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::. Joint Parliamentary Assembly (JPA)

The JPA is a forum in which the ACP Countries engage with the EU countries at a parliamentary level. It functions much the same as a Parliament works within a country, and is largely there to ensure oversight over the relationships and interactions between ACP countries and EU countries within the various political dialogues. This forum is comprised of members of the EU Parliament and members of Parliament from each ACP State.

The JPA also adopts and commissions resolutions and papers which are created by two Parliamentarians named co-rapporteurs. One co-rapporteur is from an ACP country, and the other is from an EU Country.

The ACP countries always meet as a separate group before the joint sitting of the JPA, and the EU Parliament does likewise. This allows for the two parties to consolidate their views and positions, as well as resolving internal issues and areas of contention prior to meeting at a joint level in order to present them as a group to each other.

As Parliamentary oversight is essential in any democracy, it is important for South Africa, and indeed all other States within the ACP and EU, to participate at these meetings in order to ensure that some of the hard questions are asked of one another in order to ensure that the results of negotiations are just and equitable. This forum has been integral in the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) negotiations where all sides, including the EU have raised questions to both the EU and to the ACP states, and in the regional case, SADC countries.

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2003 Department of Foreign Affairs, Republic of South Africa