The Co-Presidents of the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly (JPA) is urging the European Union Council to extend the Cotonou Agreement between the EU and the ACP countries.

Carlos Zorrinho from Portugal and Ana Rita Sithole from Mozambique, Co-Presidents of the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly made the following statement in a response to the EU Council decision to extend the Cotonou Agreement between the European Union and the Member States of the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS) by four months.

“While we acknowledge the necessity of the extension of the Cotonou Agreement to avoid a legal void from 01 July that would have brought to an end the legal basis of the joint OACPS-EU institutions, we deplore the continued blockage of the signature of the Post-Cotonou Agreement by EU Member States, first Hungary and now Poland.

“It is unacceptable that one or two EU Member States, for internal reasons, can undermine a partnership of over one hundred countries from four different continents, constituting a third of the UN Membership an important platform for advancing multilateralism.

“In the current geopolitical context of global instability, the Post-Cotonou Agreement provides a stable, stronger and forward-looking framework for the OACPS-EU partnership, thus contributing to global governance. It will allow for increased cooperation and action in a number of policy areas that present joint challenges and opportunities, guided by the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Agreement as overarching objectives. These include peace and security, climate change and sustainable economic growth,” the co-Presidents said in a statement.

The Co-Presidents call on OACPS and EU Council of Ministers to hold an emergency joint council meeting that will urgently engage with Poland with a view to finding a solution and providing a firm deadline to unblock the situation and indicate a date when the signing shall take place.

“We thank the successive EU Council Presidencies for their efforts to break the deadlock and we call on the Member States, notably Poland to cease blocking the Post-Cotonou Agreement, which has the political support of 26 EU Member States, the OACPS, and the Joint Parliamentary Assembly, without further delay,” they said in a statement.