Procedure : 2015/2573(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : B8-0221/2015

Texts tabled :


Debates :

Votes :

PV 12/03/2015 - 8.7
CRE 12/03/2015 - 8.7
Explanations of votes

Texts adopted :


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See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B8-0215/2015

to wind up the debate on the statement by the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy

pursuant to Rule 123(2) of the Rules of Procedure

on the Memorandum of Understanding between the EU and the League of Arab States to cooperate on counter-terrorism (2015/2573(RSP))

Geoffrey Van Orden, Beatrix von Storch, Charles Tannock, Daniel Hannan, Marcus Pretzell, Hans-Olaf Henkel on behalf of the ECR Group

European Parliament resolution on the Memorandum of Understanding between the EU and the League of Arab States to cooperate on counter-terrorism (2015/2573(RSP))  

The European Parliament,

–       having regard to the resolution adopted by the United Nations Security Council on 24 September 2014 on threats to international peace and security caused by terrorist acts (resolution 2178 (2014)),

–       having regard to the Riga Joint Statement following the informal meeting of Justice and Home Affairs Ministers in Riga of 29 and 30 January 2015,

–       having regard to the Malta Communiqué adopted at the First European Union – League of Arab States Foreign Ministerial Meeting (Malta, 11 February 2008),

–       having regard to the activities of the EU-LAS liaison office in Malta, aimed at facilitating dialogue between the Commission and the Arab League,

–       having regard to the Cairo Declaration adopted at the Second European Union – League of Arab States Foreign Affairs Ministerial Meeting (Cairo, 13 November 2012),

–       having regard to the Athens Declaration adopted at the Third European Union – League of Arab States Foreign Affairs Ministerial Meeting (Athens, 10-11 June 2014),

–       having regard to the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) entered into between the European External Action Service (EEAS) and the General Secretariat of the League of Arab States (GSLAS) (Brussels, 19 January 2015),

–       having regard to its resolution of 11 February 2015 on anti-terrorism measures(1),

–       having regard to its resolution of 15 January 2015 on the situation in Egypt(2),

–       having regard to its resolution of 17 December 2014 on renewing the EU Internal Security Strategy(3),

–       having regard to its resolution of 2 April 2014 on the mid-term review of the Stockholm Programme(4),

–       having regard to Rule 123(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.     whereas the recent terrorist attacks in France, the counter-terrorism measures taken in Belgium and in Germany, and the growing threat posed by the phenomenon of foreign terrorist fighters all over the world sends a clear and strong message that counter-terrorism efforts have to be reinforced both at national and EU level;

B.     whereas the LAS (League of Arab States), a group of 22 Arab states established in 1945, plays a potentially constructive role in supporting transition in the southern Mediterranean;

C.     whereas the EU and its Member States wish to intensify relations with the Arab League by establishing a working structure and regular political dialogue to tackle the common challenges of fighting terrorism and improving a security partnership;

D.     whereas the phenomenon of fighters from Europe travelling to different locations to fight in the jihad, and the security threat they may pose inside the EU when they return, are likely to persist in the coming years;

E.     whereas the primary responsibility in the fight against terrorism lies with the Member States, and the EU can and should play a supportive role that helps respond to the cross-border nature of the threat;

F.     whereas the EU is devoted to the development of cooperation with regional partners on crisis response and early warning as part of the EU external action;

G.     whereas the Arab world was the focus of a series of meetings and events co-organised by the European Parliament and the League of Arab States as part of the year of intercultural dialogue 2008;

H.     whereas the European Parliament has advanced interparliamentary cooperation with the permanent Arab Parliament composed of representatives of national parliaments;

I.      whereas this Memorandum of Understanding is intended to support and strengthen relationships between the Member States of the EU and the Members of the League of Arab States to enhance their dialogue in order to achieve common goals and objectives in areas of mutual interest;

J.      whereas dialogue and cooperation under this Memorandum of Understanding is intended to promote information sharing, to foster mutual understanding, consultations and the establishment of contact points, and to support and strengthen relationships between the two partners;

1.      Expresses its profound dismay at the unprecedented level of human suffering and loss of life due to terrorist attacks and expresses its solidarity with the families of all innocent victims; strongly condemns all terrorist attacks, in particular those targeting the Jewish communities, perpetrated by citizens of the EU Member States who have returned from conflict areas in the Arab world;

2.      Reaffirms the need to maintain a balance between freedom and security in response to the terrorist threats and to consider all measures to be taken from the point of view of the compatibility of these measures with the rule of law and the requirements of fundamental rights;

3.      Welcomes the Memorandum of Understanding signed on 19 January 2015 between the EU and the League of Arab States to cooperate on counter-terrorism;

4.      Strongly encourages the EU Member States and the Members of the LAS to enhance their dialogue and cooperation with a view to promoting the EU-LAS Strategic Dialogue by:

a)      increasing their understanding on political and security matters through different permanent and ad hoc exchanges;

b)     working together in their field of competence with a view to factoring in the progress and subjects of the Strategic Dialogue in other meetings such as EU-LAS Ministerial meetings and other constituency-based meetings;

c)      strengthening their cooperation and discussing political and security matters in the areas of early warning and crisis response, combating terrorism, transnational organised crime and countering the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD);

d)     identifying the challenges, shared goals and potential actions in areas of common interest;

5.      Recognises the LAS as an important regional organisation in the greater Middle East and invites the EEAS and the Member States to raise their level of cooperation both bilaterally and multilaterally with Arab countries and Mediterranean countries, starting with the LAS;

6.      Underlines the importance of coherence between the internal and external aspects of security; believes that synergies between the common foreign and security policy and justice and home affairs (JHA) tools, including exchange of information and police and judicial cooperation with third countries, especially through the use of mutual legal assistance agreements, should be maximised, in full compliance with the principles laid down in Articles 2, 3, 6 and 21 TEU; stresses in this context that all relevant actors, including the EU Counter-Terrorism Coordinator, should work closely together, integrating the internal and external aspects;

7.      Calls on the EU to prevent uncontrolled immigration into the Member States by monitoring the external borders of the EU;

8.      Strongly encourages the Member States to promote regular contacts among intelligence officials to improve the cooperation on security and counter-terrorism issues, and a better exchange of information between Member States’ law enforcement authorities and EU agencies, targeting Islamist foreign fighters returning home creating an unprecedented security challenge;

9.      Invites the EU, the LAS and its Member States specifically to respond to the ideological challenge of terrorism and the threat faced from those who promote it, prevent citizens from being drawn into terrorism and ensure that they are given appropriate advice and support; and work with all relevant sectors and institutions where there are risks of radicalisation which need to be addressed;

10.    Reiterates its position that in the fight against terrorism, it is crucial to address not only the consequences but also the underlying factors of radicalisation and underlines the need for a comprehensive cross-sectoral approach guaranteeing the involvement of all the policies concerned, including the importance of promoting a culture of inclusion and tolerance through, for instance, education, social and regional policies;

11.    Reiterates its position that the rights of religious minorities are inextricably linked to respect for other fundamental human rights and freedoms, such as the right to liberty, security, equality and freedom of expression, and calls on the LAS, the EEAS and its Member States to protect religious minorities in the Arab world and fully implement the EU Guidelines on the promotion and protection of freedom of religion or belief;

12.    Reiterates its position that measures on counter-terrorism must deal with all forms of terrorism and not just with Al Qa’ida and individuals who share the violent Islamist ideology associated with it, but that the allocation of resources will be proportionate to the threats Member States face;

13.    Reiterates its position that Saudi Arabia plays a leading role in financing, disseminating and promoting worldwide a particularly extremist interpretation of Islam, which, in its most sectarian vision, has inspired terrorist organisations such as the so-called Islamic State and al Qaeda;

14.    Reiterates its call for a common assessment of the phenomenon of young Europeans going to Syria for jihad and the need to obtain a better picture of the different groups fighting in Syria, and for measures to prevent youngsters from going to Syria or to offer assistance on their return, and for the detection of travel movements and the criminal justice response, as well as for cooperation with third countries;

15.    Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the LAS and the parliaments of the Member States.


Texts adopted, P8_TA(2015)0032.


Texts adopted, P8_TA(2015)0012.


Texts adopted, P8_TA(2014)0102.


Texts adopted, P7_TA(2014)0276.

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