: News   Reference: 89847   Duration: 00:04:58  Lieu: Strasbourg, France - European Parliament
End production: 16/01/2013   First transmission: 16/01/2013
MEP's, debated this afternoon on whether European Parliament should give its consent to the conclusion of a Partnership and Cooperation Agreement between the European Union and the Republic of Iraq. This would be the first-ever partnership and cooperation agreement between the EU and this country. It aims at the developping of Iraq's security, stability in order to help to a peaceful transition to democracy. Following the Mauro report, MEP's underscored the fact that Iraq is in trouble and that the transition is far from being finished, but the proposal would offer economic opportunities in exchange of enhanced respect of human rights.

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00:00:05 EXTERIOR SHOT of the European Parliament, Strasbourg, snow-covered 00:00:05
00:00:10 SOUNDBITE (Spanish) José Ignacio ALAFRANCA SACHEZ-NEYRA (EPP, ES) English translation : "First of all this agreement represents the first contractual agreement between the European union and Iraq not just on the trade side but on a great many other aspects as well. This proposal intends to strengthen relations between EU and Irak. There is an important chapter about cooperation in health, in education, in the fight against poverty, in encouraging transparency and in effective governance. As regard to the commercial aspects, the agreement, which is not a preferential agreement, includes the fundamental WTO principles although Iraq is not a member of that organization. Certain of its clauses have very strong implications on important policies like the fight against weapons of mass destruction, the fight against terrorism and drug smuggling, the protection of the fundamental rights and freedom, particularly those of ethnic and religious minorities, they being the most exposed to risk in that region" 00:01:10
00:01:20 SOUNDBITE (English) Lucinda CREIGHTON, Irish Minister in charge of European Affairs, on behalf of the High Representative "EU has been a major donor to Iraq, providing support in many areas such as basic services, assistance to refugees and displaced persons, as well as the strengthening of the political system, the rule of Law and the protection of the Human Rights." 00:00:18
00:01:38 SOUNDBITE (English) Lucinda CREIGHTON, Irish Minister in charge of European Affairs, on behalf of the High Representative "EU overall support to Iraq since 2003 has amounted to over 1 billion Euros, and this without counting the bilateral contributions of course of Member States. 00:00:12
00:01:50 SOUNDBITE (English) Lucinda CREIGHTON, Irish Minister in charge of European Affairs, on behalf of the High Representative "The agreement also provides ample opportunities for enhance cooperation on sectors of policies across the board, from energy, environment to education and innovation. Let me stress the example of energy, where the EU can help Iraq, to harness its enormous energy potential, while Iraq can contribute to the diversification of the EU energy supply and to its energy security, as it is a potential source country for the southern corridor." 00:00:32
00:02:22 SOUNDBITE (Spanish) Maria BADIA i CUTCHET (S&D, ES) English translation : "The important point to be stressed is the technical and logistical support which the Commission and the EU can extend to this country in this moment of transition. I'd also like to point out that this agreement is going to facilitate access for the EU to services markets and public worth markets, and it's going to serve the link between the EU and Iraq. So basically it represents trade as an essential resource for increasing civility and prosperity in Iraq. And the agreement we're going to vote on tomorrow is a huge opportunity both for Iraq and for the EU." 00:00:38
00:03:00 SOUNDBITE (English) Tarja CRONBERG (Greens/EFA, FI) "Iraq today is a country where the oil productivity is restored to almost full capacity, while the parliamentary democracy still needs strengthening. The Greens welcome the Government's commitment to do this, but at the same time we deplore the worsening of the human rights situation." 00:00:18
00:03:18 SOUNDBITE (English) Tarja CRONBERG (Greens/EFA, FI) "The normalization of trade relations is of course a positive thing as is the process of Iraq's accession to the World Trade Organization. A process to which the PCA would be an important stepping stone. The Greens have been critical of the trade chapter of the agreement, it is to much tilted towards EU business interests leaving to little space to Iraqi government's own decision." 00:00:28
00:03:46 SOUNDBITE (English) Struan STEVENSON (ECR, UK) Chair of Delegation for relations with Iraq "This morning I received a letter from the Council of Representatives in Iraq, signed by two Committee Chairmen, and five members of the Iraqi Parliament, let me read that letter : - It was with great dismay and shock that we learnt that the European Parliament is about to adopt a resolution on Iraq on the coming week in Strasbourg which seems completely out of touch with the real situation and everyday challenges on the ground. According to draft text that we have seen on the European parliament website the resolution applauds the Government on many points, including providing security and safety to the Iraqis, it's main focus seems to be on boosting trade and endorsing the Maliki government which to us is completely incomprehensible." 00:00:50
00:04:36 SOUNDBITE (English) Struan STEVENSON (ECR, UK) Chair of Delegation for relations with Iraq (continuing his reading) - we therefore strongly urge you not to adopt this resolution which will only be used as a tool of furtherer suppression of our beleaguered people." 00:00:11
00:04:47 CUTAWAYS : 4 shots 00:00:11
00:04:58 END 00:00:00
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