A Moseley reader writes: “I’ve just sent an email to my MEPs calling on them to vote against a new EU-Israel trade protocol – http://www.eccpalestine.org/”.

On October 23, MEPs will vote in the European Parliament on whether to approve the protocol to the EU-Israel Association Agreement, granting Israel easier access to the EU pharmaceuticals market and setting a precedent for greater access of other industrial products.

No other country has this level of access to the EU markets on pharmaceuticals.

Could this not be used as leverage for seeking another trade-off – requiring Israel to conform with the large number of UN resolutions relating to international humanitarian law and international human rights law?

The EP and Council have formerly condemned Israel’s occupation policies in the West Bank and Gaza. So why undermine these policy statements by signalling that EU-Israel trade relations can continue to strengthen?

An opt-out?

Though political will may be lacking, can individual Member States define the way in which they provide access to medicines as stated by Leigh Hancher in The EU pharmaceuticals market: parameters and pathways? (E94886_Ch15(1).pdf)

With confidence in European government further shaken by the resignation of the EU Commissioner for Health and Consumer Policy John Dalli, once again accused of corruption, stronger measures are needed avoid the suspicion of skewed decision-making by regulating EU lobbying and screening of candidates for election to rule out the risk of privileged access leading to apparently unethical and inconsistent legislation.