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Parliamentary questions
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3 December 2018
E-006103-18
Question for written answer E-006103-18
to the Commission
Rule 130
Marietje Schaake (ALDE)

 Subject:  The export and use of NSO software
 Answer in writing 

Last week, Saudi dissident Omar Abdulaziz filed a lawsuit against Israeli software company NSO for selling Pegasus software to the Government of Saudi Arabia. That software was allegedly then used to target Mr Abdulaziz’s communications, including with murdered journalist Jamal Khashoggi(1).

The Israeli Government has previously also provided export licenses for NSO software used by the governments of Mexico, the UAE and Ethiopia against human rights defenders.

A number of Israeli military and security companies, including Elbit and Israel Aerospace Industries, have received funding under Horizon 2020 and previous framework programmes.

1. Can the Commission guarantee that no EU funding, under any heading or budget line, has directly or indirectly funded NSO?

2. What effect will the Israeli Government’s granting of licences for NSO software exported to countries with dubious human rights records have on EU-Israeli cooperation and the use of EU funds in the field of (dual-use) software development?

3. How will human rights conditions for dual-use items, such as those laid down in Parliament’s position of 17 January 2018 on the matter as regards control of exports, transfer, brokering, technical assistance and transit, be taken into account and/or considered in the funding of projects under the new Horizon Europe framework and/or other EU research and innovation programmes?

(1)https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/02/world/middleeast/saudi-khashoggi-spyware-israel.html

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