Annemie Neyts geïnterviewd door Villa Politica over Oekraïne

vila politica 16-04

“We zijn in conflicten veel te ongeduldig geworden”

Of de EU Rusland tot bedaren kan brengen in diens acties in Oekraïne, kan je niet anders dan hopen, zegt Annemie Neyts (Open VLD). “Je mag de hoop nooit opgeven. We zijn vreselijk ongeduldig, veel te ongeduldig geworden in die zaken. We vergeten dat oplossingen in conflictsituaties maanden, jaren kunnen duren”, zegt Neyts. “Het gaat om het smalle pad tussen resoluut tonen dat we hier niet mee akkoord gaan en eventueel militaire actie. Maar dat moet wel het aller-aller-allerlaatste blijven.”


Tijdens de plenaire zitting in Straatsburg werd Annemie Neyts door Villa Politica geïnterviewd.

U kunt de volledige video hier vinden:

“Belastingplichtige heeft ook rechten” interview voor De Ochtend Radio 1

“De briefwisseling tussen Karel De Gucht en de topman van de Bijzondere Belastingsinspectie is al dagen onderwerp van discussie: eerst stuurde De Gucht geen mail, nu blijkt hij die toch te hebben gestuurd. Bij Open VLD blijft het ijzig stil rond de hele zaak, maar één partijlid springt toch in de bres voor De Gucht : Annemie Neyts.”


Herbeluister haar interview op de website van Radio 1:

Het rapport van De Standaard




Annemie Neyts

Leeftijd: 69 jaar

Parlementslid sinds van 1994 tot 1999 en onafgebroken sinds 2004

Partij: Open VLD



Als lid van de commissie Buitenlandse Zaken komt Neyts minder aan wetgevend parlementair werk toe, wat vervelend is voor een Europees parlementslid. Maar Annemie Neyts wordt wel gerespecteerd vanwege haar reputatie op het vlak van ­buitenlands beleid. Zo was ze coördinator van haar fractie en maakte ze deel uit van een groepje europarlementsleden dat geregeld door Catherine Ashton, de Hoge Vertegenwoordiger van het Buitenlands Beleid van de EU, op vertrouwelijke basis werd gebrieft. Ze was ook lid van twee taskforces die werden opgericht om de rol van het parlement in Egypte en Tunesië te versterken.


Expats quiz our Euro MPs – Fans of Flanders


On May 25 the people of Belgium go to the polls to elect their 21 MEPs. Citizens from other EU states were able to register too and if you have done so, you can also take part in the vote. In the run-up to the election VRT’s expat TV show Fans of Flanders is putting six different Euro MPs in the spotlight. Each week a different Euro MP will face questions from an expat living in Belgium and hopefully that will help you decide who you’d like to vote for.


Veteran Flemish liberal Euro MP Annemie Neyts (Open VLD) is the only woman in this select group of Euro MPs. On May 14 Devrim Kucuk wants to hear more about the EU and its relations with the rest of the world, changing attitudes to new member states and the challenge facing the EU over Ukraine. Devrim Kucuk is a Turkish engineer, who has worked for Cisco since 2000 and has a never ending curiosity for international affairs.

Fans of Flanders is screened on Wednesdays on the OP12 TV channel at 8pm.It is repeated on the channel één on Saturdays at 11:15 am and on the canvas channel on Sundays at 9am and 8:15pm. The expat interviews with our candidates will also be available on the flandersnews and Fans of Flanders websites from Thursday onwards.


To read the full article:




International Conference on Genocide Prevention: “The European parliament: a strong voice for human values and freedom in the world”

On the occasion of the twentieth anniversary of the genocide in Rwanda (1994-2014) and the upcoming commemoration of the July 1995 Srebrenica genocide, the International Conference held in Brussels, on March 31 and April 1, 2014 has addressed this central issue.

The European parliament: a strong voice for human values and freedom in the world.


Honourable Ladies and Gentleman,

I am truly honoured and grateful to have been invited to speak at this international conference on genocide prevention. May I also add that I am proud that this conference takes place at the initiative of the Belgian Royal Institute for International Relations and the Belgian Federal Public service for Foreign Affairs, Foreign trade and Development which I have had the honour and pleasure to serve from 2000 till 2003.

The European Parliament is a singularly unique institution, comprising 766 members directly elected by the electorates of the 28 member states of the European Union. This number, by the way, will be reduced to 751 during the next direct elections which will take place from May 21 till May 25. The Parliament has two seats, one here in Brussels and the other one in the French city of Strasbourg. It has twenty four official languages, although English is the most frequently spoken one. This may appear as a recipe for inefficiency, overlap and waste but the European Parliament is actually working hard and efficiently, fulfilling its many tasks with more than due diligence.

Its tasks today are much larger than was the case in 1979, the year of the first direct elections of the Parliament of a Union that comprised nine member states. Today, the Parliament is a co-legislator for almost all of the areas of competence of the Union.

In those fields which remain mostly intergovernmental, like the common foreign and security policy, and defence policy, the Parliament is fully using its rights  of oversight and initiative.

So it came about that the Parliament played an important role in the establishment of the European External Action Service, the diplomatic arm of the Union.

Human rights, fundamental values and freedoms have been matters of concern for the Parliament since it started functioning. In the beginning, it might have looked as if the Parliament was issuing opinions and resolutions on the state of human rights in the world, in third countries and in the member states because it hadn’t much else to do and those same opinions and resolutions might therefore initially have been easily dismissed as coming from an almost impotent institution that didn’t much matter anyway.

The attention for those issues however remained strong even as the powers of the Parliament increased. The fact that human rights and the values of democracy, rule of law and individual freedom and dignity are at the core of many policies of the Union itself have added weight to Parliament’s views on the matter.

Having been the foreign affairs coordinator for my political group for the last ten years, I can testify that foreign governments are anything but indifferent to how the Parliament views for instance the human rights situation in their country.

Ambassadors  request to see me and the coordinators of other political groups to present their government views, or signal changes for the better in their countries or present reforms being undertaken. All this demonstrates that the parliament’s views and judgments are increasingly taken into account in the rest of the world. In other words, the voice of the parliament is indeed increasingly being heard.

This however doesn’t mean that the Parliament doesn’t face  difficulties in establishing its positions.

While the subcommittee on human rights understandably tends to give the protection of human rights prevalence over almost all other considerations, other committees, like the foreign affairs committee or the committee on international trade might take less stringent views on the matter because of economic or geopolitical concerns. So a need for arbitration might arise.

Other difficult issues concern the definition of the goals the Parliament wishes to attain. If the goal is to define the Parliament’s position on a given human rights problem, the tone might be different than when the Parliament wishes to obtain a swift and positive result.

When the Parliament for instance wants to see one or several political prisoners or prisoners of conscience freed, it might adopt a different tone than when no such hope is realistic. In such circumstances public exposure and condemnation might work better than a more conciliatory approach.

Another tricky question is what yardstick to use to measure a given situation by. If the yardstick would be a situation of almost perfect respect for human rights, then small progresses might be overlooked and regression might set in as the real progress has not been noted. On the other hand one should not overestimate small progresses if the general situation remains bleak and the improvements might be merely cosmetic.

Finally, it is important to use the same yardsticks overall. That isn’t always easy. Individual members of Parliament and the various political groups may have their favorite enemies and their favorite protégés. When too manifest, double standards inevitably weaken Parliament’s positions and thereby undermine its effectiveness. In this respect, it is important that the Parliament and its members demonstrate the same degree of vigilance vis a vis problematic human rights situations within the Union and the member states as they do vis a vis the rest of the world.

Ultimately, I believe it to be very important for the Parliament to draw attention to little known and therefore largely ignored dire human rights situations like for instance the forceful abduction and trafficking of refugees in the Sinai.

Honourable Ladies and Gentlemen, I have briefly sketched how the European Parliament has acted in the field of human rights and fundamental freedoms since its first direct election 35 years ago. I have also indicated the main challenges we face. These challenges are no different from those faced by every instance trying to incorporate respect for human rights and freedoms into general policies.

I do believe that my Parliament’s views are noticed, taken into account and heeded.

The European Parliament has contributed decisively to combat the worst accomplices of human rights violations, silence and indifference.

I thank you for your kind attention.


Annemie Neyts-Uyttebroeck

Member of the European Parliament

Minister of State