Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2007-10-24-Speech-3-344"

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". Madam President, Commissioner, Mrs Martens has prepared an excellent report that was unanimously adopted by the Committee on Development. For the first time ever Africa and Europe are slowly beginning to work in partnership and establish a common approach to the development of democracy, support for development and strengthening peace and security across the African continent. I share the hope expressed by the representatives of the Council and the Commission that this report will prove a good source of inspiration in the run-up to the Lisbon EU-Africa Summit. Many of the provisions in the report, and more especially their implementation, will be of crucial importance to the development of relations between Europe and Africa. It will be difficult to make progress in our mutual relations without improving the consistency of various Union policies, such as the trade, development, environmental protection, agriculture and migration policies. It is also important to honour the decisions and commitments made in the past. In 2005 the Council of the European Union determined that at least 50% more resources for development aid would be allocated to African countries. In my own country, Poland, development aid has increased significantly in recent years. The difficulty is that last year barely 1.4% of all Polish bilateral aid was allocated to sub-Saharan Africa. The fact that certain Member States have been slow to ratify the revised Cotonou Agreement and the internal agreement regarding the 10th European Development Fund is also cause for concern. As things stand at present, only half the Member States of the Union have ratified the Partnership Agreement with the ACP (African, Caribbean and Pacific) countries due to enter into force on 1 January 2008. If full ratification does not take place, it will be very difficult to carry forward the African programmes and the plans for supporting Africa will remain on the drawing board. I therefore urge Members of this House to put pressure on their national parliaments and governments to ensure the revised Cotonou Agreement is ratified."@en1

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