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This week at the European Parliament

19/12/2014 - 00:00
News stories

Palestinian statehood, Georgia's Association Agreement, freedom of expression in Turkey, and the CIA - December's Plenary session of the European Parliament this week featured many important debates on the EU's external relations.

EP Plenary session in Strasbourg

Following the debate held in November with HR/VP Federica Mogherini, MEPs gave their backing to a resolution that in principle supports Palestinian statehood “hand in hand” with a reinvigorated peace process by voting in favour of "in principle" recognition of Palestinian statehood and the two-state solution.

The EP gave on Thursday its consent to the Association Agreement/DCFTA with Georgia. The EP President Martin Schulz welcomed the conclusion of the Association Agreement and congratulated the people of Georgia on "what is nothing less than a historic moment in the relationship between the EU and Georgia."

The other highlight of the session on EU external affairs was the debate on the US Senate report on the use of torture by the CIA. At the debate, Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos spoke on behalf of the Commission. There was a close to unanimous condemnation of torture and of the acts reported in the document. The EP called for the respect of human rights, fundamental freedoms and the rule of law, which cannot be compromised in the fight against terrorism.

The EP also held a debate on freedom of expression in Turkey. Italian Secretary of State Benedetto Della Vedova led the debate on behalf of HR/VP Mogherini. The debate talked of an unacceptable authoritarian drift of the Turkish government and the need to align itself with what is expected from a candidate country. The chamber remained divided on the way forward regarding the accession process – including on whether to open new chapters or the possibility of stronger measures including sanctions or the suspension of the negotiation process.

The EP also discussed a number of other issues of interest for the EEAS, including the debate on the Khartoum Process and the forthcoming "EU-Horn of Africa Migration Route Initiative", the debate on the shortage of funding for the WFP aid scheme to Syrian refugees among others.

The adopted resolutions by the EP