PN Member Franziska Brantner Visits Egypt 2 Years After the Revolution

Franziska Brantner in the Egyptian Parliament with the participants of the training on women's committees.

In early April Franziska Brantner travelled to Egypt for the second time, to get a personal impression of the situation on the ground. She met with different members of civil society, politicians as well representatives of human rights organizations. The focus of her trip was the current human rights situation and how it has developed since the revolution, in particular the status of women. Furthermore, Franziska Brantner wanted to find out what kind of EU support would be effective in supporting the difficult current transition process.

But it was also important for Franziska Brantner to actively contribute. Thus she held a training for staff of the Egyptian Parliament on the work of the European Parliament’s Committee for Women’s Rights and Gender Equality, which was met with high interest. Her conclusions at the end of her trip were mixed: “Many things have changed since my last visit. Some things have changed for the better, some developments worry me. The atmosphere has become more aggressive and confrontational between the different actors. The frustration about the lack of substantial progress is high and the excessive use of force on the side of the security apparatus during and after the revolution has so far not been investigated fully, officers have not been held accountable for their violations.”

There exist serious reservations about the independence of the judiciary and the police continues to use disproportionate force against demonstrators. Also the demonstrations have become more prone to violence. The fronts between the government and the opposition have hardened and the opposition remains divided. But there is also hope.

During her visit Franziska Brantner had the opportunity to meet many courageous women and men who continue to fight for their rights. “We owe them to not let the focus shift away from Egypt but the EU has to continue to watch the actions of Morsi and his government closely. The EU should maintain its support to Egypt but the funding has to be connected to clear political conditions to keep our commitment to the democratic transition.”

Originallly published on Franziska Brantner's Homepage.

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