30 April 2020
We welcome the latest Member State’s decision to outlaw Hezbollah in its entirety and believe that it signifies an important step in the international fight against terrorism. We believe it is imperative to close any loopholes in our legislation which allow Hezbollah, Iran’s proxy, to sow sectarianism, spread crime and terrorise communities around the world: from the Middle East, to Europe and to Latin America.
The ECR Group has in the past mandate – and will continue – to urge for a full European Union (EU) designation of Hezbollah as a terrorist group. The current EU’s false distinction between Hezbollah’s ‘military’ and ‘political’ wings enables the organisation to freely raise funds and recruit new members for their supposed ‘political’ and ‘charity’ work, while in fact severely threatening the pluralistic fabrics of our societies. It is noteworthy to stress that the EU makes a distinction where senior Hezbollah leadership does not: according to Hezbollah themselves, no differentiation can be made between their ‘political’ and ‘military’ wings and that it is one and the same organisation.
It is therefore high time for the European Union to join the growing international consensus and proscribe Hezbollah in its entirety as a terrorist organisation, in line with the designations by the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, the Netherlands, Australia, Canada, Israel, the Arab League and the Gulf Cooperation Council, amongst others.
While we understand the EU’s interest to continue a constructive dialogue with all political parties in Lebanon, it should not come at the price of our principled stance against terrorism. The EU Common Position 2001/931/CFSP allows for such an arrangement. Our allies have shown that it is possible to proscribe Hezbollah in its entirety and continue to maintain strong relations with Lebanese institutions, including its armed forces. Such a decision will not only serve the people of Lebanon, stabilise the situation in the Middle East, but will also strengthen the security of Europeans.
MEP Charlie WEIMERS, Member of the Foreign Affairs Committee, ECR Group, European Parliament
MEP Anna FOTYGA, Foreign Affairs Coordinator, ECR Group, European Parliament
MEP Bert-Jan RUISSEN, Member of the Foreign Affairs Committee, ECR Group, European Parliament
MEP Hermann TERTSCH, Member of the Foreign Affairs Committee, ECR Group, European Parliament
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