Parliaments and Development: The Icing on the Cake? What parliamentary capacity can mean for cooperation

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    The Cotonou Agreement has abandoned the centralised approach adopted in previous cooperation agreements between the ACP1 countries and the European Union (EU) and has opened up partnership to actors other than central governments. Among other things, it emphasises the need to strengthen the Joint Parliamentary Assembly (JPA) as a democratic foundation for ACP-EC partnership, but it says little about the role of ACP national parliaments in this cooperation process. Yet parliaments are an expression of the principle of elective democracy and have a significant part to play when it comes to budgetary control, creation of a legal environment conducive to development and other aspects directly related to the implementation of cooperation. Moreover, the practical on-the-ground implications of their involvement are not always clear, especially to parliamentarians themselves. Read InBrief 9:
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