Today, Monday 28 May, Prime Minster Helle Thorning-Schmidt and President of the Danish Parliament Mogens Lykketoft welcomed politicians from 78 developing countries as well as from the European Parliament in Horsens.
Up to 160 parliamentarians from African, Caribbean and Pacific countries (ACP) as well as the European-Parliament is gathered for one week in Horsens for meetings, workshops and debates with EU Commissioners and Danish Ministers. Denmark is as EU presidency hosting the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly.
During the official opening ceremony, Prime Minster Helle Thorning-Schmidt welcomed the parliamentarians by saying:
“Our countries span much of the globe. This Assembly is a clear reflection of the increasing inter-linkages between the regions of Africa, the Caribbean, the Pacific and of course Europe. What we feel these days, is that the world is getting smaller. We are increasingly faced with global challenges which require global solutions. No nation or region can solve these challenges alone”.
During the opening ceremony, local choirs “Horsens Klosterkirkes Vokalensemble” and “Kammerkoret CantiAros” sang the Danish anthem, while “Den Jyske Sifonietta” played the Euroepean Hymn. President of the Danish Parliament, Mogens Lykketoft aslo welcomed the colourful Assembly by saying:
“The ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly provides a unique platform, bringing together parliamentarians from Africa, Caribbean, Pacific and Europe. In this forum we can - you can discuss crucial aspects of our joint cooperation with the aim of contributing to sustainable development. It is my hope that this meeting will provide us with new insights, new solutions and new perspectives by bringing together so many different experiences and ideas from across the continents.”
The following days other Danish Ministers will be debating with the Assembly. Tuesday, the Minister for Climate, Energy and Buildings will be discussing the RIO+20 summit, and Wednesday, the Minister for Development Cooperation Christian Friis Bach will answer questions from the parliamentarians on behalf of the EU Council of Ministers.