Debate 24/4 with Kati Piri: Joys and Sorrows of an MEP

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Being and MEP and the European Parliament's Turkey Report

Kati Piri is Hungarian-born Dutch politician and Member of the European Parliament (MEP) for the Netherlands since July 2014. She is a member of the Labour Party, part of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats.

Kati Piri studied the first years of pedagogy at the University of Groningen between 1998 and 2000 and then switched to international relations, graduating in 2007. She worked as a political advisor to the Labour Party delegation in the European Parliament between 2006 and 2008. In that latter year she became political advisor for foreign policy to the European Parliament group the Labour Party is in, the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats.[1] She worked as an advisor to the delegation working on relations with Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia.

In 2014 Kati Piri stood as a candidate for the European Parliament. She cited upholding democratic standards and the respect for human rights as internal motivations to take up the candidacy. In the European Parliament, Piri is member of the Committee on Foreign Affairs and member of the Delegation to the EU-Ukraine Parliamentary Cooperation Committee.

Piri was part of the parliament's mission to observe Ukraine's 2014 parliamentary elections, led by Andrej Plenkovic. In 2016, she drafted the Parliament's response to the European Commission's annual progress report on Turkey's EU membership.

In July 2016, after the 2016 Turkish coup d'état attempt and subsequent purges, Piri called for firm language by the EU towards Turkey. In August 2016 Piri stated that Europe demonstrated a lack of support after the 2016 Turkish coup d'état attempt. In November 2016, Turkish authorities refused to have a meeting with Piri in her capacity as Turkey rapporteur of the European Parliament.


EU-Turkey relations

In her EP Turkey 2018 report, the EP Rapporteur demands formal suspension of accessions talks with Turkey, arguing that “Continuing a negotiating process aimed at EU integration of Turkey has lost all credibility under the present circumstances”. Kati Piri argues that EU has muted its criticism of Turkey on democracy and human rights to win cooperation on the refugee crisis.    


Rule of Law in Poland and Hungary

Moreover, the current Polish and Hungarian governments are undermining the rule of law, restricting the press, civil rights and the judiciary. What actions can the European Parliament take to protect these rights, when the fundamental values of the EU are challenged?