Procedure : 2017/2654(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : B8-0333/2017

Texts tabled :


Debates :

Votes :

PV 18/05/2017 - 11.11
Explanations of votes

Texts adopted :


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See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B8-0331/2017

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 EU strategy on Syria (2017/2654(RSP))

Charles Tannock, Ryszard Antoni Legutko, Ryszard Czarnecki, Tomasz Piotr Poręba, Ruža Tomašić, Jussi Halla-aho, Raffaele Fitto, Karol Karski, Zdzisław Krasnodębski, Angel Dzhambazki, Jana Žitňanská, Geoffrey Van Orden, Pirkko Ruohonen-Lerner, Branislav Škripek, Anna Elżbieta Fotyga, Mark Demesmaeker on behalf of the ECR Group

European Parliament resolution on the EU strategy on Syria (2017/2654(RSP))  

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to its previous resolutions on the situation in Syria,

–  having regard to the EU Strategy on Syria, adopted by the Council on 3 April 2017,

–  having regard to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948,

–  having regard to the Geneva Convention of 1949 and the additional protocols thereto,

–  having regard to the 1966 International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights,

–  having regard to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child of 1989, and its Optional Protocol on the involvement of children in armed conflict of 2000,

–  having regard to the UN Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Intolerance and of Discrimination based on Religion and Belief of 1981,

–  having regard to the United Nations Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on their Destruction of 1993,

–  having regard to the United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide of 9 December 1948,

–  having regard to the Geneva Communiqué of June 2012,

–  having regard to the conclusions of the London Syria Conference of February 2016,

–  having regard to the conclusions of the conference ‘Supporting the future of Syria and the region’ held in Brussels on 4-5 April 2017, and to previous conferences on the situation in Syria held in London, Kuwait, Berlin and Helsinki,

–  having regard to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court,

–  having regard to United Nations Security Council resolutions on Syria, in particular UNSC resolution 2254 (2015),

–  having regard to the Council decisions on EU restrictive measures against those responsible for violent repression in Syria, including those of 14 November 2016 and of 20 March 2017,

–  having regard to the Memorandum on the creation of de-escalation areas in the Syrian Arab Republic, signed by Iran, Russia and Turkey on 6 May 2017,

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

A.  whereas the war in Syria is now in its seventh year and whereas the conflict has resulted in the deaths of more than 250 000 people and has left thousands more injured or maimed, 13.5 million in need of humanitarian assistance and five million as refugees in neighbouring countries;

B.  whereas the war in Syria has gradually drawn in major regional and global powers, exposed deep divisions and threatened wider regional and international security, including that of the European Union and its Member States;

C.  whereas the Syrian regime is primarily responsible for the protection and safety of all its citizens;

D.  whereas Syria’s education, health and social welfare systems are in a state of collapse as a consequence of the bloody conflict;

E.  whereas Russia is one of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s most important international backers, and the survival of the Syrian regime is critical to maintaining Russian interests in the country; whereas Russia has vetoed resolutions critical of President Assad at the UN Security Council and continues to provide military support to the Syrian regime despite international condemnation;

F.  whereas international humanitarian and human rights law prohibits the targeting of individuals or groups based on religious or ethnic identity, as well as attacks against civilians not taking part in hostilities and individuals bringing humanitarian aid to those trapped by the conflict; whereas such actions may constitute war crimes and crimes against humanity;

G.  whereas the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, signed and ratified by all EU Member States, affirms that the most serious crimes of concern to the international community as a whole, in particular genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes, must not go unpunished;

H.  whereas the use of torture, mass arrests and the widespread destruction of populated areas have escalated dramatically, with large numbers of Syrians displaced and many forced to move further away from much-needed humanitarian assistance;

I.  whereas there can be no military solution to the conflict and no meaningful or successful peace agreement which sees Syrian President Bashar al-Assad remain in power;

J.  whereas despite the creation of so-called ‘de-escalation zones’ in Syria, in a deal agreed by Russia, Turkey and Iran, shelling, bombing and gunfire continue in other parts of the country; whereas the main Syrian opposition group has said it has little faith in the deal;

K.  whereas the Syrian Government is reportedly continuing to make chemical weapons in violation of a 2013 deal to eliminate them;

1.  Condemns the indiscriminate suffering of innocent civilians due to bombing, shelling and other military means, the organised use of torture and sexual violence, and the deprivation of humanitarian aid, and believes the use of incendiary and other munitions against civilian targets and infrastructure constitutes a war crime;

2.  Demands an immediate end to the bombing of, and the indiscriminate attacks against, civilians, aid workers and medical facilities so that the most urgent medical cases can be evacuated from Aleppo and other besieged areas, and in order to facilitate urgent and meaningful talks aimed at securing peace in Syria;

3.  Praises the efforts of humanitarian aid workers in seeking to bring much-needed relief, food, water and medicines to those trapped by the conflict, and urges all sides involved in the conflict to ensure safe, unfettered access for humanitarian agencies to those civilians affected by the war;

4.  Welcomes the adoption of the EU strategy on Syria and the determination of Member States to work collectively, and with international partners, to achieve a peaceful, sustainable solution to the conflict in line with UN Security Council resolution 2254 (2015) and the Geneva Communiqué of June 2012;

5.  Encourages the ongoing efforts by Member States to address the needs of post-conflict Syria once a genuinely inclusive peace process and political transition is under way, including immediate humanitarian assistance, the rebuilding of key infrastructure and support for education and healthcare;

6.  Welcomes the financial contributions already made by the European Union and its Member States to support those countries neighbouring Syria that are providing shelter for refugees fleeing the conflict; encourages the continuation of this support;

7.  Believes that solutions to the conflict in Syria cannot be found in isolation, but must include a wider strategy for conflict resolution, peace building and humanitarian assistance across the region, as well as measures to address the root causes of extremism;

8.  Urges all members of the UN Security Council to honour their responsibilities with regard to the crisis;

9.  Condemns Russia for vetoing numerous UN Security Council resolutions on the conflict in Syria, and for its support for the Assad regime;

10.  Rejects any role for President Bashar al-Assad in post-conflict Syria;

11.  Supports the Council and other international bodies in contemplating further restrictive measures against individuals and groups responsible for human rights violations and violent repression of the civilian population in Syria;

12.  Strongly encourages the EU and its Member States to work with international partners and agencies to secure information about, access to and the release of individuals unlawfully detained and disappeared by the Syrian regime and by a number of armed opposition groups;

13.  Urges the EU and its Member States collectively to ensure full funding of the UN Syria accountability mechanism tasked with collecting, preserving and analysing evidence of atrocities and other war crimes committed by all parties to the conflict in Syria, with a view to pursuing criminal proceedings in the International Criminal Court;

14.  Supports prosecution in the International Criminal Court of those individuals accused of indiscriminate attacks against civilian populations, the deliberate withholding of humanitarian aid from those starving to death, the use of chemical weapons against innocent people and the organised use of torture and sexual violence, and pledges to continue to work for accountability in Syria;

15.  Urges the resumption of political negotiations under the auspices of the United Nations in Geneva as swiftly as possible with a view to ending the conflict and easing the suffering of the Syrian people;

16.  Supports the work of the UN special envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura, in seeking to secure international agreement for a sustainable peace settlement;

17.  Remains committed to the unity, sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence of Syria;

18.  Supports the international coalition in its military action against IS/Daesh and other designated terrorist groups in Syria;

19.  Recognises the contribution of the Astana meetings to seeking a peaceful solution to the conflict, and reminds Russia, Iran, and Turkey of their responsibility as guarantors to ensure full compliance with ceasefires and the de-escalation of fighting in designated areas;

20.  Believes that the Astana meetings must complement the Geneva process in de-escalating the conflict and in bringing all sides together in the interests of securing a meaningful, sustainable peace accord;

21.  Reminds all participants of the ‘Supporting the future of Syria and the region’ conference of April 2017 of their commitments, and encourages them to fulfil their existing pledges to support the people of Syria and those forced to flee to neighbouring countries;

22.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the governments and parliaments of the Member States, the UN Secretary-General, the Secretary-General of the Arab League, the Government and Parliament of the Syrian Arab Republic, and the governments and parliaments of Syria’s neighbouring countries.

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