This website is an archive of the work of Marietje Schaake in the European Parliament between 2009 and 2019. Marietje can be reached at marietje.schaake@ep.europa.eu

Press release: MEP wants clarification from Commission on exported arms to Egypt

Marietje
On May 25,  Amnesty International released a report documenting that thirteen European Member States have exported arms and other goods that can be used for repression, despite European agreements to suspend these transfers. MEP Marietje Schaake put written questions to the European Commission. "The report by Amnesty is shocking and again puts European credibility at risk. On the one hand, European governments say that human rights are a priority for them, on the other hand the export of goods that are used to violate human rights just goes on. The reports about human rights violations with European products are piling up, but the member states refuse to take their responsibility. For years, we have been calling for stronger European export control regimes, but the member states have blocked it thus far. When the Commission comes with a new proposal after the summer, hopefully we will be able to take some steps, but we also need political will and courage to do something about this arms trade. The Netherlands, as the presidency of the Council, should use Amnesty's report to reinvigorate the discussion on this issue amongst the member states." In her questions to the Commission, Schaake also asks how they plan to address the situation in Egypt, where human rights and the rule of law are under huge pressure. "Since 2013, Egypt is sliding towards an increasingly authoritarian state and the EU has remained quiet. Freedom of expression, press freedom and women's rights are not respected and often the death penalty or intimidation of critics is used. At the same time, the conflict between the government and armed groups in the Sinaï is becoming increasingly violent. The EU must put the huge problems Egypt faces on the table and open discussions with the Egyptian government about them. We cannot remain silent in favour of short term stability under an authoritarian regime. The goal must be to help the Egyptian people towards a more democratic and more free society. Only if we focus on human rights, contacts with NGOs and moderate forces the EU can be a credible partner for the Egyptian population."