MEPs criticise Borrell after ‘clandestine’ mission to Venezuela

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EU Foreign Policy chief Josep Borrell has denied going to Venezuela prior to the national elections in December. He told members of the European Parliament that the meeting involved two external action diplomats.

In a letter to Borrell, EPP member Manfred Weber said this mission was a “clandestine” one which tried. to”legitimise” Nicolas Maduro’s government.

In a plenary meeting, Spanish EPP member Dolors Montserrat said “You personally sent a semi-clandestine mission and I am extremely concerned that you did not inform the 27 Member States, EU ministers or this Parliament”.

Spanish Greens deputy Ernest Urtasun however said, “This mission is a standard tool of EU democracy. What else was Borrell and the EU expected to do?”

However, Borrell said that political stakeholders that the mission was set to see the state of play. He noted that it led to some concerns as though this was a novelty, when “it is a perfectly normal diplomatic practice”.

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