Procedure : 2014/3017(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : B8-0022/2015

Texts tabled :

B8-0022/2015

Debates :

Votes :

PV 15/01/2015 - 11.7
CRE 15/01/2015 - 11.7
Explanations of votes

Texts adopted :

P8_TA(2015)0012

MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION
PDF 228kWORD 61k
See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B8-0012/2015
12.1.2015
PE547.445v01-00
 
B8-0022/2015

to wind up the debate on the statement by the Vice-President of the Commission/High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy

pursuant to Rule 123(2) of the Rules of Procedure


on the situation in Egypt (2014/3017(RSP))


Charles Tannock, Geoffrey Van Orden, Ruža Tomašić, Valdemar Tomaševski, Ryszard Czarnecki on behalf of the ECR Group

European Parliament resolution on the situation in Egypt (2014/3017(RSP))  
B8‑0022/2015

The European Parliament,

–       having regard to its previous resolutions on the situation in Egypt, including that of 6 February 2014(1),

–       having regard to the European Neighbourhood Policy and the most recent progress report on Egypt of March 2014,

–       having regard to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,

–       having regard to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights of 1966, to which Egypt is a party,

–       having regard to the new Egyptian Constitution, endorsed in a national referendum in January 2014,

–       having regard to the EU-Egypt Association Agreement of 2004,

–       having regard to the conclusions of the Third European Union–League of Arab States Foreign Affairs Ministerial Meeting, held in Athens (Greece) in June 2014,

–       having regard to Rule 123(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.     whereas Egypt is a long-standing strategic partner for the European Union, with shared goals of building stability, peace, and prosperity in the Mediterranean and Middle East regions; whereas Egypt has been a major recipient of EU aid;

B.     whereas Egypt and the EU are party to the legally binding Association Agreement which came into force in 2004;

C.     whereas the optimism born out of the Arab Spring and the fall of the Mubarak regime was followed by political and social polarisation and violence;

D.     whereas 25 January 2015 will mark the fourth anniversary of the revolution which ousted President Mubarak;

E.     whereas in May 2014 Abdul Fattah al-Sisi was elected President, marking the latest phase of political change in Egypt following the removal of President Mohamed Morsi in July 2013;

F.     whereas the Egyptian Parliament is currently dissolved and elections to the House of Representatives are expected to take place in two phases, starting on 22/23 March 2015;

G.     whereas the removal of President Morsi was followed by a violent crackdown, the deaths of around 1 000 people, and the outlawing of the Muslim Brotherhood;

H.     whereas there are growing concerns about the human rights situation in Egypt, particularly in the areas of freedom of expression and assembly;

I.      whereas the recent recovery of economic activity in Egypt has yet to impact on unemployment and poverty levels, which remain high;

J.      whereas violence in Sinai has increased since 2011, and more than 500 security personnel have been killed following the ousting of President Morsi in 2013; whereas this upsurge in violence threatens to destabilise the wider region;

K.     whereas hundreds of civilians are being tried in military courts after a decree by President al-Sisi that greatly extended their authority; whereas it is reported that this allows civil prosecutors to retroactively refer civilian cases under investigation or trial to military jurisdiction;

L.     whereas on 2 December 2014 a court in Gizeh issued preliminary death sentences on as many as 188 defendants for a violent attack on a police station the previous year;

M.    whereas on 1 January 2015 Egypt’s highest court ordered a retrial of three al-Jazeera journalists jailed on charges of spreading false news and of collaborating with the banned Muslim Brotherhood after the overthrow of President Morsi by the military in 2013;

N.     whereas, in line with the EU’s revised European Neighbourhood Policy and notably the ‘more for more’ approach, the level and scope of the Union’s engagement with Egypt is incentive-based and is therefore dependent on the progress made by Egypt with regard to respecting its commitments in areas such as democracy, the rule of law, human rights and gender equality;

O.     whereas the fall of President Morsi was followed by increased attacks and discrimination against Egypt’s Coptic Christians, as well as the destruction of scores of churches;

1.      Expresses its solidarity with the people of Egypt and offers continued support to their efforts to secure a peaceful and democratic transition involving political, economic and social reforms;

2.      Reaffirms its commitment to Egypt as a key strategic partner in the region; further urges the Government of Egypt to fulfil its international commitments as a major power in the southern Mediterranean region;

3.      Believes that human rights are integral to the creation of a stable, prosperous, and democratic Egypt, and calls on all actors to uphold the principles concerned;

4.      Strongly supports an inclusive political process with the participation of all democratic actors, in order to ensure that the necessary political, economic, judicial and social reforms are introduced, in line with the interests of all Egyptian citizens;

5.      Believes that Egypt’s transition to a democratic state has the potential to be the role model for many other countries in the region;

6.      Expresses its growing concern at the worsening security situation in Sinai; once again condemns the use of violence and intimidation in all forms, and calls on all actors to exercise maximum restraint with the aim of preventing loss of life or injury;

7.      Welcomes the commitments made by President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to building a state that respects rights and freedoms, including the rule of law and freedom of expression for all; further encourages the Egyptian Government to implement these fundamental rights and freedoms in full;

8.      Condemns the increased use of military courts to try civilians; further calls on the Egyptian judicial authorities to ensure the right of defendants to a fair and timely trial based on clear charges and proper independent investigations, as well as their right of access to and contact with lawyers and family members, and to respect due process;

9.      Demands the immediate release of al-Jazeera journalists Peter Greste, Mohamed Fahmy and Baher Mohamed, who are now awaiting retrial in respect of charges of spreading false news and collaborating with the banned Muslim Brotherhood; further calls for the sentences passed on their fellow al-Jazeera journalist Sue Turton and two other foreign correspondents after they were convicted in absentia on similar charges to be quashed ;

10.    Believes that all journalists must be allowed to report on the situation in Egypt without fear of prosecution, imprisonment, intimidation, or restrictions on their freedom of speech or expression;

11.    Calls on the Government of Egypt to guarantee that domestic and international civil society organisations and independent trade unions can operate freely without government interference or intimidation in the country;

12.    Welcomes the efforts of the Government of Egypt to achieve reconciliation in the Israel-Palestine situation;

13.    Further welcomes the efforts of the Government of Egypt in assisting those fleeing the fighting in Syria and Iraq;

14.    Condemns the continued attacks against minority religious groups in Egypt, and calls on the Government of Egypt to prosecute those carrying out such attacks;

15.    Welcomes the fact that Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi became the first president to attend mass at a church in Cairo, on the Coptic Christmas Eve, and believes this is an important, symbolic statement in the efforts to build unity within Egyptian society;

16.    Welcomes the announcement that parliamentary elections will take place in two phases, starting on 22/23 March 2015;

17.    Invites the Government of Egypt to ask for the deployment of an EU Election Observation Mission to monitor the upcoming parliamentary elections;

18.    Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the EEAS, the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the European Commission, the parliaments and governments of the Member States, and the President and Government of Egypt.

(1)

Texts adopted, P7_TA(2014)0100.

Legal notice