EU - Afghanistan Cooperation Agreement, the first legal framework governing relations between the two parties
MEPs today approved the EU-Afghanistan Cooperation Agreement on Partnership and Development, confirming the EU’s commitment to Afghanistan’s future development during the ‘decade of transformation’ (2014-2024), strengthening historical, political and economic ties between the two parties.
ALDE MEP, Petras Auštrevičius (Liberal Movement of Lithuania) and shadow rapporteur on this topic on behalf of our political Group, said the agreement brings the EU relationship with Afghanistan to a new qualitative level of mutually beneficial cooperation:
“This agreement establishes a legal framework of our relationship, which will commit both sides to work closer and more efficiently to strengthen the country's institutions and economy. Undeniably, Afghanistan has made significant progress in many fields. However, security concerns, corruption, human rights issues and other problems still persist - endangering the current achievements.
Afghanistan is at a crucial point in its history and without any further efforts all of the progress and sacrifices achieved so far could be wasted. Withdrawing coalition forces prematurely could have negative consequences and should be decided by consulting all Allies. The EU is committed to a long-term partnership with Afghanistan. Therefore, following the November 2018 Geneva Conference on Afghanistan, the EU announced a financial package worth €474 million to support state-building and public sector reforms, health, justice, and elections, as well as to address migration and displacement challenges in Afghanistan.
I hope that this agreement, embedded in a regional approach which includes Afghanistan's neighbourhood, the global powers and the international community can pave the way for a better future of the country. The first step to the path of stability is peace. Achieving a peace agreement between the warrying parties in Afghanistan is the priority at the moment. I would like to reiterate the EU's commitment to support the ongoing peace talks in Qatar and the US role as facilitator. However, let me underline that the peace process must be Afghan owned and must include the Afghan Government. In particular, a peace deal cannot compromise the values of democracy, human rights and the rule of law. The citizens of Afghanistan deserve this.”