These MEPs shield Morocco amid corruption crisis
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While the European Parliament swiftly adopted a resolution condemning the alleged involvement of Qatar in the corruption scandal that is shaking the EU to its core, a majority of MEPs voted against a similar approach of Morocco. These are the MEPs.

16 December 2022

Photo by @ElliLorz: Moroccan infrastructure in occupied Western Sahara. 

Yesterday, the European Parliament adopted a Resolution on “suspicions of corruption from Qatar and the broader need for transparency and accountability in the European institutions”. The text was approved by an overwhelming majority of MEPs, with only two votes against and three abstentions.

The vote comes on just days after the arrest of several Members of the European Parliament, assistants, lobbyists and civil servants over their suspected involvement in corruption, money laundering and organised crime supposedly involving both Qatar and Morocco in exchange for influence at the European Parliament. 

The investigation is carried out by the Belgian authorities. Commenting on the case to the Belgian national Parliament, Belgium's Minister of Justice stated on the role of Morocco, that "the intelligence services of that country (the DGED) would play an active role in those activities of interference. The interests can be many. To name one: fishing rights." 

Italian media has also referred to the European Parliament's 2019 vote on the proposal to explicitly include Western Sahara in the geographic scope of the EU-Morocco fisheries agreement, as a key-target for Morocco. Just one year before, the European Court of Justice had ruled the agreement to be unlawful inasfar as it was applied to Western Sahara, as Morocco has no sovereignty or administering role over the territory. The amended agreement, approved by the EU Parliament in that crucial 2019 vote, is at present being scrutinised by the EU Court of Justice.

The text of the Resolution however only focussed on the role of Qatar, while the involvement of Morocco seems to grow deeper as the investigation continues. At least one of those arrested in relation to the alleged bribery - the partner of the now ex-Vice President of the European Parliament Eva Kaili (S&D) - has reportedly confessed to having been part of an organisation that tries to interfere in EU politics on behalf of Morocco. 

An amendment proposing that the Resolution would express similar concern in relation to Morocco's role in the scandal, was however rejected by a majority of MEPs: while 238 MEPs favoured equal treatment of Morocco, 253 MEPs voted against the proposal, and 67 MEPs abstained in the vote. Find their names in the box below.

The text of proposed amendment 31, suggested by Sira Rego and Manu Pineda (The Left) reads: “Expresses deep concern about the allegations that Morocco has also attempted to influence Members, former Members and staff of the European Parliament through acts of corruption; calls for the application of measures in line with those applied to the representatives of Qatari interests while investigations are ongoing.”

“Considering how the alleged corruption by the Qatari and Moroccan interests have taken place in the same manner, it is incomprehensible that Members of the European Parliament would address the cases differently. It does not lend credibility to the moral compass of the Parliament”, stated Sara Eyckmans, coordinator of Western Sahara Resource Watch. 

Contrasting the refusal to treat Morocco in a similar vein, the adopted Resolution on Qatargate contains strong language aimed at the Gulf country. To quote but some, the European Parliament:

  • Denounces, in the strongest terms, Qatar’s alleged attempts to influence Members, former Members and staff of the European Parliament through acts of corruption, which constitute serious foreign interference in the EU’s democratic processes”
  • Underlines that the gravity and magnitude of the current investigations require Parliament and the EU institutions to react with unequivocal unity and unwavering resolve;
  • Strongly deplores that decisions adopted by committees and the plenary assembly with regard to Qatar are likely to have been altered by corruption and undue influence, including the resolution on the situation of human rights in the context of the FIFA World Cup in Qatar, adopted on 24 November 2022; deplores that this has led to a lack of ambition in defending the human rights of thousands of migrant workers who have died on construction sites and of hundreds of thousands whose fundamental rights are being trampled in Qatar;
  • Suspends all work on legislative files relating to Qatar, particularly as regards visa liberalisation and the EU aviation agreement with Qatar, and planned visits, until the allegations have either been confirmed or dismissed;

 

 

This is how each MEP voted on the proposed amendment to treat Morocco in a similar way to Qatar, while the criminal investigation into corruption is ongoing:

 

VOTED AGAINST:

ECR: Jurgiel, Tošenovský, Vondra, Vrecionová, Zahradil


PPE: Adamowicz, Ademov, Adinolfi Isabella, Alexandrov Yordanov, Arias Echeverría,Arłukowicz, Asimakopoulou, Băsescu, Bellamy, Benjumea Benjumea, Berendsen,Bilčík, Bogdan, Bogovič, Braunsberger-Reinhold, Buda, Buşoi, Buzek, Casa, Caspary, del Castillo Vera, Clune, Colin-Oesterlé, Comi, van Dalen, Danjean, De Meo, Didier, Doleschal, Dorfmann, Duda, Ehler, Evren, Falcă,Fernandes, Frankowski, Franssen, Gahler, García-Margallo y Marfil, Geuking, Gieseke, Glavak, Hansen, Hava, Hetman, Hohlmeier, Hölvényi, Hortefeux, Hübner, Jahr, Juknevičienė, Kalinowski, Kanev, Kefalogiannis, Kelly, Kokalari, Kopacz, Kovatchev, Kubilius, Kympouropoulos, Lenaers, Lexmann, Liese, Lins, López-Istúriz White,Maldeikienė, Manders, Marinescu,
Markey, Martusciello, Mato, Mažylis, Meimarakis, Melbārde,Melo, Millán Mon, Montserrat, Morano, Mortler, Motreanu,Mureşan, Mussolini, Niebler, Nistor, Novak, Novakov, Olbrycht, Pereira Lídia, Pieper, Pietikäinen, Polfjärd, Pollák, Radtke, Regimenti, Salini, Sander, Sarvamaa, Schreijer-Pierik, Schwab, Seekatz, Sikorski,
Simon, Šojdrová, Sokol, Spyraki, Stavrou, Štefanec, Terras, Tobé, Tomac, Tomc, Vandenkendelaere, Verheyen, Virkkunen, Voss, Vuolo, Walsmann, Warborn, Weiss, Wieland, Winkler, Wiseler-Lima, Zagorakis, Zarzalejos, Zdechovský, Zoido Álvarez, Zver
Renew: Alieva-Veli, Al-Sahlani, Andrews, Ansip, Auštrevičius, Beer,Botoş, Boyer, Charanzová, Christensen, Cioloş, Cseh, Decerle, Dlabajová, ĎurišNicholsonová, Eroglu, Flego, Gheorghe, Glück, Goerens, Gozi, Hahn Svenja, Hlaváček, Hojsík, Ijabs, in 't Veld, Karlsbro, Katainen, Kelleher, Körner, Kyrtsos, Loiseau, Løkkegaard, Rasmussen, Melchior, Mihaylova,Mituța, Müller, Oetjen, Pekkarinen, Petersen, Pîslaru, Poulsen, Rafaela, Ries, Riquet, Semedo, Ştefănuță, Strugariu, Thun und Hohenstein, Toom, Torvalds, Tudorache, Wiesner, Wiezik


S&D: Aguilera, Ameriks, Androulakis, Avram, Balt, Biedroń, Blinkevičiūtė, Borzan, Bullmann, Burkhardt, Carvalhais, Cerdas, Cimoszewicz, Ciuhodaru, De Basso, Durá Ferrandis, Ecke, Ertug, Fernández, Fritzon, Gálvez Muñoz, García Muñoz, Gardiazabal Rubial, González, Grapini, Homs Ginel, Hristov, Incir,Jerković, Kammerevert, Kohut, Köster, Lange, Leitão-Marques, Liberadzki, López, Lucke, Maestre Martín De Almagro, Maldonado López, Marques Margarida, Marques Pedro, Matić,Mavrides, Maxová, Mikser, Miller, Moreno Sánchez, Noichl, Ohlsson, Olekas, Papadakis Demetris, Penkova, Picula, Rodríguez-Piñero, Ruiz Devesa, Sánchez Amor, Santos, Silva Pereira, Sippel, Stanishev, Ušakovs, Van Brempt, Wölken, Yoncheva, Zorrinho

 

 

 

ABSTAINED:

ECR: Berg, Berlato, Bourgeois, Brudziński, Czarnecki, Dzhambazki, Fidanza, Jaki, Kanko, Karski, Kempa,
Kopcińska, Kruk, Kuźmiuk, Legutko, Mazurek, Milazzo, Możdżanowska, Nesci, Procaccini, Rafalska, Ruissen,
Rzońca, Saryusz-Wolski, Stancanelli, Szydło, Tarczyński, Tobiszowski, Waszczykowski, Wiśniewska,
Zalewska, Złotowski


ID: Androuët, Bardella, Beigneux, Bilde, Dauchy, Garraud, Griset, Jalkh, Jamet, Lebreton, Mariani, Minardi,
Olivier, Rougé


NI: Bay, Bocskor, Deli, Deutsch, Gál, Győri, Gyürk, Hidvéghi, Járóka, Juvin, Kolakušić, Kósa, Meuthen, Schaller-Baross, Tóth


PPE: Niedermayer


Renew: Keller Fabienne


S&D: Bischoff, Cutajar, Durand, Kumpula-Natri

 

 

VOTED FOR:

ECR: Buxadé Villalba, Fragkos, Hoogeveen, Ilčić, Krasnodębski, Lundgren, Nissinen, de la Pisa Carrión, Rooken,
Roos, Terheş, Tertsch, Weimers


ID: Adinolfi Matteo, Anderson, Annemans, Baldassarre, Basso, Beck, Blaško, Bonfrisco, Borchia, Buchheit,
Campomenosi, Casanova, Ceccardi, Chagnon, Conte, Da Re, David, Fest, Ghidoni, Grant, Haider, Joron,
Krah, Kuhs, Lacapelle, Limmer, Lizzi, Panza, Reil, Rinaldi, Sardone, Tovaglieri, Vandendriessche, Vilimsky,
Vistisen, Zambelli, Zanni, Zimniok


NI: Beghin, Castaldo, Comín i Oliveres, Danzì, Ferrara, Gemma, Giarrusso, de Graaff, Gyöngyösi, Konstantinou,
Nikolaou-Alavanos, Papadakis Kostas, Pignedoli, Ponsatí Obiols, Puigdemont i Casamajó, Radačovský,
Rondinelli, Sinčić, Sonneborn, Uhrík, Ždanoka


PPE: Arimont, Bernhuber, Karas, Mandl, Schmiedtbauer, Winzig
Renew: Azmani, Bauzá Díaz, Bilbao Barandica, Brunet, Cañas, Canfin, Chastel, Cicurel, Danti, Ferrandino, Gamon,
Groothuis, Hayer, Huitema, Joveva, Nagtegaal, Nart, Pagazaurtundúa, Poptcheva, Rinzema, Solís Pérez,
Tolleret, Trillet-Lenoir, Vautmans, Vedrenne, Verhofstadt, Vázquez Lázara, Yenbou


S&D: Agius Saliba, Andrieu, Ara-Kovács, Bartolo, Benifei, Beňová, Bergkvist, Chahim, Covassi, De Castro,
Engerer, Fuglsang, Glucksmann, Gualmini, Guillaume, Hajšel, Heide, Jongerius, Lalucq, Larrouturou,
Laureti, López Aguilar, Mebarek, Molnár, Moretti, Muigg, Nemec, Picierno, Pisapia, Regner, Repasi, Reuten,
Roberti, Rónai, Schaldemose, Schieder, Sidl, Smeriglio, Tang, Tax, Tinagli, Toia, Ujhelyi, Variati, Vind,
Wolters


The Left: Arvanitis, Aubry, Björk, Botenga, Chaibi, Daly, Demirel, Flanagan, Georgiou, Georgoulis, Gusmão,
Kizilyürek, Kokkalis, Kountoura, Matias, Maurel, Mesure, Omarjee, Pelletier, Pineda, Rego, Rodríguez Palop,
Schirdewan, Scholz, Urbán Crespo, Wallace


Verts/ALE: Alfonsi, Andresen, Auken, Bloss, Boeselager, Breyer, Bricmont, Bütikofer, Carême, Cavazzini, Cormand,
Corrao, Cuffe, Dalunde, D'Amato, Delbos-Corfield, Delli, Deparnay-Grunenberg, Eickhout, Franz, Freund,
Gallée, Geese, Gregorová, Gruffat, Guerreiro, Hahn Henrike, Häusling, Hautala, Herzberger-Fofana,
Holmgren, Keller Ska, Kolaja, Kuhnke, Lamberts, Langensiepen, Marquardt, Matthieu, Metz, Miranda,
O'Sullivan, Pedicini, Peksa, Peter-Hansen, Reintke, Riba i Giner, Ripa, Roose, Ropė, Satouri, Semsrott, Solé,
Spurek, Strik, Toussaint, Urtasun, Vana, Van Sparrentak, von Cramon-Taubadel, Waitz, Wiener

 

 

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