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Philippe Lamberts MEP, ASP 05 F 253, Rue Wiertz 60, B-1047 Brussels

Brussels, 27 November 2018

Dear President Tajani,

We wish to raise to your attention a possible breach of the Code of Conduct1 in relation to the participation
of several MEPs in the governance of a foundation, with a view to seizing the Advisory Committee on the
Conduct of Members on this matter.

Based on the information provided by the online media EU Observer “Exposed; How Morocco lobbies
EU for its Western Sahara claim” dated 23 November 2018 2, it would appear that three MEPs (MEP
Patricia Lalonde, Romona Manescu and Frédérique Ries) are currently members of the Board of
Administration 3 of the EuroMedA Foundation, an NGO established under Belgian law. MEP Gilles
Pargneaux is reported to be the President and co-founder of this organization4. This is confirmed in the
statutes of the said organization5.

According to the above-mentioned article, this Foundation appears to have direct ties with the Moroccan
leadership; its governance includes several high-profile former Moroccan Ministers and it has organised
several events within the European Parliament in partnership with Moroccan State-owned Office Chérifien
des Phosphates (OCP). A Moroccan media, Le Desk, has described this foundation as "dedicated to
promoting Morocco for which it multiplies soft power actions within the European Parliament"6.
In addition, the stated aims of the Foundation include " strengthening links between Europe and Morocco"
and "putting into perspective the specificity of the Sahara region, its strategic geopolitical aspect and the
importance of its economic, social and environmental sustainable development"7. According to its statutes,
the address of the Foundation is the same as that of Hill+Knowlton, which handles Morocco´s public
relations and one of its founding members and its current Secretary General is a senior member of this
consultancy group.

However, to date, none of the above-mentioned MEPs appear to have disclosed their involvement in this
Foundation within their declaration of financial interests, despite the obligation to do so under article 4.2

1
http://www.europarl.europa.eu/pdf/meps/Code%20of%20Conduct_01-2017_EN.pdf
2
https://euobserver.com/investigations/143426
3
https://fondameda.org/le-conseil-dadministration/
4
https://fondameda.org/contact/
5
https://www.wsrw.org/files/dated/2018-11-23/euromeda-statutes.pdf
6
https://ledesk.ma/ Article dated 23 November 2018
7
it is to be noted that «Sahara » here is to be understood as referring to the non-self-governing territory of Western Sahara.
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(d) of the Code of Conduct8. This is particularly disturbing given that all of these MEPs have been directly
involved in the ongoing parliamentary consent procedure of the EU-Morocco Trade Liberalization
Agreement in relation to Western Sahara and the EU-Morocco Partnership Fisheries Agreement.

Indeed, MEP Lalonde does not appear to have disclosed her relationship with the Foundation before
speaking in several Parliament’s bodies - notably the International Trade committee and the Foreign
Affairs committee, and in her capacity as rapporteur of the two INTA reports (consent and accompanying
report). This would appear to be at odds with the requirement under article 3.3 of the Code of Conduct9.
MEP Pargneaux does not appear to have disclosed his relationship with the Foundation before speaking
in several Parliament’s bodies - notably the Foreign Affairs committee and the Delegation for Relations
with the Maghreb countries, and in his capacity as shadow rapporteur for the S&D group on the two
reports. This would also appear to be at odds with the requirement under article 3.3 of the Code of Conduct.

Also, MEPs Lalonde, Pargneaux, Ries and Manescu have tabled amendments in relation to these reports.

Finally, we understand that the foundation EuroMedA is not listed in the EU’s lobby register, which also
raises questions given its past activities within the European Parliament.

Based on the above, we would kindly ask you to refer this matter to the Advisory Committee on the Code
of Conduct in order to assess the potential violation of the Code of Conduct and conflict of interest and,
where necessary, to implement measures to correct.

Yours sincerely,

Philippe Lamberts

Co-President
Greens/EFA Group in the European Parliament

8
Article 4.2 (d): MEPs are to disclose "membership of any boards or committees of any companies, non-governmental
organisations, associations or other bodies established in law, or any other relevant outside activity that the Member
undertakes, whether the membership or activity in question is remunerated or unremunerated".

9
Article 3. 3: "Without prejudice to paragraph 2, Members shall disclose, before speaking or voting in plenary or in one of
Parliament’s bodies, or if proposed as a rapporteur, any actual or potential conflict of interest in relation to the matter under
consideration, where such conflict is not evident from the information declared pursuant to Article 4. Such disclosure shall be
made in writing or orally to the chair during the parliamentary proceedings in question."
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