EU insists on free anti-graft body again
The European Union yesterday reiterated that the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) in Bangladesh should be a financially adequate independent body, which is free from any political influence.
Addressing a press conference on the eve of the Europe Day, EU Ambassador Stefan Frowein said, "ACC is an essential element and to make it meaningful it should work independently -- financially and politically. Likewise, the judiciary also needs to function independently."
Europe Day is an annual celebration of peace and unity in Europe. The day is observed commemorating the historical declaration (May 9, 1950) by the then French foreign minister Robert Schuman of creating a new form of organisation of States in Europe.
Danish Ambassador Einar H Jensen, French Ambassador Charley Causeret, German Ambassador Holger Michael, Italian Ambassador Itala Occhi, Spanish Ambassador Arturo Perez Martinez, Swedish Ambassador Britt Falkman Hagstrom and First Secretary of the Netherlands embassy Anja Roelofs were present.
However, there was none from the British High Commission at the press conference.
Turning to parliament, Stefan Frowein said the EU has not changed its position as "we repeatedly said that parliament is a place of discussion and we encourage all to make all sorts of debate in the parliament."
He said comparing to earlier parliaments, the present one has improved as it has successfully formed all the parliamentary standing committees and done some praiseworthy jobs.
“But we acknowledge there is not enough dialogue. We are not happy as still we see too much confrontational dialogue there,” added the EU envoy.
On Chittagong Hill Tract situation, he said the EU wants full implementation of the CHT Peace Accord.
Replying to a question on EU funding to tackle impacts of climate change in Bangladesh, the Ambassador said more fund is in the pipeline but Bangladesh needs to take assistance from the World Bank for the interim period to increase its financial management capacity.
He said Bangladesh, the Maldives and Cambodia are the three countries of Asia to be receiving additional fund from the EU for adaptation to climate change.
The envoy said EU countries annually grant around 450 million Euros for socio-economic development of Bangladesh.
Stefan praised Bangladesh's role in the climate change issue saying Bangladesh needs to take lead of the Least Developed Countries in Asia. The EU Commission for Climate Change would attend the conference of Global Climate Change Alliance on May 30-31 in Dhaka.
On the next COP 16 in Mexico, he said the EU would take a common position regarding reducing carbon level by 20 percent. He hoped that the COP 16 in Mexico would produce better results than that of Copenhagen's.
Asked about Rohingya refugees, he said Myanmar should solve the Rohingya problem as the Rohingyas came form there.