Procedure : 2018/2711(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : B8-0249/2018

Texts tabled :


Debates :

Votes :

PV 31/05/2018 - 7.8
Explanations of votes

Texts adopted :


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See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B8-0244/2018

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 Nicaragua  (2018/2711(RSP))

Charles Tannock, Karol Karski, Ruža Tomašić, Raffaele Fitto, Monica Macovei, Valdemar Tomaševski, Jana Žitňanská, Pirkko Ruohonen-Lerner, Jadwiga Wiśniewska, Anna Elżbieta Fotyga on behalf of the ECR Group

European Parliament resolution on the situation in Nicaragua  (2018/2711(RSP))  

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to its previous resolutions on Nicaragua,

–  having regard to the Association Agreement between the EU and Central America of 29 June 2012,

–  having regard to the statements by the Spokesperson of the VP/HR of 22 April 2018 on the situation in Nicaragua and of 15 May 2018 on the establishment of a national dialogue in Nicaragua,

–  having regard to the EU Country Strategy Paper and Multiannual Indicative Programme 2014-2020 on Nicaragua,

–  having regard to the Nicaraguan Constitution,

–  having regard to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), ratified by Nicaragua in 1980,

–  having regard to the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) of 2007, to which Nicaragua is a party,

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

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

A.  whereas Nicaragua has been engulfed by political unrest since 18 April, after President Daniel Ortega proposed austerity measures in relation to the country’s social security system; whereas in late April, President Ortega backtracked on his social security measures;

B.  whereas the government’s response was violent, with security forces around the country firing live ammunition to break up the protests;

C.  whereas the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), upon an invitation by the government, conducted a working visit to Nicaragua in May in order to observe the situation of human rights in the country in the context of the events that had taken place since mid-April;

D.  whereas in a preliminary report of its findings, the IACHR stated that, since 18 April, it had documented at least 76 people killed and 868 injured;

E.  whereas on 19 April, four TV news channels were temporarily taken off the air to stop live coverage of the protests; whereas journalists were reportedly attacked while covering the protests;

F.  whereas on 27 April, the president of the Asamblea Nacional, Gustavo Porras, announced the creation of a Truth Commission to investigate what happened during the protests; whereas on 6 May, a board of seven lawmakers – five of whom belong to President Ortega’s party – picked the Commission’s five members and the Asamblea Nacional ratified their appointment;

G.  whereas a national dialogue started on 16 May, with the Catholic Church acting as mediator, envisaging the participation of all political forces; whereas on 23 May, the talks reached an impasse and the process was suspended indefinitely, as the government negotiators refused to discuss a 40-point agenda presented by the mediators, which included a road map towards democratic elections, including reforms to the electoral law, bringing forward elections and prohibiting presidential re-election;

H.  whereas democracy and rule of law have deteriorated in Nicaragua over recent years, as the President has solidified his grip on parliament, the judiciary, the army, the police and the media, and civil society space has steadily narrowed;

I.  whereas the development and consolidation of democracy and the rule of law and respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms must form an integral part of the EU’s external policies, including the Association Agreement between the European Union and the countries of Central America of 2012;

1.  Expresses its deep concern at the violent clashes between protesters and security forces in Nicaragua, leaving many dead and wounded;

2.  Expresses its condolences to the families of the victims;

3.  Emphasises that protests need to be conducted peacefully, and that public security forces must act with maximum restraint;

4.  Urges the government to launch an impartial and independent investigation and to prosecute those involved in committing human rights abuses during the protests; is concerned that the members of the Truth Commission newly set up by the Asamblea Nacional all have close ties to the ruling party, which seriously undermines any appearance of impartiality; welcomes the decision of the government to invite the IACHR to visit the country;

5.  Calls on the government to respect the freedom of expression and of assembly in a peaceful manner, in line with national and international law, as an essential element of a democratic society; calls, furthermore, on the authorities to respect the freedom of the press and the media as a vital element of an open society, as guaranteed by the Nicaraguan Constitution;

6.  Welcomes the setting up of a national dialogue; deplores, however, the fact that the process reached an impasse already one week after the start of the talks; stresses its support for an inclusive dialogue on justice and democracy and believes that this is the only way out of the crisis; calls on the government to participate in the dialogue in an open and responsible manner and to do its utmost to ensure a successful outcome of the dialogue;

7.  Expresses its concern at the steadily deteriorating human rights situation in Nicaragua; calls on the government to fully respect democratic values, including the separation of powers; recalls that the full participation of the opposition, the depolarisation of the judiciary, the end of impunity, and an independent civil society are essential factors for the success of a democracy;

8.  Points out that, in the light of the Association Agreement between the European Union and the countries of Central America, Nicaragua must be reminded of the need to respect the principles of the rule of law, democracy and human rights, as upheld and promoted by the EU; urges the EU to monitor the situation and, if necessary, assess the potential measures to be taken;

9.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Commission, the Council, the European External Action Service, the Member States, the Government and Parliament of Nicaragua.


Last updated: 29 May 2018Legal notice