The Joint ACP-EU Parliamentary Assembly
The EU and 78 African, Caribbean and Pacific countries (ACP) have a long tradition of development cooperation which comprises for instance trade and aid. Ministers from the ACP countries and the EU regularly meet to discuss topical issues of cooperation. And so do the parliamentarians from the participating countries.
The ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly counts 78 members of the European Parliament as well as one member of Parliament from each of the 78 ACP countries. The Assembly meets twice a year. Spring meetings take place in Europe – normally in the EU country holding the presidency of the Council while the autumn meetings are hosted by an ACP country.
The Joint Parliamentary Assembly is an advisory body responsible for:
- Promoting democratic processes through dialogue and involvement
- Creating greater understanding between the peoples of the EU and the ACP States,
and raising public awareness of development issues
- Discussing development issues that are relevant to the ACP-EU partnership
- Advising the ACP-EU Council of Ministers
An important part of the Assembly's work is aimed at promoting human rights, democracy and common values of humanity, which has resulted in joint commitments and joint involvement in a series of development issues within the UN framework.
More about the Joint ACP-EU Parliamentary Assembly
The official program
The programme for the period 23-30 May is varied and colourful. Participants from the ACP side will meet 23 and 25th May, while the members of the European Parliament join in 26-30 May.
On Sunday 27 May, Denmark is responsible for workshops, which aim to inspire the parliamentarians by showing them Danish views and innovations. At Aros Art Museum in Aarhus, a workshop focusing on democratic governance in development cooperation is scheduled, while a second workshop will take the parliamentarians to the island of Samsø showing them around "Denmark's island of renewable energy". Finally, participants will have the opportunity to see and test sustainable technology devices such as electric vehicles during a study visit to VIA University College in Horsens.
During the official opening of the Assembly on Monday, both the Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt, President of the Danish Parliament Mogens Lykketoft and a representative of the Municipality of Horsens will give speeches.
The main topics on the agenda of the Assembly are climate change, trade relations and food security. Tuesday, the Assembly will be discussing climate change with EU Commissioner for Climate Action Connie Hedegaard, while the Danish Minister for Climate, Energy and Buildings Martin Lidegaard will participate in a debate on the Rio+20 Summit on Sustainable Development.
Trade Commissioner Karel de Gucht and Development Commissioner Andris Piebalgs is also participating in programme elements on Monday and Tuesday. On Wednesday, The Danish Minister for Development Cooperation Christian Friis Bach will represent the EU Council of Ministers on behalf of the High Representative Catherine Ashton and answer questions from parliamentarians from both the EU and ACP countries.
More activities during the week
During the week, the NGO community will organise a series of side events, including a conference on ecology and sustainability in smallholder agriculture with the participation of small farmers' organisations representing a large number of African farmers from across the continent.
Horsens Municipality is also organising various activities in the margin of the meeting; for instance parliamentarians are invited to dinner in private Danish homes as part of a "private hospitality" project.
For a list of side events
For further information on Horsens during the EU Presidency