Sant: EP’s hypocrisy on Israel undermines its diplomatic efforts

Labour MEP abstains on parliamentary diplomacy report which he says is biased in favour of EU-Nato relationship

Labour MEP Alfred Sant
Labour MEP Alfred Sant

Former prime minister and Labour MEP Alfred Sant abstained on a report on the EP’s role and its parliamentary diplomacy in the EU’s foreign and security policy.

The report was adopted with 492 votes in favour, 73 votes against and 55 abstentions. “The EP cannot project a coherent political view about international affairs, similar to that of a nation state,” Sant said in his intervention. “This holds even less regarding a European defence and security policy which is being fashioned on the hoof.”

The report defines preventive parliamentary diplomacy as diplomatic action aimed at averting disputes from escalating into conflicts and limiting their spread. It proposes measures such as improving cultural understanding in conflict zones and strengthening the early warning system.

Sant suggested that for a meaningful diplomacy with parliaments across the world, the European Parliament would be most effective if it served to transparently exchange information and viewpoints on defence issues held by nation-states.

“My abstention on this resolution has been defined by scepticism as to its real meaning and value. Given the structure and role of the EP, its parliamentary diplomacy cannot project a coherent political view about international affairs, similar to that of a nation state.

“The policy depends on the state of the relationship most EU member states have with Nato, disregarding the interests of neutral member states which, while being required to pay for it, cannot subscribe to a defence policy that contradicts their neutral status.”

Sant said the EP can end up being undermined by the increasing perception outside Europe, that EP representatives practise double standards.

“While preaching as this Parliament does, a respect for the rule of law, nationally and internationally, they show this respect in a differentiated manner. The principles they invoke against Russia in its war on the Ukraine, they then ignore for Israel in its war with Hamas.”

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