Monday, May 30 2016

Contact your MEP on the upgrading of EU-Israel trade ties

Electronic Intifada draws attention to an upcoming session in the European Parliament in which approval will be sought for the Agreement on Conformity Assessment and Acceptance of Industrial Products (ACAA). The ACAA would “remove barriers to trade in pharmaceutical and industrial products between the EU and Israel and send Israel a clear message that the EU is willing to criticize Israeli crimes but not to take meaningful action against them.”

EI also notes that “EU officials have also failed to draft the protocol in a way that would prevent it from providing assistance or recognition to Israel’s illegal settlements.”

We wrote to the Foreign Secretary during the summer to raise questions on the EU foreign ministers’ decision during the EU-Israel Association Council on 24th July 2012, on upgrading EU-Israel trade ties in 60 areas of co-operation. The upgrade decision reinforces the EU’s unwillingness to match its verbal condemnations of Israel’s consolidation of its illegal occupation of Palestinian Territories with economic and diplomatic moves. Despite the EU statement claiming as a requisite that “the viability of a two-state solution is maintained” it would seem with the failure to draft the ACAA protocol “in a way that would prevent it from providing assistance or recognition to Israel’s illegal settlements,” that the EU is aiding and abetting Israeli occupation.

Electronic Intifada provides details of lobbying tools that has been devised to enable individuals to contact their MEP and get their message across in just a few clicks.

“The ECCP has set up an online tool that allows campaigners to send a pre-drafted message to all of their MEPs in just a few clicks. Translated versions have been created for Spain, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Ireland and Belgium (in French and Dutch). Other translations are being worked on and in the meantime campaigners from other countries can send a message in English.

“A proposal to delay the implementation of the protocol was defeated in the European Parliament’s trade committee last month by just two votes. NGOs across Europe had lobbied the committee members and thousands of signatures were gathered in support of the proposal. That the proposal was so narrowly defeated is testament the pressure that MEPs have been put under by solidarity campaigners and indicates that the 23 October vote by all MEPs is also likely to be close.”

We would urge readers to send a message to their MEP. Contact details can be found here.

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