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  1. IEPFPD Voices from Parliaments in Europe EU politics and New Member States Inter-European Parliamentary Forum on Population & Development EuroNGOs Membership Meeting 18 February 2005- Brussels By Neil Datta Secretary IEPFPD

  2. IEPFPD Voices from Parliaments in Europe EU-Changes: Main Changes in 2004 Inter-European Parliamentary Forum on Population & Development Enlargement to 25 member states June elections – new parliament for 2004-2009 New European Commission EU presidencies Preparing for the future: EU Constitution Decision on Turkey negotiations EU funding/ funding mechanism for development

  3. IEPFPD Voices from Parliaments in Europe Enlargement of EU  Implications for SRHR Inter-European Parliamentary Forum on Population & Development No new member state has tradition of international development Economic development below EU average – All net recepient of EU funding Development experience focused on countries in transition further East Several have strong links to Vatican

  4. IEPFPD Voices from Parliaments in Europe EU Enlargement: Consequences on EU Institutional Make-Up Inter-European Parliamentary Forum on Population & Development 10 new member states Increase number in EP Commission: more diverse – 1 per member state Voting in Council – changed – new majorities Addition of 7 new languages to EU institutions Overall – EU decision making more complex Need to simplify/ streamline  work on EU Constitution

  5. IEPFPD Voices from Parliaments in Europe European Parliament Inter-European Parliamentary Forum on Population & Development Elections June 2004  for 2004-2009 732 members  from 25 member states Centre right (Christian Democrats) are largest party (268 seats) Socialists (202) – Liberals (88) – Greens (42) – Left (41) – Independence (36) – UEN (27) Pro-SRHR: Socialists – Liberals – Greens – Left (approx. 373 (maj. 366)

  6. IEPFPD Voices from Parliaments in Europe European Parliament (cont’d) Inter-European Parliamentary Forum on Population & Development EP flexed muscle with Commissioner Designate Buttiglione (rejected due to homophobic view) Lesson: That type of intolerance is not acceptable in EU There is majority in Parliament to take stand Political trade-offs  anti-choice MEP as chair of Women’s Rights Committee

  7. IEPFPD Voices from Parliaments in Europe The New Commission Inter-European Parliamentary Forum on Population & Development Commission President: José Manuel Barroso (Portuguese) Social Democrat Party (centre –right) Abortion is a matter of personal choice (party-line) Development Commissioner: Louis Michel (Belgium) Liberal Party As Belgian Development Minister  Denounced Gag-rule Mentions poverty alleviation & HIV/AIDS as priority Interest in Africa – Great Lakes Region

  8. IEPFPD Voices from Parliaments in Europe The New Commission (cont’d) Inter-European Parliamentary Forum on Population & Development External Relations Commissioner: Benita Ferrero-Waldner (Austria) Christian Democrat Austrian Foreign Affairs Minister at time when funding for UNFPA increased Focus on ‘European Neighbourhood Policy’ Education, Training Culture Commissioner: Ján Figel (Slovakia) Christian Democrat Spoke at anti-choice event in Brussels in September 2004 (IYA) Focus on Youth Policies

  9. IEPFPD Voices from Parliaments in Europe EU Presidencies Inter-European Parliamentary Forum on Population & Development EU Presidencies gradually stepping up efforts on SRHR e.g.: Irish Presidency  Dublin Declaration HIV/AIDS Dutch Presidency  RH priority of Development Minister Programme to support ICPD in 10 new member states EU Council support for ICPD & MDGs Launch of RH commodities for UNFPA Worked with future presidencies to maintain momentum: Luxembourg & UK (2005), Austria & Finland (2006)

  10. IEPFPD Voices from Parliaments in Europe EU Plans for the Future Inter-European Parliamentary Forum on Population & Development EU Constitution Turkey  Further Enlargement EU Financial Perspectives

  11. IEPFPD Voices from Parliaments in Europe EU Plans for the Future – EU Constitution Inter-European Parliamentary Forum on Population & Development New Inter-governmental Treaty for EU Simplifies Decision-Making in Institutions Establishes a ‘Union Minister for Foreign Affairs’ Formalises ‘Troika’ Structure of EU Presidency Rotation of representation in EU Commission after 2014 Qualified Majority Voting in more areas (but unanimity in taxation, some social and foreign/security policy) Also, for us: No recognised right to SRHR Art. 52 establishes formal dialogue between EU and Churches

  12. IEPFPD Voices from Parliaments in Europe EU Plans for the Future – EU Constitution (cont’d) Inter-European Parliamentary Forum on Population & Development Finally: Constitution must be ratified by all 25 member states, in some by referendum Opion poll (Eurobarometer) – January 2005: 33% Europeans have ‘never heard of constitution’ 56% say ‘they know little on the subject’

  13. IEPFPD Voices from Parliaments in Europe EU Plans for the Future – Turkey  Further Enlargement Inter-European Parliamentary Forum on Population & Development Raises questions of Human Rights, Women’s Rights, Minorities & Religion/ Secularism More countries are candidates/potential candidates: Croatia (strong link Vatican), Macedonia, Former-Yugoslavia

  14. IEPFPD Voices from Parliaments in Europe EU Plans for the Future – Financial Perspectives Inter-European Parliamentary Forum on Population & Development Discussion on resources of EU as whole (some large Net-contributors do not want to increase contribution to EU) Financial perspectives must be adopted unaminously

  15. IEPFPD Voices from Parliaments in Europe EU Plans for the Future – Financial Perspectives (cont’d) Inter-European Parliamentary Forum on Population & Development Draft financial perspectives for developement aid: Allow EU Commission much more flexibility to allocate funding as they wish Eliminates individual budget lines Commission would spend funding as per policies adopted by EU (Council & EP) Concern among NGOs that EU’s ODA could: Become less transparent Some issues could lose out without specific budget line e.g. SRHR

  16. IEPFPD Voices from Parliaments in Europe Conclusions Inter-European Parliamentary Forum on Population & Development In 2004 – Europe has dramatically changed More changes are on the way: Constitution More enlargements Greater institutional role of church Fundamental decisions on finances