Concerning the committees, I am an effective member of the Foreign Affairs Committee (AFET) and a substitute member of the Committee on International Trade (INTA). I am also an effective member of the Subcommittee on Security and Defence (SEDE).
Regarding my participation on the Delegations of the European Parliament, I am the Chairman on the Delegation for relations with the Mashreq countries, a member of the Conference of Delegation Chairs and of the Delegation to the Euro-Mediterranean Parliamentary Assembly. I am a substitute member on the Delegation for relations with the NATO Parliamentary Assembly and on the Delegation to the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly.
Foreign Affairs (AFET)
The Committee is responsible for:
- the common foreign and security policy (CFSP) and the European security and defence policy (ESDP). In this context the committee is assisted by a subcommittee on security and defence;
- relations with other EU institutions and bodies, the UNO and other international organisations and interparliamentary assemblies for matters falling under its responsibility;
- the strengthening of political relations with third countries, particularly those in the immediate vicinity of the Union, by means of major cooperation and assistance programmes or international agreements such as association and partnership agreements;
- the opening, monitoring and concluding of negotiations concerning the accession of European States to the Union;
- issues concerning human rights, the protection of minorities and the promotion of democratic values in third countries. In this context the committee is assisted by a subcommittee on human rights. Without prejudice to the relevant rules, members from other committees and bodies with responsibilities in this field shall be invited to attend the meetings of the subcommittee.
The committee coordinates the work of joint parliamentary committees and parliamentary cooperation committees as well as that of the interparliamentary delegations and ad hoc delegations and election observation missions falling within its remit.
Subcommittee on Security and Defence (SEDE)
The Subcommittee on Security and Defence is a subcommittee of the Committee on Foreign Affairs. Its responsibilities are described in the first paragraph of the Committee's mandate:
"Committee responsible for: 1. the common foreign and security policy (CFSP) and the European security and defence policy (ESDP). In this context the committee is assisted by a subcommittee on security and defence;..."
Committee on International Trade (INTA)
The Committee is responsible for:
Matters relating to the establishment and implementation of the Union's common commercial policy and its external economic relations, in particular.
- financial, economic and trade relations with third countries and regional organisations;
- measures of technical harmonisation or standardisation in fields covered by instruments of international law;
- relations with the relevant international organisations and with organisations promoting regional economic and commercial integration outside the Union;
- relations with the WTO, including its parliamentary dimension.
The committee liaises with the relevant interparliamentary and ad hoc delegations for the economic and trade aspects of relations with third countries.
The Delegation for relations with the Mashreq countries, of which I am the Chairman, was set up in the wake of the first direct elections to the European Parliament in 1979. Between 1994 and 2004, the Delegation was also responsible for relations with the Gulf States. Since the 2004 elections, the Delegation’s remit has been limited to the four countries in the Mashreq region: Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria.
Over recent years, the situation in the Middle East has been a much-discussed subject in meetings with representatives from the countries in the region, with a number of regional priority issues: the follow-up to the Annapolis Conference on re-launching the peace process between Israel and Palestine, the stabilisation of Iraq, the issue of Iraqi refugees and displaced persons, the crisis in Lebanon, press freedom and human rights in Arab countries and perspectives for a greater role for the EU and Jordan in promoting stabilisation. Two observation committees were set up: the first to monitor parliamentary elections in Lebanon in 2005 and again in 2009 and the second to monitor the Egyptian presidential election in November 2005.
I am also a member of the Conference of the Presidents of Delegation, which is the political organ of the European Parliament that analyses periodically all the issues related to the good functioning of the interparliamentary delegations and of the delegations to the mixed parliamentary committees.
The delegations to the Euro-Mediterranean Parliamentary Assembly, to the relations with the OTAN Parliamentary Assembly and to the joint EU-ACP Parliamentary Assembly are the representation of the European Parliament in these interparliamentary Assemblies. In what OTAN and in the Euro-Mediterranean Parliamentary Assembly are concerned, there is also the representation of the Portuguese Parliament.