An Open Letter to Liberal Democrat MEPs

To Liberal Democrat MEPs                                                                                         15 March 2012

By email

Dear Member of the European Parliament,

EU Israel Association Agreement: the proposed ACAA  agreement with Israel

As you know, a possible agreement between Israel and the EU on Conformity Assessment and Acceptance of Industrial Products (ACAA) regarding pharmaceuticals will shortly be coming before the European Parliament. We urge you to oppose this.

The reasons why, as a Liberal Democrat, you should do so are set out in two documents. The first is the Draft Opinion of the Committee on Foreign Affairs 2009/0155(NLE). This has been circulated to MEPs and sets out clearly how the EU would breach its international obligations if it adopted the proposed protocol.  As the draft opinion states:

“At the present Israel applies all the agreements concluded with the EU on the whole of ‘the territory of the state of Israel’ as defined in Israeli national law, including the territories she has occupied since 1967…[EU] authorities, therefore, are required to refrain from giving effect to them in any way whatsoever, since it is prohibited by current community law and the EU’s international obligations.”

The draft opinion goes on to point out that if Israel applies the agreement to those parts of the occupied territories not under Palestinian economic control (something that it will most certainly do),  “the EU would be failing to comply with its Community Law and its obligations under international law.” It concludes by mentioning additional, serious concerns about  the political context of this agreement against the background of “current Israeli Government policies, with special regard to the continued  building and expansion of settlements in  East Jerusalem and the West Bank and the blockade of the Gaza Strip, as well as the situation of Arab citizens of Israel and the increasing pressure on human rights NGOs in the country.”

The other document is Liberal Democrat Conference Emergency Resolution 14F of 8 March 2009. This states unambiguously at Article 4 that the EU Israel Association Agreement should be suspended until Israel ends its blockade of Gaza. This remains official Liberal Democrat party policy. We therefore draw to your attention the fact that, if you support the adoption of the ACAA protocol, you will be going against settled party policy.

I look forward to hearing from you that you will do all in your power as a Lib Dem MEP to oppose the adoption of the protocol.

Yours sincerely,


John McHugo
Chair, Lib Dem Friends of Palestine