EU Parliament’s delegation in town to discuss GSP plus status, host of other issues

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Zubair Qureshi

The European Parliament’s Delegation for Relations with South Asia paid an official visit on Thursday on the occasion of the 12th inter-parliamentary meeting between the European Parliament and the National Assembly of Pakistan.

The delegation covers relations with Pakistan and other 5 countries in the region (Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, Maldives and Sri Lanka) and comprised Chairman Mr Nicola Procaccini (Italy, ECR), Ms Heidi Hautala (Finland, Greens, Vice-President of the European Parliament), Mr Luis Garicano (Spain, Renew) and Tomáš Zdechovský (Czechia, EPP).

According to a statement issued by the EU Pakistan office, the purpose of this visit is to provide Members of the European Parliament and Members of both Chambers of the Parliament of Pakistan the opportunity to review the state of relations between the European Union and Pakistan.

The signature of the EU-Pakistan Strategic Engagement Plan in 2019 is a further milestone in relations between the EU and Pakistan, and as bilateral relations grow, it is essential that Parliamentarians on both sides assess progress and provide parliamentary scrutiny and guidance.

MEPs met with the Speaker of the National Assembly, the Deputy Chairman of the Senate, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Minister for Law and Justice, the Prime Minister’s Adviser on Commerce, the Attorney General of Pakistan, Governor of Punjab, with prominent Members of Parliament, with civil society organisations and with representatives of the media.

The meetings focused on issues of common interest, such as the state of EU-Pakistan cooperation in a number of fields, bilateral trade and GSP+, climate change, regional issues, good governance and the rule of law, freedom of religion, freedom of the press and the situation of minorities.

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