EU Head of Delegation: We have to become a key partner in Iraq

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Former Czech ambassador and MEP Jana Hybášková is the newly-appointed EU Head of Delegation to Iraq. Before taking up her duties on 1 May she was invited to an "in camera" meeting with members of the Foreign Affairs Committee on 19 April to discuss the situation in Iraq and define the most important tasks ahead. We talked to her after the meeting.

What do you see as your main task as the new head of delegation?

The main task is to make the EU a key partner of Iraq after the US leaves the country. To be able to achieve this, we will need the consensus of the member states and the support of the European Parliament. It is of the utmost importance that we foster European values, support democracy and show why democracy is important. We need to empower the democratically elected Iraqi parliament and support democratic control.

The political situation in Iraq remains precarious, as some key ministerial positions are still not filled. How do you think the situation will evolve?

I would not use the word precarious and it is not my task to comment on domestic politics. The Iraqi government was formed democratically, it contains representatives from the main political groups and the majority of the people are happy with it.

How do you think your EP experience will help in your new job?

As a former MEP, I have hands-on experience about how the Parliament works, and it will help foster the dialogue with MEPs, as was the case today.

The Lisbon Treaty introduced the European External Action Service, but how do you see the EP's role in the EU's Common Foreign and Security Policy?

We have a new EU under the Lisbon Treaty that also provides a new framework for foreign policy. The EP can play an important role. Most importantly, it has an influence on the budgetary situation as it controls the budget. This way it can also play a role in shaping the financial instruments that the EU uses in its external actions.

REF. : 20110415STO17913