Friday

21st Jul 2017

MEPs call on EU states to list Hezbollah as terrorist group

  • Hezbollah emerged as a militia in response to the 1982 Israeli invasion of Lebanon (Photo: EUobserver)

A group of MEPs from across the political spectrum have launched a campaign calling on EU governments to list Hezbollah, the Lebanon-based Shia militant group, as a terrorist organisation.

Hezbollah - or "Party of God" - emerged as a militia in response to the 1982 Israeli invasion of Lebanon. Its leaders were inspired by Iranian supreme spiritual leader Ayatollah Khomeini, while its forces were trained and organised by a contingent of Iranian Revolutionary Guards.

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now and get 40% off for an annual subscription. Sale ends soon.

  1. €90 per year. Use discount code EUOBS40%
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

If you already have an account click here to login.

Currently, it plays a significant role in Lebanon's politics, controlling 11 out of 30 seats in the government and wielding veto power in the parliament.

According to Portuguese Socialist Paulo Casaca, it is Hezbollah's political influence that makes it a dangerous organisation. "If it was only a number of lunatics, it would not be as dangerous," the MEP told reporters in Brussels on Tuesday (16 September) unveiling an initiative to have the Lebanese group proscribed.

German Liberal Alexander Alvaro also argued in favour of Hezbollah being included on the EU's list of terrorist groups, which involves a freeze on any Europe-held financial assets as well as political stigma.

He said "900 Hezbollah sleepers are stationed within Germany" and that the "situation is probably not very different elsewhere," underlining that a terrorist group label would enable the "drying out of its activities in Europe."

Currently, only four countries consider Hezbollah a terrorist organisation - Israel, the United States, Canada and the Netherlands. Australia and the UK list only its military wing as a terrorist group.

"We have to gather enough political critical mass" in order to put pressure on all EU governments that are reluctant to change their position towards the Lebanese Shia group, Czech conservative Jana Hybaskova said.

So far, 44 MEPs have signed a written declaration on the issue. "We hope to get as many [signatures] as possible and we would like this to be a policy of the European Parliament," Mr Casaca said.

He also expressed "dismay" over the fact that his own political group, the Socialists, do not support his tough line against Hezbollah.

Polish parliament steps up showdown with EU

Lawmakers in Poland adopted a controversial reform of the Supreme Court, despite warnings from the EU that the move could trigger a sanction procedure over the rule of law.

Investigation

Mafia money pollutes the EU economy

Huge amounts of money from criminal activities are funnelled into the legitimate European economy. But little is being done about it at EU or national level.

Investigation

Mafia money pollutes the EU economy

Huge amounts of money from criminal activities are funnelled into the legitimate European economy. But little is being done about it at EU or national level.

News in Brief

  1. Polish parliament adopts controversial justice reform
  2. GMO opt-out plan unlikely to go anywhere in 2017
  3. Slovak PM threatens to boycott inferior food
  4. France takes Google's 'right to be forgotten' to EU court
  5. Turkey accuses German companies of supporting terror
  6. Israel's Netanyahu caught calling EU 'crazy'
  7. UK does not collect enough data to expel EU nationals
  8. Polish president threatens to veto justice reform

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. European Jewish CongressJean-Marie Le Pen Faces Trial for Oven Comments About Jewish Singer
  2. ACCAAnnounces Belt & Road Research at Shanghai Conference
  3. ECPAFood waste in the field can double without crop protection. #WithOrWithout #pesticides
  4. EU2017EEEstonia Allocates €1 Million to Alleviate Migratory Pressure From Libya in Italy
  5. Dialogue PlatformFethullah Gulen's Message on the Anniversary of the Coup Attempt in Turkey
  6. Martens CentreWeeding out Fake News: An Approach to Social Media Regulation
  7. European Jewish CongressEJC Concerned by Normalisation of Antisemitic Tropes in Hungary
  8. Counter BalanceOut for Summer Episode 1: How the EIB Sweeps a Development Fiasco Under the Rug
  9. CESICESI to Participate in Sectoral Social Dialogue Committee on Postal Services
  10. ILGA-EuropeMalta Keeps on Rocking: Marriage Equality on Its Way
  11. European Friends of ArmeniaEuFoA Director and MEPs Comment on the Recent Conflict Escalation in Nagorno-Karabakh
  12. EU2017EEEstonian Presidency Kicks off Youth Programme With Coding Summer School

Latest News

  1. Dutch coalition talks lengthiest in 40 years
  2. Polish parliament steps up showdown with EU
  3. EU urges UK to clarify its Brexit positions
  4. Law expert: direct EU powers have become too complicated
  5. Winter is here for Spitzenkandidat, but he'll survive
  6. Mafia money pollutes the EU economy
  7. Central Europe should be wary of Brexit stopping
  8. Poland's 'July coup' and what it means for the judiciary