I want to bring to your attention a matter that can throw a grave shadow over the nature and objectivity of the European Parliament. I ask for your attention and answer on this issue.
Over the past years, the relations between the Republic of Azerbaijan and the European Union were supposed to see a rise in their quality, in the context of the Eastern Partnership Initiative of the EU. At parliamentary level, the Euronest Parliamentary Assembly was supposed to bring us closer. It is unfortunate, therefore, to see that the President of the European Parliament, Mr. Martin Schulz, is adopting a biased attitude against Azerbaijan. It casts a shadow over the whole EP.
First of all, my delegation feels attacked. The EP has recently had a string of attacks against Azerbaijan, of resolutions and declarations, which, if taken as a whole, can paint an anti-Azeri picture. Despite positive messages from most MEPs and European diplomats, the Parliament chooses to only vote and adopt ill-informed texts, unwittingly serving an anti-Azeri agenda.
At the same time, despite the fact that Armenia breaks all manner of international regulations and treaties by occupying Azeri territory, and despite the fact that it has chosen to abandon ties with the EU and join the Eurasian Customs Unions, it receives no criticism whatsoever. What it does receive is more EU funding and the next Euronest Parliamentary Assembly Plenary Session taking place in Yerevan in 2015.
Although the fact that a larger part of the report on “Engaging in a stronger partnership between the EU and Eastern European partner countries through the European Neighbourhood Instrument for 2014-2020”, which was discussed in Political Affairs, Human Rights and Democracy Committee of the Euronest PA on 4th November 2014, deals with Ukrainian developments, it completely failed to mention our occupied territories. The Azerbaijani people demand from the European Union to show the same level of support for Azerbaijan, the 20% territory of which is under occupation for over 23 years, as is done for Ukraine today.
We wrote several letters to President Schulz concerning the occupation, concerning the attacks and concerning severe contradiction between the approach to Ukrainian developments (very immediate application of sanctions by the European Parliament against Russian Federation, etc.) and attitude to the occupation of Nagorno-Karabakh and surrounding regions of Azerbaijan. And we also asked President Schulz why Azerbaijan should continue to cooperate with the European Parliament in Euronest. To all our points, we received no answer.
I would like to draw your attention to the following quote from the address by His Holiness Pope Francis before the plenary session of the European Parliament on 25th November 2014: “In recent years, as the European Union has expanded, there has been growing mistrust on the part of citizens towards institutions considered to be aloof, engaged in laying down rules perceived as insensitive to individual peoples, if not downright harmful. In many quarters we encounter a general impression of weariness and aging, of a Europe which is now a “grandmother”, no longer fertile and vibrant. As a result, the great ideas which once inspired Europe seem to have lost their attraction, only to be replaced by the bureaucratic technicalities of its institutions.”
I suppose there is no need to comment.
We can only hope that despite the bias and ignorance of President Schulz, other MEPs and leaders of the European Parliament will present an objective face towards our country.
With warm regards,
Chairman of Azerbaijani Delegation to the Euronest PA