Pan-African Parliament personnel participate in the 2019 EUVP programme

Four selected staff of the Pan-African Parliament (PAP) recently took part in the 2019 European Union Visitors Programme (EUVP). Jointly sponsored and administered by the European Parliament and the European Commission, the EUVP has been in operation since 1974 as an individual study programme for promising young leaders, politicians, staffers, diplomats and opinion moulders from countries outside the European Union (EU) to visit European institutions.

 The programme aims at providing visitors with knowledge on EU's objectives, functioning and policies. The PAP was represented at this year’s EUVP  by the following staff members, who attended tailored training sessions in line with their career interests : Mrs. Diana FORSON (Bilingual Secretary with interests in the administrative functioning of the European Union/European Parliament (EU/EP)); Ms. Neema URASSA (Assistant Accountant interested in budgeting process); Mr. James O’DERO (Cashier with interest in election observation missions and strategy formulation); and Mr. Jeffrey ONGANGA (Media Officer with interest communication strategies and political campaigns).

 Participants are first proposed by the European External Action Service (EEAS) delegations (posted in countries around the world and working with International organisations such as the African Union) and then selected by the EUVP Management Committee, which is composed of two senior officials from the European Parliament and two senior officials from the European Commission.

 Mr. Gali Massa HAROU, Acting Clerk of the PAP says the participation of the Secretariat’s delegation in this year’s EUVP programme reinforces the long-lasting collaboration between the PAP and EP in the areas of capacity building for PAP Members of Parliament (MPs) and staff.

 “The EUVP programme is very important as it enables our selected staff members to gain a better understanding of the policies of the EU institutions that can be replicated to improve the functioning of the PAP; given the maturity that the EU institutions have reached compared to ours. We appreciate the relationship we have enjoyed with the EP particularly. It has absolutely bridged the capacity gap for our MPs and staff and reinforced our service to the people of Africa,” concludes Mr. HAROU.

 As part of the 5-working day study-tour to Brussels, the PAP group held several engagements with high decision makers from the EU institutions around the relations between Europe and Africa as well as how the PAP could be inspired by the success stories of the EU institutions as Africa’s continental Parliament continues to evolve.

 The meetings were held with the Pan-African relations Division in the European External Action Service; the Strategic Planning Unit of the Directorate General for Internal Policies of the Union of the EP; Unit for Africa, Caribbean and Pacific - Directorate-General for External Policies of the Union of the EP; Democracy and Electoral Observation Division in the EEAS; and Directorate-General for Communication of the EP, among others. The team also attended a plenary session “From Development to Partnership” of the European Economic and Social Committee where development concerning African countries was extensively discussed.

Mr. Piotr BARTOSZEWICZ-MALICKI, Head of EUVP Unit says that the visit for the PAP Secretariat representatives was individually tailored to meet the participant’s work profile and interests in a bid to promote common EU values through strengthening long-term bilateral relations between the EU and other countries.

 “An important aim is to create an external network of contacts for the European Parliament and the European Commission.  The European External Action Service (EEAS) directly benefits from this network,” says BARTOSZEWICZ-MALICKI.