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EU-Iraq: an agreement for stronger partnership and cooperation.
The Foreign Affairs Committee has voted today on the recommendation for an 'EU-Iraq Partnership and Cooperation Agreement' and on a Resolution to accompany the text.
In the light of the signature of this PCA agreement by all Member States last May, after a three-year negotiation, the Rapporteur on both Reports, Mario Mauro MEP, highlights the issues that still need to be addressed by Iraq - with enhanced EU support in the framework of the new agreement - in its approach to democracy and the rule of law. On the other hand, he acknowledges the efforts made by the country, which have led to some significant progress.
"It is true that Iraq has made great strides when it comes to its economy, but we have to get the regulatory framework up to standard in the economic and energy sectors, and more generally in the context of international contracts. This agreement represents an important milestone in this regard, but the road is still long and I think that the EU should live up to its political ambitions," said Mario Mauro MEP.
"As for the resolution, I want to emphasize that, in the case of a partnership and cooperation agreement, which is a commercial agreement between Iraq and the EU, we did not compose a text intended to be in favour of or against Iraqi politics in recent years. Our intention is that this should be a tool to engage in a dialogue with Iraq. This means being able to remember what the country is doing well and, at the same time, but not only, reminding them that of the amount of effort yet to be made. If our goal is to effectively promote the principles of democracy and freedom, I think the best way is to be open to a dialogue," said Mr Mauro.
"The extremely delicate phase in which millions of Iraqis find themselves must remind the EU of its obligations: it cannot be exempted from having a major role in providing the necessary support to the Iraqi authorities to cope with the difficult reconstruction and development of their entire country. The security and stability of Iraq, as well as overcoming the humanitarian emergency and the protection of fundamental freedoms, are ambitious targets to meet through this type of agreement," he concluded.
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The EPP Group is by far the largest political group in the European Parliament with 270 Members and 3 Croatian Observer Members.
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