This website is an archive of the work of Marietje Schaake in the European Parliament between 2009 and 2019. Marietje can be reached at

Response MEP Marietje Schaake to vote on anti-torture and death penalty export controls

A majority of the European Parliament today voted in favour of the report by Marietje Schaake (ALDE/D66) to strengthen the export controls on goods that could be used to carry out the death penalty or torture, such as electric chairs, spiked batons or certain types of handcuffs. Schaake responds: "I am glad that a large majority of the European Parliament supports my report. Banning the death penalty and torture are key goals of European trade and foreign policy. The EU condemns the death penalty and torture whenever and wherever it occurs. We need to make sure that European companies are not complicit in these practices. The EU must exercise strict controls and at the same time make sure that export control policy is flexible to be able to react rapidly for example if a country reintroduces the death penalty or new techniques are developed." "This proposal broadens the number of controlled products, to include medicines that are used in the United States to carry out the death penalty. Over the past years, initiatives by companies themselves have already made sure that some American States have been unable to carry out the death penalty with lethal injections. For ALDE it is important that goods that are not explicitly listed can still be stopped if there are grounds to believe that they will be used for the death penalty or torture. A customs officer should be able to stop a shipment in these cases. That flexibility is crucial for ALDE and has now received support from the rest of the Parliament. Now that the Parliament's position is clear, we will enter negotiations with the Member States to reach a compromise. My goal is to set up a coherent and predictable system, which creates effective policies and equal chances for companies." See also: 26-10-2015 Plenary speech on Trade in certain goods which could be used for capital punishment, torture or other treatment or punishment 22-09-2015 MEP: Export torture and death penalty goods needs strong and flexible approach 22-06-2015 EU must condemn the death penalty, always and everywhere