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

Written Questions on the EU-Saudi Arabia relationship

On November 30, Marietje Schaake submitted to Vice-President / High Representative of Foreign Affairs, Federica Mogherini, Parliamentary Written Questions on the EU-Saudi Arabia relationship and the human rights situation in Saudi Arabia. The Written Question was co-signed by 60 Members of the European Parliament. Please find it and the list of co-signers below. Update: Please find below the answer given by Vice-President Mogherini on 9 February 2016. Subject: EU-Saudi Arabia relationship Saudi Arabia has been accused of war-crimes during its military operations in Yemen, and refuses to launch an inquiry into the loss of civilian lives there. Saudi Arabia has further beheaded more than 150 people this year alone, and continues to finance preachers, mosques and madrassas around the world, including in Europe, thereby exporting ultraconservative views that provide fertile ground for the radicalisation in Europe and abroad. In this context, the continued selling of weapons to Saudi Arabia violates criterions two, four and six of the Council Common Position 2008/944/CFSP of 8 December 2008. European Member States continue to ignore the code of conduct. 1. Is the High Representative planning to launch an initiative to install a European arms embargo against Saudi Arabia? If not, why not? 2. Given the fact that donors in Saudi Arabia constitute a significant source of funding to Sunni terrorist groups worldwide, how does the HR/VP assess the implementation of UN Security Council resolutions 2161 and 2199 by Saudi Arabia to ensure that no funds are made available by their nationals or by persons within their territory for the benefit of ISIL, Al-Qaida and affiliated groups? Marietje Schaake (ALDE) Max Andersson (GREENS) Petras Austrevicius (ALDE) Beatriz Becerra Basterrechea (ALDE) Brando Benifei (S&D) Izaskun Bilbao Barandica (ALDE) José Bové (GREENS) Lynn Boylan (GUE/NGL) Cristian Busoi (EPP) Reinhard Bütikofer (GREENS) Enrique Calvet Chambon (ALDE) Ignazio Corrao (EFDD) Peter van Dalen (ECR) Karima Delli (GREENS) Pascal Durand (GREENS) Angel Dzhambazki (ECR) Bas EickhouT (GREENS) Jill Evans (GREENS) Tanja Fajon (S&D) Arne Gericke (ECR) Juan Carlos Girauta Vidal (ALDE) Ana Gomes (S&D) Takis Hadjigeorgiou (GUE/NGL) Marian Harkin (ALDE) Hans-Olaf Henkel (ECR) Sophie in 't Veld (ALDE) Yannick Jadot (GREENS) Eva Joly (GREENS) Jude Kirton-Darling (S&D) Ulrike Lunacek (GREENS) Ernest Maragall (GREENS) David Martin (S&D) Stefano Maullu (EPP) Valentinas Mazuronis (ALDE) Louis Michel (ALDE) Matthijs van Miltenburg (ALDE) Javier Nart (ALDE) Morten Helveg Petersen (ALDE) Miroslav Poche (S&D) Laurentiu Rebega (S&D) Michel Reimon (GREENS) Frédérique Ries (ALDE) Michèle Rivasi (GREENS) Bronis Ropė (GREENS) Marielle de Sarnez (ALDE) Judith Sargentini (GREENS) Jean-Luc Schaffhauser (ENF) Molly Scott Cato (GREENS) Alyn Smith (GREENS) Csaba Sogor (EPP) Igor Šoltes (GREENS) Renato Soru (S&D) Barbara Spinelli (GUE/NGL) Bart Staes (GREENS) Hannu Takkula (ALDE) Keith Taylor (GREENS) Michael Theurer (ALDE) Ivo Vajgl (ALDE) Bodil Valero (GREENS) Julie Ward (S&D) Cecilia Wikström (ALDE)
E-015299/2015 Answer given by Vice-President Mogherini on behalf of the Commission (9.2.2016) Under the relevant EU framework regulating arms exports (EU Common Position 2008/944/CFSP), EU Member States have to assess arms export applications against the eight criteria laid down in the EU Common Position, which also address the risk of human rights and humanitarian law violations, the impact on regional stability and the behaviour of the importing country regarding respect for international law. The decision on export after such a risk assessment has been carried out, be it an authorisation or a denial of the export application, remains at the discretion of MS. Also, where authorisations are granted, conditions can be attached to them, for instance regarding end-use and re-exportation. Regarding restrictive measures such as arms embargoes, the current legal framework in the EU requires a Council Decision to be adopted by unanimity. The Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL) is designated as an affiliate of Al-Qaida in Iraq by the ISIL and Al Qaeda United Nations Security Council (UNSC) Sanctions Committee and is subject to sanctions under UN SC Resolution 1267 (1999) and all its subsequent resolutions. Sanctions imposed by the UNSC include a wide range of measures to stem terrorism financing and make it unlawful to make any funds or economic resources available to ISIL. UNSC Sanctions are binding for all UN MS which must enforce them within their jurisdiction. The EU calls on all States to fully implement UNSC Resolutions and comply with Financial Action Task Force (FATF) recommendations on terrorist financing. Saudi Arabia has the obligation to implement the UN Sanctions regime against Al-Qaida as well as to implement UN SC resolutions 2161, 2170, 2178, 2199, 2249 and 2253 and all other relevant counter-terrorism resolutions.
See also on Saudi Arabia: 26-11 Letter on the imminent executions of Ali al-Nimr and Dawood al-Marhoun among other 55 Saudis 29-10 MEP: Sakharov prize supports Raif Badawi and his fight for freedom 21-09 MEPs respond to the appointment of Saudi Arabia’s ambassador at the UN Human Rights Council 22-06 EU must condemn the death penalty, always and everywhere 16-06 MEP: Saudi Arabia must pardon Raif Badawi 13-02 MEP: Saudi Arabia must release Raif Badawi 29-01 MEPs address King Salman of Saudi Arabia regarding the case of Raif Badawi 21-01 MEPs call for urgent action in the case of Saudi Arabian Writer Raif Badawi 06-11-2014 Written Questions on the case of Souad Al-Shammary in Saudi Arabia