Claude Moraes

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Claude Moraes

Official EP image 2009.jpg
Member of the European Parliament
for London
Assumed office
15 July 1999
Preceded byPosition established
Personal details
Born (1965-10-22) 22 October 1965 (age 53)
Political partyLabour
Alma materUniversity of Dundee
Birkbeck, University of London LSE
WebsiteOfficial website
European parliament page

Claude Ajit Moraes (born 22 October 1965) is a British Labour Party politician, who has been a Member of the European Parliament (MEP) for London since 1999.[1] He is Chair of the Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Committee and former Deputy Leader of the Labour Party in the European Parliament.[2]


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 three from India. His parents are Indian Catholics from Karnataka (Mangalore) and Mumbai respectively. He attended the comprehensive 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. [3]

Previous work[edit]

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. [4]

He was appointed House of Commons researcher to MPs John Reid and Paul Boateng following the 1987 General Election [5] 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 attracted attention[6] 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.[7] At JCWI he helped organise key legal challenges in the UK and European Courts[8] 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 for the period 1997-2002 [9] and he was also an elected Council member of Liberty during this period.[10]

He has written regularly on migration, human rights and privacy/digital issues including for publications [11] and academic books.[12][13]

He contested the parliamentary constituency of Harrow West in the 1992 General Election, placing second with 22.5% of the vote.

Member of the European Parliament, 1999-present[edit]

He was first elected to the European Parliament in the 1999 European elections, one of the first South Asian (Indian) origin MEPs elected to the European Parliament and London's first ethnic minority MEP.[14] [15] He was re-elected to the European Parliament at number one on the Labour Party list in 2004. In 2009, he was number one on the London list of Labour candidates in the European Parliamentary elections, being re-elected to the European Parliament for the third time. He led the London list going into the 2014 European elections and was elected for a fourth term.

Moraes was the elected Spokesperson for the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats on the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs from 2009 to 2014.[16] His Parliamentary legislative reports include the Protection of Seasonal Workers in the EU (2014) and Blue Card (Migration) Directive (Revision) (2017).[17]

In 2013 Moraes was appointed Rapporteur for the Parliament Inquiry into Mass Surveillance following the leaks from Edward Snowden.[18] 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" was voted by the EP in March 2014 and is sometimes referred to as the Parliament's "European Digital Bill of Rights" as it looks at the future of key data, human rights and commercial priorities for the EU in the area of data protection, surveillance, governance of the internet, cybercrime, media freedom, scrutiny, anti-terrorism and technology.[19]

In July 2014 Moraes was elected Chairman of the European Parliament Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE Committee).

In 2018 as part of his Committee's increasing role in the external & humanitarian aspects of the refugee crisis, he led delegations to Libya and Niger to develop the European Parliament's response.[20]

Also in 2018 he was appointed Standing Rapporteur for the European Parliament consent procedure relating to 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 both Poland and Slovakia.[21][22]

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.[23]


In 2011 Moraes was Dod's and the European Parliament Magazine's 'MEP of the Year'[24] for his work on Justice and Civil Liberties. In 2016 he was named as one of Politico Magazine's "40 MEPs Who Actually Matter".[25] In 2017 the organisation Vote Watch Europe listed him as "the most influential" UK MEP and sixth most influential MEP in the European Parliament.[26]


  1. ^ "Claude MORAES". European Parliament.
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^ Toynbee Hall Annual Report 1998
  5. ^
  6. ^ Düvell, Franck (2005). Active Civic Participation of Immigrants in the United Kingdom (PDF) (Report). Carl von Ossietzky Universität Oldenburg. pp. 46–47.
  7. ^ A Historical Guide to NGOs in Britain (M Hilton et al 2012), pages 83-83, Palgrave, "Key figures in JCWI, Claude Moraes director"
  8. ^ Lydia Morris (2010) Asylum, Welfare & the Cosmopolitan Ideal, Routledge "As in the (1996) Court of Appeal judgement of JCWI"
  9. ^ Report of the CRE
  10. ^ Liberty Annual Review 2002 pg13
  11. ^ Moraes, Claude (2003). "The Politics of European Union Migration Policy". The Political Quarterly. 74: 116. doi:10.1111/j.1467-923X.2003.00585.x.
  12. ^ 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
  13. ^ 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
  14. ^ MEPs|OBV>
  15. ^ 3 PIO MEPs elected to EU Parliament from UK, Naomi Canton, May 2019
  16. ^ S&D Group Elects Coordinators for EP Committees, 3 Sept, 2009,
  17. ^ MEPs Europan Parliament, History of parliamentary service
  18. ^ Natasha Lomas (23 November 2014). "Digital Privacy Is "The New Frontier Of Human Rights"". TechCrunch.
  19. ^ Gros, Valentin; De Goede, Marieke; Işleyen, Beste (2017). "The Snowden Files Made Public: A Material Politics of Contesting Surveillance". International Political Sociology. 11: 73. doi:10.1093/ips/olw031.
  20. ^ MEPs Visit Libya, May 23, 2018,>article
  21. ^ Euractive Press Releases, Justice & Home Affairs, 24 Sept 2018, "Polish Govt must stop dismantling Polish Supreme Court"
  22. ^ Rule of Law in Poland: MEPs to check situation on the ground, Sept 18, 2018 "Poland
  23. ^ The UK's European Elections
  24. ^ The Parliament Magazine, Publisher Dod's 2011, www.the parliament, MEP Awards, December 1, 2011
  25. ^ Ryan Heath (19 May 2016). "The 40 MEPs who actually matter: The Ranking". Politico.
  26. ^ "Who holds the power in the European Parliament? Assessing the influence of individual MEPs". Vote Watch Europe. 11 September 2017.

External links[edit]