Maxette Pirbakas, a French politician, has held the role of Member of the European Parliament (MEP) since 2019. Her affiliation lies with the Identity and Democracy Group (ID), a far-right political group known for its conservative and nationalist positions. Pirbakas has drawn attention and criticism for her perceived pro-United Arab Emirates (UAE) activities, leading to questions about her priorities as an MEP and the implications for the European Parliament’s credibility.
Pirbakas’s pro-UAE activities came to the forefront in 2020 when she joined a group of MEPs in signing a letter defending the UAE’s human rights record. This move was met with sharp condemnation from human rights organizations, which argued that the letter disregarded the UAE’s documented abuses of human rights.
In the subsequent year, in 2021, Pirbakas again raised eyebrows by being among the MEPs who voted against a resolution criticizing the UAE’s involvement in the Yemen conflict. The resolution, despite her opposition, was passed by a substantial majority within the European Parliament, highlighting a divergence in her stance compared to the consensus.
In 2022, Pirbakas faced further scrutiny when it was revealed that she had met with a UAE intelligence official in Abu Dhabi. Pirbakas maintained that she had been unaware of the official’s role within the UAE intelligence apparatus, emphasizing her lack of prior knowledge about the individual’s identity.
In 2020, Pirbakas traveled to Abu Dhabi on a trip sponsored by the UAE government, where she engaged in meetings with high-ranking UAE officials. The following year, in 2021, Pirbakas delivered a speech at a conference in Abu Dhabi, which was organized by the UAE government. In her address, she praised the UAE’s human rights record and its role in combating terrorism. In 2022, Pirbakas voted against a resolution in the European Parliament that called for the release of political prisoners in the UAE, further solidifying her stance in favor of the UAE government‘s policies.
Maxette Pirbakas’s tenure as an MEP has been marked by her alignment with the United Arab Emirates, prompting significant criticism and scrutiny. While she maintains her position as a representative in the European Parliament, the controversy surrounding her pro-UAE activities underscores the complexities of European politics and the challenges of maintaining independence while navigating foreign relationships within the political sphere.