The 20th Inter-Parliamentary Meeting (IPM) between the South African Parliament and the European Parliament’s Delegation for Relations with South Africa (D-ZA) was held successfully on 12-13 November 2012, in Brussels.
The discussions covered a wide range of issues, including the SA-EU Strategic Partnership, as well as regional and global issues. On the Strategic Partnership, the Delegations agreed on the need for enhanced oversight by the IPM on the implementation of approved programmes, and the overall Partnership. In this regard, the Delegations agreed to consider a joint project that would facilitate the strengthening of the IPM’s oversight role.
Regional issues discussed include the ongoing Economic Partnership Agreement negotiations. The Delegations agreed on the need to finalise a mutually beneficial agreement as soon as possible. In this regard, the South African Parliament expressed its appreciation to the European Parliament for supporting the ACP’s call that the implementation of the proposed amendment to EC Market Regulation 1528/2007 be delayed to 2016.
Global discussions included the critical role that parliaments must play in the reform of global governance. The Delegations agreed that through their role as a direct bridge to the people, parliaments should be more directly involved in the discussions and ongoing processes.
Political and security discussions focused on, amongst others, developments in the Sahel and Syria. The Delegations reiterated their support for the ongoing multilateral and regional initiatives to facilitate sustainable solutions to the challenges.
The South African Delegation welcomed the frank discussions with the D-ZA, and highlighted the importance of the IPM to ensuring that the Strategic Partnership delivers to its constituencies. The multi-party South African Delegation was led by Ms JL Fubbs, Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Trade and Industry.
The 21st IPM meeting will be held in Cape Town, South Africa during 2013.