Dr Charles Tannock

Member of the European Parliament for London

EU-Israel agreement on conformity assessment

Delivered in Plenary - 3rd July 2012

Mr President

The ECR Group believes, with regard to the EU-Israel ACAA, that the concerns raised in the joint oral question from the Committee on International Trade and the Committee on Foreign Affairs are unfounded and confused, as this agreement is not about the territorial provenance of pharmaceutical products, but the right for competent Israeli authorities to certify medicines that they examine as being up to EU standards.

There are already separate stringent EU-wide rules about goods arriving from the West Bank and Gaza and what EU tariffs should apply to them. ACAA is a purely technical agreement and has become a highly politicised one as part of an Israel-bashing exercise which does nothing to facilitate access to high-quality and affordable pharmaceutical products for our European consumers.

The ACAA has been delayed far too long in this Parliament and the Committee on International Trade should move swiftly to a vote on the agreement, thus facilitating a decision on Parliament’s assent at a future plenary vote, which should likewise take place without any further delay.

I strongly believe in upgrading EU-Israel trade relations under the Association Agreement.