Egypt: Avoid Bloodshed and Ensure Inclusive Elections, MEPs Say

2011: Reacting to the dizzying changes in Egypt, MEPs passed a resolution calling on the EU to rethink and improve its political and financial strategy to assist the country’s transition to democracy, including organising free elections. They also call for a freeze on the assets of all Egyptian leaders responsible for misappropriating public funds in the country.

The EU must do everything in its power to prevent a bloody civil war in Egypt, foreign affairs MEPs said on Tuesday. They also stressed that the EU could only support an inclusive and genuine election process, in their debate with the EU special envoy for the Southern Mediterranean, Bernardino Leon.

Restraint and no retribution must be the guiding principles promoted by the EU in Egypt, MEPs said. They stressed that the military could not keep power but the elections to be held in six months must not further polarise Egyptian society. The EU must also make sure that national political dialogue becomes a priority, women and other vulnerable groups are respected and that freedom of speech is enshrined in the new constitution.

At the same time, the EU must insist that the underlying causes of the current conflict – which are also social and economic – are tackled, said MEPs.

Exert pressure on the Egyptian authorities

A number of MEPs favoured exerting all possible pressure on the interim Egyptian authorities, including financial and political pressure, in order to secure a credible roadmap to the restoration of democracy. The next Foreign Affairs Council on 24 July should give the EU a suitable deadline for making a reasoned judgement on whether the new authorities are going in the right direction, MEPs argued.

Make EU aid more effective

MEPs also exchanged views with Karel Pinxten, Member of the European Court of Auditors, on the Court's recent report on the management of EU funds in Egypt from 2007 to September 2012, which called for EU aid to be more effective.


Originally published on European Parliament / News.

Photo by European Parliament.

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