UAE’s Secret Pressure Campaign Raises Concerns Over Influence on French Decision-Making

In a recent investigation, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has been scrutinized for its covert efforts to exert pressure and influence within France, mobilizing media outlets, companies, and think tanks to advance its interests and shape French politics. This strategic partnership between the UAE and France, while aiming to combat political Islam, particularly the Muslim Brotherhood, also seeks to enhance cooperation in various sectors such as defence and energy.

The investigation, published by Orient magazine, has exposed the UAE’s secretive lobbying activities within France’s halls of power. It reveals the employment of what has been termed a “tenacious lobby” strategy, unveiling the mechanisms employed by the UAE to sway influencers, opinion leaders, and decision-makers in France. The UAE aims to shape decisions and narratives that align with its interests in crucial areas through these methods.

At the centre of the UAE’s lobbying efforts is its campaign against Qatar and the Muslim Brotherhood, where it has launched a vigorous offensive against political Islam. The investigation highlights the UAE’s objective of persuading French decision-makers to support Abu Dhabi’s geopolitical orientations in the region while also seeking French assistance in areas such as the Yemeni conflict, arms deals, and regional movements.

The UAE has enlisted influential media outlets like EuroNews and private research centres like Bussola Institute to serve its interests. In 2017, the Abu Dhabi Media Investment Company acquired a significant 2% stake in EuroNews, providing substantial financial support. The investigation further reveals the UAE’s efforts to attract French politicians, including Senator Natalie Julie, who has actively promoted the Emirati agenda in countering terrorism financing.

The Emirati lobby in France focuses on criticizing Qatar and shapes perceptions of the Muslim Brotherhood. Through parliamentary friendship groups and political alliances, it constructs a narrative that links Qatar, the Muslim Brotherhood, and terrorism, which finds resonance among French parliamentarians. This influence is evident in the passage of legislation aimed at strengthening the principles of the French Republic to counter Islamic separatism.

However, concerns have been raised by human rights organizations over the unintended consequences of these intensified measures targeting the Muslim Brotherhood in France. The narratives linking the Muslim Brotherhood to terrorism risk fostering increased hostility towards Muslims in Europe and potentially undermining long-term social cohesion.

The secretive pressure and influence campaign of the United Arab Emirates in France reflects the strategic partnership between the two countries and their shared objectives in combatting political Islam.

Through media manipulation and active participation in think tanks and political alliances, the UAE seeks to shape narratives and advance its geopolitical interests. Nevertheless, these efforts raise concerns about the potential consequences for European religious and social cohesion. A comprehensive understanding of the dynamics of this influence campaign is crucial to assess its impact on French politics and the broader European context.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *