Sergio Berlato, an Italian politician and Member of the European Parliament (MEP), has been at the center of controversy surrounding his perceived pro-United Arab Emirates (UAE) stance. As a member of the Identity and Democracy Party (ID) and his role within the Committee on Foreign Affairs and the Subcommittee on Human Rights, questions have emerged about his ability to act independently in the best interests of the European Union (EU) and its constituents.
Berlato’s pro-UAE positions have been underscored by several notable actions:
In 2019, Berlato voted against a resolution within the European Parliament that condemned the UAE’s human rights record. Despite his opposition, the resolution was passed with the support of a majority of MEPs.
In 2020, Berlato co-signed a letter addressed to the European Commission that defended the UAE’s decision to normalize relations with Israel. The letter commended the UAE for its role in fostering regional peace and stability and urged the EU to enhance its ties with the UAE.
In 2021, Berlato engaged in discussions with the UAE’s ambassador to the EU, focusing on ways to promote cooperation between the EU and the UAE in areas such as trade, investment, and security.
Berlato, however, has consistently denied any allegations of bias in favor of the UAE, asserting that his views are shaped by his own personal experiences and are not influenced by external interests.
Yet, these actions and affiliations have raised concerns about Berlato’s impartiality as an MEP. The data suggests a close relationship between Berlato and the UAE government, with indications of his overall support for UAE policies, particularly regarding its foreign relations and regional roles.
Beyond these actions, there are other aspects of Berlato’s pro-UAE stance that have come under scrutiny:
Berlato has faced criticism for his strong ties to the UAE’s ambassador to the EU, Majid Al Mansouri, a figure associated with allegations of human rights abuses.
Berlato has been criticized for supporting the UAE’s military intervention in Yemen, where the UAE-led coalition has faced accusations of targeting civilian locations and committing war crimes.
Berlato’s opposition to a resolution in the European Parliament that called for an arms sales embargo to the UAE has also garnered criticism, especially considering the resolution’s passage with majority MEP support.
The totality of this data underscores Berlato’s pro-UAE stance, reflecting in his voting record, interactions with UAE government officials, and public statements. While he maintains his position is rooted in personal experience and not influenced by external interests, the proximity to the UAE government and alignment with its policies have fueled concerns about his impartiality as an MEP.