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The parliamentary delegation of the Canadian Branch of the Assemblée parlementaire de la Francophonie (APF) that attended the 31st meeting of the Europe Regional Assembly, held in Andorra la Vella, Andorra, from October 21 to 24, 2018, has the honour to present its report.
Consisting of Mr. Darrell Samson, M.P., serving as the chargé de mission for the Americas Region of the APF, and Mr. Joël Godin, M.P., the delegation was accompanied by Mr. Jean-François Lafleur, Executive Secretary of the Branch.
The 31st Europe Regional Assembly was held from October 21 to 24, 2018, in Andorra. In addition to the Canadian Branch representing the Americas Region, the following European branches were in attendance: Andorra, Armenia, Belgium/French Community/Wallonia-Brussels, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Catalonia, France, Greece, Hungary, Jersey, Jura, Moldova, Monaco, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Switzerland, the Canton of Valais and Valle d’Aosta.
Over 80 participants representing 19 branches from the Europe region discussed the following theme: “Sustainable tourism in French-speaking countries: a way to promote economic, environmental and sociocultural development.” The meetings were led by Mr. Jean-Paul Wahl, the APF’s chargé de mission for Europe, with the APF’s Parliamentary Secretary General, Mr. Jacques Krabal, and the Chargé de mission for the Americas Region, Mr. Darrell Samson, in attendance.
The opening ceremony was led by Mr. Vicenç Mateu Zamora, General Syndic, the speaker of the Principality of Andorra’s parliament.
During these meetings, various experts shared examples of best practices for sustainable tourism with the delegates in attendance, presenting both the advantages and challenges. Ms. Sílvia Calvó Armengol, Andorran Minister of the Environment, Agriculture and Sustainable Development, launched the first round table, on the theme of sustainable, fair, supportive, responsible tourism.
On the second day, a round table on the theme of education and training as key attributes for developing sustainable tourism began with a presentation by Mr. Eric Jover Comas, Minister of Education and Higher Education.
A number of discussions took place, with contributions from representatives of the various APF branches and the best practices guide put together by the Andorran branch. Following these discussions, a third and final round table was held, which focused on the tourism challenges and trends in European French-speaking countries. This round table began with a speech by Mr. Francesc Camp Torres, Minister of Tourism.
Mr. Darrell Samson presented a summary of the activities of the Americas Region to the delegates in attendance. He spoke about the regional activities the Branch participated in, such as the 43rd Annual General Meeting of the Fédération des communautés francophones et acadiennes du Canada (FCFA), held in Ottawa in June.
At the international level, he mentioned the Region’s participation in the parliamentary seminar on the theme of democracy, good governance, and the status and role of the opposition, held on June 12 and 13 in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire. The Chair of the Parliamentary Affairs Committee and member of the Canadian Branch of the APF, Mr. Robert Aubin, represented the Americas Region. He spoke at the conference on the topics of good governance through strengthening democracy by increasing the power of the legislative branch compared with the power of the executive branch, and on the public interest as regards party discipline and voting freedom in Parliament.
Lastly, he spoke about the 34th Session of the Regional Assembly of the Americas Region (ARAM) on French-language digital content, held from July 10 to 12, as a side event to the 44th Session of the APF.
Further to these meetings, the Europe Region determined which two branches would send young parliamentarians to sit on the board for the network of young parliamentarians: the French Branch and the Belgian Branch. It also adopted a resolution on sustainable tourism further to the two days of meetings.
It was also decided that a group of parliamentarians from the French, Belgian and Romanian branches would carry out preparatory work, holding meetings with a view to writing a report on the status of French in international institutions prior to the symposium to be held as part of the International Day of La Francophonie in March 2019 in Brussels.
Darrell Samson, M.P.
Chair of the Canadian Branch of the Assemblée parlementaire de la Francophonie (CAPF)