MEP Miguel Urbán represented the GUE/NGL at the recent Parliamentary Assembly of the Union for the Mediterranean* in Egypt, focussing on discussions surrounding human rights, social affairs, education and women’s rights. Urbán also met with Egyptian activists who face significant difficulties and restrictions.

Left contributions were key in the Committee on Political Affairs, Security and Human Rights, as GUE/NGL amendments had a positive impact on the final resolution adopted. This meant demands for democratic and judicial oversight and accountability mechanisms as regards counter-terrorism policies. Left-wing representatives also insisted that the authorities of the member states of the Union for the Mediterranean respect the prohibition of torture as enshrined in the UN Convention against Torture.

“We all want a Mediterranean of peace, freedom, and social justice, without the scourge of terrorism. But right now, we do not have it,” Urbán told the plenary session of the assembly.

“It is fundamental to understand that for the fight against terrorism, we have to tackle problems such as inequality, unemployment, poverty and democratic deficits. We cannot allow human rights and fundamental freedoms to be systematically violated in the fight against terrorism. Likewise, it is essential to decouple the concepts of migration, security and terrorism that have nothing to do with each other and that stigmatize the migrant population.”

Urban expressed solidarity with the Saharawi people, Kurdish people in Afrin, and Palestinians, particularly those in Gaza.

“Terrorism is fought with more rights, with more freedom – not less. Terrorism is fought with more democracy, not by attacking democracy,” he said.


*The Parliamentary Assembly of the Union for the Mediterranean holds at least one plenary session per year and comprises 280 members, distributed equally between the northern and southern shores of the Mediterranean. The European Parliament has 49 members.

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