It is not acceptable for Member States to sell arms to authoritarian regimes in the Middle East and North Africa, supporting the EU foreign policy only on paper

Eight years after the Arab Spring, the situation in most countries in the Middle East and North Africa region remains critical. Human rights violations are still ongoing, unemployment rates for women and the youth is amongst the highest in the world. In the resolution approved today by the European Parliament, concerns have also been expressed about the ongoing export of arms and surveillance technologies from EU member states to authoritarian regimes. All EU countries should therefore strictly comply with the EU’s Common Position on Arms Export.

Foreign affairs committee rapporteur on the Post-Arab Spring: way forward for the MENA region, S&D Member, Brando Benifei, stated:

“The EU member states must stop supporting the EU foreign policy on paper with one hand, and selling arms and security equipment for internal repression, to authoritarian regimes with the other. This is not acceptable. National agenda should never prevail over general European interests.

“For far too long we have put short-term stability, security and migration containment as the focus of our action, at the expense of democracy, human rights and social inclusion. The youth and women must be at the core of the future EU policy towards the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. This is the only way forward if we want to regain credibility and influence in this complex and strategic region.”