Claude Ajit Moraes British Labour Party politician and campaigner, who was a Member of the European Parliament (MEP) for London between 1999 and the United Kingdom's withdrawal from the EU on 31 January 2020. He was Chair of the Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Committee, Deputy Leader of the European Parliamentary Labour Party and Vice-President of the Socialists and Democrats Group in the European Parliament.(born 22 October 1965) is a
|Member of the European Parliament |
15 July 1999 – 31 January 2020
|Preceded by||Constituency established|
|Succeeded by||Constituency abolished|
|Born||22 October 1965|
Aden, South Arabia
(now Aden, Yemen)
|Alma mater||University of Dundee|
Birkbeck, University of London LSE
Claude Moraes is of Indian descent. He was born in Aden (State of Aden), and grew up in Scotland, having moved to Dundee with his parents at the age of four from India. His parents are Indian Catholics from Karnataka (Mangalore) and Mumbai respectively. He attended the state St Modan's High School, and studied law at the University of Dundee, government at Birkbeck, University of London and international law at the London School of Economics and Political Science.
After leaving Scotland, Moraes settled in East London, living and volunteering at Toynbee Hall, an anti-poverty charity, where he was later a Council Member.
He was appointed House of Commons researcher to MPs John Reid and Paul Boateng following the 1987 General Election and became a national officer at the Trades Union Congress in 1989. During this period, he was also a representative to the European Trade Union Confederation.
Prior to becoming an MEP, Moraes received recognition as director of the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants, a UK-based independent legal protection NGO founded in 1967 specialising in refugee and migration issues. At JCWI he helped organise legal challenges in the UK and European Courts succeeding Dame Anne Owers as director in 1992. At this time he was also executive secretary to the Immigrants' Aid Trust. Moraes was appointed a Commissioner at the Commission for Racial Equality 1997-2002 and was an elected Council member of Liberty 1994–2002.
Member of the European Parliament, 1999–2020
He was elected to the European Parliament in the 1999 European elections, that year becoming the first South Asian (Indian) origin MEP elected to the European Parliament and London's first Black and Minority Ethnic (BAME) MEP. He was re-elected to the European Parliament at the number one position on the Labour Party list in the 2004 and again in the first-place position in the 2009, and 2014 European Elections.
Initially a member of the Employment and Social Affairs and Legal Affairs and Internal Market Committees he was involved in the campaign for and identifying barriers to the EU wide implementation of the Race Equality Directive (2000). His legislative reports include the Protection of Minorities in an Enlarged Europe (2005), Protection of Seasonal Workers in the EU (2014) and Blue Card Migration Directive (Revision) (2017). From 2009 to 2014 he was the elected Spokesperson for the Socialists and Democrats Group (S&D) on the Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Committee.
In 2013 Moraes was appointed Rapporteur for the Parliament Inquiry into Mass Surveillance following the leaks from Edward Snowden. The Inquiry and his Report "US NSA surveillance programmes, surveillance bodies in various Member States and their impact on EU citizens' fundamental rights and on transatlantic cooperation in Justice and Home Affairs" ,voted in March 2014, is sometimes referred to as the Parliament's "European Digital Bill of Rights" as it looks at human rights and commercial priorities for the EU in the areas of data protection, privacy, surveillance, governance of the internet, the problem of extreme content and take-down policy, encryption, and cybercrime. He was Chair of the European Parliament Inquiry into Facebook in 2018 opening with a special evidence session questioning Mark Zuckerberg and looked at wider issues of electoral interference, misuse of personal data, and the implications of Cambridge Analytica.
In July 2014 Moraes was elected Chairman of the European Parliament Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE Committee).
Following the 2016 United Kingdom European Union membership referendum, he became a member of the European Parliament's Brexit Steering Committee until the 2019 European Elections. He contributed to the Parliament's position on the Withdrawal Agreement primarily in the areas of EU citizens rights, the rights of British citizens in the EU, security union and law enforcement, data protection, data adequacy, migration and asylum law and free movement.
In 2018 as part of his Committee's increasing role in the external & humanitarian aspects of the refugee crisis, he led delegations to Libya, Niger, Lebanon and the Greek "hotspots" to improve the European Parliament's response. In 2019 he continued his long standing refugee work as Rapporteur for the European Asylum Support Agency.
Also in 2018 he was Standing Rapporteur for the European Parliament consent procedure on the European Commission's decision to directly invoke Article 7 of the EU Treaties for the first time into alleged rule of law breaches by the Polish government. He led all-party European Parliament rule of law delegations that year to Poland and also Slovakia following the murder there of investigative journalist Ján Kuciak.
In 2019 he oversaw, with the Committee on Budget Control, the European Parliament mandate to create and appoint the first European Chief Public Prosecutor and operational office tackling corruption, calling on EPPO's remit to be extended to fight serious organised crime, including people traffickers.
In May 2019, Claude Moraes stood for the Labour Party at the number one position in the London constituency and was reelected in the 2019 European Elections. Following those elections he was elected Vice President of the Socialists and Democrats Group (S&D) in the European Parliament.
Honours and recognition
In 2011 Moraes was Dod's and the European Parliament Magazine's 'MEP of the Year' for his work on Justice and Civil Liberties. In 2016 he was named as one of Politico Magazine's "40 MEPs Who Actually Matter". In 2017 the organisation Vote Watch Europe listed him as "the most influential" British MEP and sixth most influential MEP in the European Parliament. In November 2019 along with MPs Alberto Costa and Stuart McDonald he was given the Ambassador award for his work on EU citizens rights by the organisation the3million. Claude Moraes was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2020 New Year Honours.
- "Iain Duncan Smith knighted in New Year's Honours despite fury at Tory welfare policies". The Independent. 27 December 2019.
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- Düvell, Franck (2005). Active Civic Participation of Immigrants in the United Kingdom (PDF) (Report). Carl von Ossietzky Universität Oldenburg. pp. 46–47.
- A Historical Guide to NGOs in Britain (M Hilton et al 2012), pages 83-83, Palgrave, "Key figures in JCWI, Claude Moraes director" https://books.google.co.uk/books?isbn=1137029021
- Lydia Morris (2010) Asylum, Welfare & the Cosmopolitan Ideal, Routledge "As in the (1996) Court of Appeal judgement of JCWI"
- Report of the CRE https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=uCkUmlWUXAcC
- Liberty Annual Review 2002 pg13 https://www.libertyhumanrights.org.uk/about/pdf-docs/2002-annual-review.pdf
- Moraes, Claude (2003). "The Politics of European Union Migration Policy". The Political Quarterly. 74: 116–131. doi:10.1111/j.1467-923X.2003.00585.x.
- Espinoza, Sabina Anne; Moraes, Claude (2012). "The law and politics of migration and asylum: The Lisbon Treaty and the EU". The European Union after the Treaty of Lisbon. p. 156. doi:10.1017/CBO9781139084338.007. ISBN 9781139084338. Cambridge University Press
- Moraes C. (2018) The European Parliament & Transatlantic Relations. In Fahey E (eds) Institutionalisation Beyond the Nation State, Studies in European Economic Law & Regulation Vol 10, Springer, Cham https://link.springer.com/book/10.1007/978-3-319-50221-2
- MEPs|OBV https://www.obv.org.uk>
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- S&D Group Elects Coordinators for EP Committees, 3 Sept, 2009, https://www.socialistsanddemocrats.eu
- Natasha Lomas (23 November 2014). "Digital Privacy Is "The New Frontier Of Human Rights"". TechCrunch.
- Gros, Valentin; De Goede, Marieke; Işleyen, Beste (2017). "The Snowden Files Made Public: A Material Politics of Contesting Surveillance". International Political Sociology. 11: 73–89. doi:10.1093/ips/olw031. hdl:11245.1/f3c18967-0847-4a88-8705-3855687ed8ad.
- Brexit citizens living in Europe could have rights curtailed warns leading MEP, Independent, 4 July 2017, "Claude Moraes...member of the European Parliament Brexit Steering Committee"
- MEPs Visit Libya, 23 May 2018, https://www.europeaninterest.eu>article[permanent dead link]
- Euractive Press Releases, pr.euractiv.com Justice & Home Affairs, 24 Sept 2018, "Polish Govt must stop dismantling Polish Supreme Court"
- Rule of Law in Poland: MEPs to check situation on the ground, Sept 18, 2018 https://www.europeaninterest.eu "Poland
- The UK's European Elections www.bbc.co.uk
- The Parliament Magazine, Publisher Dod's 2011, www.the parliament magazine.eu, MEP Awards, December 1, 2011
- Ryan Heath (19 May 2016). "The 40 MEPs who actually matter: The Ranking". Politico.
- "Who holds the power in the European Parliament? Assessing the influence of individual MEPs". Vote Watch Europe. 11 September 2017.
- "One of the3million awards went to 3 worthy politicians who have been of great support to us over the last three years (left to right): Labour MEP @Claude_Moraes Tory MP @AlbertoCostaMP SNP MP @Stuart_McDonaldpic.twitter.com/5KpGYjz0d0". 11 October 2019.
- "No. 62866". The London Gazette (Supplement). 28 December 2019. p. N14.