teinteresa.es .- The head of the negotiation in the European Parliament of the agreement to include Western Sahara in the trade agreement of agricultural and fishery products between the European Union and Morocco, French liberal MEP, Patricia Lalonde, has resigned as rapporteur for a conflict of interest for her alleged links with Rabat.
The French MEP, who was also a member of the Council of EuroMedA with close ties to the Moroccan government, left as speaker before the vote on the agreement on the International Trade Commission of the European Parliament on Monday, announced the president of the Commission, the German socialist Bernard Lange.
Lange has ensured in any case that, after “the discussions on the independence of the rapporteur with regard to Morocco”, her case “will be investigated by a specific committee of the Parliament” to determine if the ethical standards of the institution have been respected. Read more
PUSL.- MEP Florent Marcellesi of the Greens / EFA group EQUO has complained to the EU authorities about a potential conflict of interest of the consultancy firm Hill + Knowlton International Belgium. (see attached letter).
According to news published in recent days the Moroccan government is one of the main clients of Hill + Knowlton International Belgium (H + K) whose director general, Alain Berger is also the founder of the NGO EuroMedA, which carries out activities directly related to Morocco in the European Parliament . If confirmed, it would violate the EU Transparency Code of Conduct, since H + K would obtain information concerning Morocco and Western Sahara dishonestly.
In the letter, Florent Marcellesi defines this H + K activity as particularly disturbing because “the Moroccan government has been and possibly continues to be a leading client of H + K and the NGO EuroMedA is directly involved in relation to Morocco in the European Parliament, including public events. The EuroMedA Foundation does not appear in the EU lobby register. Read more
The GUE/NGL group expresses its concern about a possible violation of Parliament’s code of conduct by several MEPs involved in discussions on files concerning relations between the EU, Morocco, and Western Sahara.
The MEPs in question failed to disclose their membership of the board of EuroMedA, a foundation with links to the Moroccan government. The case seems to present a clear conflict of interests.
For this reason, we support the request made to President Tajani by the Greens/EFA group to refer the matter for investigation.
The GUE/NGL has also asked the Chair and political coordinators of Parliament’s Committee on International Trade to reconsider whether MEP Patricia Lalonde should remain Parliament’s rapporteur on a key EU-Morocco agreement*. Lalonde has never disclosed “any actual or potential conflict of interest in relation to the matter under consideration” as called for by Parliament’s Code of conduct. Read more
PUSL.- Philippe Lamberts, co-chair of the Greens / ALE Group in the European Parliament, wrote a letter to Antonio Tajani, President of the European Parliament, on 27 November denouncing fourMEPs who have been active in defending Moroccan interests without having informed the Parliament on its conflicts of interest and requests that the matter be referred to the Advisory Committee on the Code of Conduct.
Lamberts alerts to the fact that “to date, none of the above-mentioned MEPs appear to have disclosed their involvement in this Foundation within their declaration of financial interests, despite the obligation to do so under article 4.2 (d) of the Code of Conduct.
This is particularly disturbing given that all of these MEPs have been directly involved in the ongoing parliamentary consent procedure of the EU-Morocco Trade Liberalization Agreement in relation to Western Sahara and the EU-Morocco Partnership Fisheries Agreement.” Read more