MEPs advocate consolidation of partnership with Algeria

APS : Saturday, 09 January 2016
BRUSSELS-The European parliamentarians reiterated their calls for strengthening partnership between Algeria and the European Union (EU) and identifying a number of priorities and actions to make this partnership “more dynamic and sustainable.”
In an article published on the magazine “The Parliament”, Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the European Parliament, Elmar Brok, said that Algeria and the EU “should expand their current partnership,” advocating strengthening cooperation particularly in “priority areas” with larger ambitions.
Referring to the status of Algeria as a “military power”, German MEP EPP group said that this position predisposed the country to “become an important ally” of the EU, not only in North Africa but also in the Sahel region.
In this regard, he stressed the importance for the EU to develop a “more efficient” and “more comprehensive” approach involving Algeria in international efforts to resolve the conflict in the Sahel and engage with it in the context of EU external policies.
The chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the European Parliament said that Algeria is “an important partner” of the EU, arguing that the energy sector will continue to be one of the important areas of cooperation between the two sides in the coming years.
President of the Delegation for Relations with the Maghreb countries and the Arab Maghreb Union (DMAG), MEP Pier Antonio Panzeri said that Algeria and the EU should “target a strong partnership for common development.”
Algeria seeks to go beyond the commercial partnership, towards an industrial partnership, reminded Panzeri, for whom the development of renewable energy could be a new source of income, as well as the sectors of the construction, steel,metallurgy, petrochemical, production and distribution of electricity.
Algeria, key player in stabilization of region
The multiplication of conflicts and the changes that have shaken the international landscape on the southern and eastern borders of the EU pushes the continent to strengthen ties with Algeria, which is considered as a key player in the security and stability of the Mediterranean, stressed for his part former MEP, Fernando Maura Barandiaran, in his article published on the “The Parliament” magazine.
The European Parliament itself recognized that the European institutions have “underestimated” the important role that Algeria could play in the fight against terrorism in the region, said Maura, stressing the “need” for Algeria to establish a link with the EU that goes beyond bilateral relations.
“Algeria remains the best option to compensate excessive and risky European dependence on Russian gas,” he pleaded.
Algeria should benefit from the new capacity building initiative of the Committee of Regions, he added.
According Markkula, the city of Algiers is one of eight cities that will benefit from the new initiative in the form of technical and political assistance of the European partner regions and cities in the coming years.

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