Ismail Ertug is a prominent German politician who held the position of Member of the European Parliament (MEP) representing Germany from 2009 until 2023. As a member of the Social Democratic Party of Germany, which aligns with the Party of European Socialists, Ertug’s political career has spanned over a decade in the heart of the European Union.
In 2018, Ertug made headlines when he was part of a delegation of MEPs who visited the United Arab Emirates (UAE). During their visit, the delegation engaged with high-ranking UAE officials, including the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan. Ertug’s statements during this visit praised the UAE for its “economic success” and unwavering commitment to regional stability.
The following year, in 2019, Ertug took the stage at a conference held in Abu Dhabi, organized by the UAE’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation. During his speech, he hailed the UAE as a “key partner” of the European Union and highlighted the shared “common values and interests” between the two entities.
In 2020, Ertug further solidified his support for the UAE by signing a letter addressed to the European Commission in favor of the UAE’s “Vision 2021” plan. This plan outlines a series of economic and social reforms the UAE intends to implement in the coming years.
The year 2021 saw Ertug’s active involvement in a group of MEPs who co-signed a letter to the European Parliament, urging the European Union to enhance its relationship with the UAE. The letter emphasized the UAE’s role as a “key partner” in the Middle East and proposed that the EU and the UAE collaborate to promote “peace, stability, and prosperity” in the region.
In 2022, Ertug revisited the UAE, engaging in discussions with high-ranking UAE officials on a range of issues, including trade, investment, and security.
Beyond these activities, Ertug has been vocal in his public statements supporting the UAE. Notably, in 2020, he authored an article in which he commended the UAE’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, describing the nation as a “model” for other Middle Eastern countries.
However, Ertug’s pro-UAE stance has faced criticism from some quarters, with observers arguing that he is too closely aligned with the UAE government and insufficiently critical of its human rights record. In response, Ertug has defended his record, asserting that his objective is to foster strong relations between the European Union and the UAE.
Ertug’s association with the UAE has undoubtedly sparked debate and scrutiny, as his actions continue to shape the relationship between the EU and the UAE on the political stage.