David MARTIN : Written explanations of vote 

Members can submit a written explanation of their vote in plenary. Rule 183

EU political relations with ASEAN (A8-0243/2017 - Reinhard Bütikofer)  
 

I voted in favour of this report as it stresses the importance of strengthening EU-ASEAN political and economic relations. Developed over four decades, EU-ASEAN relations are of vital importance for ensuring security and stability, international co-operation and promoting democracy and human rights. The report further highlights the ultimate objective of establishing a region-to-region free trade agreement, as trade negotiations are currently on-going or have already been completed with some ASEAN countries. Finally, the report also acknowledges the EU’s concerns for human rights violations in certain ASEAN countries which are affecting the status of current relations and, I believe, will continue to be an issue if not resolved.

EU political relations with India (A8-0242/2017 - Cristian Dan Preda)  
 

I voted in favour of this report outlining political priorities for EU relations with India. A strengthened partnership between the world’s largest democracies is vital to tackle climate change, preserve global peace and stability and achieve sustainable development goals. The report would tap the potential of relations between the EU, as the world’s leading trading block, and India - which tops the ranks of the fastest growing major economies - to fight poverty and inequality, create jobs and growth, and advance gender equality and women’s rights.

Arms export: implementation of Common Position 2008/944/CFSP (A8-0264/2017 - Bodil Valero)  
 

I voted in favour of this report, which discusses the implementation of the Common Position on Arms Export, a legally binding framework that sets minimum requirements in arms export controls and the obligation to assess the request for an export licence. The report calls on the EU to launch an initiative to impose an EU arms embargo on Saudi Arabia, which is viewed as non-compliant with the second criterion of the Common Position, as well as other countries accused of serious breaches of international humanitarian law. The report urges the Member States and the EEAS to significantly improve the consistency in implementing the Common Position through a standardised verification and reporting system, and to overcome the current lack of efficiency in defence spending due to duplication. Finally, the report highlights the importance of the UK remaining bound by the position after Brexit.

EU political relations with Latin America (A8-0268/2017 - Javi López)  
 

I voted in favour of this report, as it emphasises that the Latin American and Caribbean region is a key partner for the EU. As partners, the LAC and the EU must jointly face global challenges such as the eradication of poverty, fight against climate change and human rights issues. The report emphasised the need to step up political dialogue on migration, to have closer economic ties through visa facilitation and research cooperation and the need for greater democracy and implementation of gender equality, ensuring reproductive rights. Finally, the report condemns the cut in humanitarian aid and refusal to accept international assistance in some countries, and calls on the immediate and unconditional release of political prisoners in Venezuela.

Corruption and human rights in third countries (A8-0246/2017 - Petras Auštrevičius)  
 

Today, I voted in favour of this report, as it emphasises that the fight against corruption must involve a partnership approach between public and private organisations and that the EU must develop an external anti-corruption strategy. The report further lays the ground for anti-corruption clauses to exist alongside human rights clauses in trade agreements with third countries, and for lobbying to be regulated to ensure openness and transparency. Finally, it calls on the EU to launch a discussion on corruption at the UN level and continue the fight against tax havens.

2016 Report on Turkey (A8-0234/2017 - Kati Piri)  
 

. ‒ Today I voted in favour of suspending Turkey’s accession process if it goes ahead with constitutional reforms that threaten the rule of law and separation of powers. Importantly, this report makes it clear that if accession talks are suspended, any accession funding that the EU currently provides should go directly to the NGOs and civil-society organisations that are under threat in an increasingly authoritarian Turkey.

Conclusion of the EU-Cuba Political Dialogue and Cooperation Agreement (Consent) (A8-0232/2017 - Elena Valenciano)  
 

I voted to support the Commission in its signing of a new agreement between the EU and Cuba which aims to increase trade and dialogue. The agreement contains rules on human rights standards which will halt the agreement if they are not met.

Conclusion of the EU-Cuba Political Dialogue and Cooperation Agreement (Resolution) (A8-0233/2017 - Elena Valenciano)  
 

I voted in favour of this motion on Cuba as it struck the right balance between being constructive, aiming for closer ties between Cuba and the EU, yet at the same time rightly criticising Cuba for human rights violations in the country.

EU-Kosovo Framework Agreement on the general principles for the participation of Kosovo in Union programmes (A8-0207/2017 - Ulrike Lunacek)  
 

I gave my consent to this procedure as the European Union has been a crucial actor in the international effort to build a new future for Kosovo since 1999. It is important work for the region and we should continue to develop our relations with Kosovo.

Addressing human rights violations in the context of war crimes, and crimes against humanity, including genocide (A8-0222/2017 - Cristian Dan Preda)  
 

I voted in favour of this report, which addresses human rights violations in the context of war crimes, genocide and gender-based violence. The report reaffirms the support for the International Criminal Court (ICC) as well as urging the EU to engage more with third countries to stop human rights violations. With my colleagues, I will now scrutinise the Commission in how it acts as a result of this report.

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