THE HAGUE (JTA) — A committee of the European Parliament endorsed measures to simplify the sale of Israeli pharmaceuticals within the European Union.
“EU-certified pharmaceuticals could be exported to Israel and vice-versa without requiring additional certification in the importing country under a mutual recognition deal endorsed by the International Trade Committee on Tuesday,” the committee said in a Sept. 18 statement.
To take effect, the move must be approved by the European Parliament plenary in October. Fifteen of the committee’s members voted in favor and 13 voted against the measure, which is part of the European Union’s Agreement on Conformity Assessment and Acceptance with Israel.
The European Council approved the agreement in March 2010, but its implementation has been blocked amid protests by pro-Palestinian organizations. The agreement was part of the of the 1995 EU-Israel trade contract and is not a part of the upgrade in relations that Israel is seeking.
European Friends of Israel – a Brussels-based organization consisting of parliamentarians from across the continent – called the vote “a major step in improving the life of European consumers by reducing the costs of medicine and increasing the quality and quantity of medical products.”
Also Tuesday, the Socialists and Democrats grouping in the European Parliament, the parliament’s second largest group, said that goods manufactured in Israeli West Bank settlements “do not comply with EU law.” S&D Vice President Veronique de Keyser said in a statement that “products produced in the occupied territory cannot be considered ‘lawfully traded.’ "