European Parliament delegation to monitor Colombia's peace deal referendum
The European Parliament is sending a delegation of MEPs to Colombia this week to accompany and monitor its referendum on the newly signed peace agreement. MEPs “expect and hope” that on Sunday 2 October Colombian voters will back the peace agreement reached by the Government of Colombia and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC).
This agreement would put an end to 52 years of armed conflict. The 14-strong delegation, co-chaired by Luis de Grandes (EPP) and Ramón Jáuregui (S&D), will be working in Colombia from 28 September to 3 October.
“The European Parliament has taken a decision consistent with its history; not only have we voted in the past a resolution in which Parliament adopted a clear-cut position in favour of the peace process, but also the history of the European Unión is not neutral one, but one of but a belligerently defending human rights and peace”, said Luis de Grandes, (EPP, ES) Co-Chair of the European Parliament delegation to Colombia.
“The delegation is invited by the Colombian government but also shows the will of the Parliament itself to take part in this historic moment in Colombia”, said the delegation’s co-chair Ramón Jáuregui, (S&D, ES), who added: “Our will is to be observers but fundamentally to accompany the political debate taking place this week in Bogota. We are going to send a clear-cut message in favour of Colombia being able to approved this agreement and turning this tragic page from the last 50 years of its History”.
The first members of the European Parliament Delegation will arrive to Bogota on Wednesday 28 September and will held a meeting with members of the Colombian Delegation at the EuroLat Parlamentary Assembly. A joint press conference by Colombian and European parlamentarians organised by the Andean Parliament will take place at 17.00.
From Thursday 29 September to Saturday 1 October, MEPs will hold many meetings with people for and against the peace agreement, with public authorities, and representatives from the civil society, academia and media. They will also visit symbolic places of the long and cruel conflict such as Ibague, Montes de Maria, Cartagena and Medellin.
Visiting polling stations will be the main activity of the members of the Delegation on Sunday 2 October. At the end of the day they will make a first assessment of the development and provisional outcome of the referendum.
In the morning of Monday 3 October, after meeting the Ambassador of the European Union in Colombia and the Ambassador of the States of the EU, MEPs will held a joint press conference with the EU special envoy to the peace process, Eamon Gilmore.
Co-chairs and members
Co-chairs: Luis de Grandes (EPP, Spain) and Ramón Jáuregui (S&D, Spain).
Agustín Díaz de Mera (EPP, Spain), Laima Liucija Andrikiene (EPP, Lithuania), Soraya Post (S&D, Sweden), Boris Zala (S&D, Slovakia), Richard Howitt (S&D, United Kingdom), Nikolay Barekov (ECR, Bulgaria), Izaskun Bilbao (ALDE, Spain), Tania González (GUE/NGL, Spain) and Ulrike Lunacek (Verdes/ALE, Austria, European Parliament Vice-President).
The European Parliament is the only EU institution directly elected. It is one of the largest democratic assemblies in the world. Its 751 members represent 500 million citizens of the EU and are elected every 5 years by the voters from the 28 member States.
REF. : 20160927IPR44273
Updated: ( 27-09-2016 - 17:40)
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