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Sarah Delputte and Yentyl Williams

A deliberative approach to inter-parliamentary debate sees inter-regional parliamentary assemblies as promoters of dialogue and mutual understanding, rather than as decision-making bodies. This chapter assesses the quality of deliberation in the Joint Parliamentary Assembly of the European Union and Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific (ACP-EU JPA) through the development of an analytical framework based on the theoretical perspective of parliamentary deliberation. This framework is applied to analyse the quality of the ACP-EU JPA debates on the Economic Partnership Agreements, which is a strongly divisive subject in ACP–EU relations and which the ACP-EU JPA achieves consensus on. Ultimately, the analysis finds that the ACP–EU JPA dialogue on Economic Partnership Agreements struggles to approach the ideal type of deliberation due to recurring critical issues. Nevertheless, the evidence demonstrates that the ACP-EU JPA as an illustration of deliberation can be considered added value for inter-parliamentary cooperation between the EU and the ACP.