The EU should withhold budget support from Egypt unless it makes significant progress with human rights, democracy and the rule of law, say MEPs in a resolution passed on Thursday. They also call for the death sentences on 21 football supporters involved in the Port Said tragedy to be commuted and for a moratorium on all death penalties in Egypt.
The EU should set clear conditions for its aid to Egypt, following the "more for more" principle, should it steer away from democratic reforms and respect for human rights and freedoms, the EP says. Civil society, women's and minority rights must be the primary focus of EU aid, it stresses, recalling that the EU aid package of nearly EUR 5 billion for 2012-2013 is partly conditional on respect on human rights, democracy and economic governance.
Stop the violence, in particular against women
MEPs are deeply concerned about the increasing polarisation and continued violence in Egypt. They are especially alarmed by the rise in violence against women, in particular female protesters and women's rights activists, and stress that the perpetrators must be brought to justice. All laws allowing for the unrestricted use of violence by police and security forces against civilians must also be abolished, MEPs say.
Inclusive political process before elections
MEPs acknowledge the decision by the Egyptian electoral commission to cancel the parliamentary elections scheduled for April. The government should now use this period to set up an inclusive political process based on consensus, MEPs underline. The opposition forces had in fact announced they would boycott the elections amidst concerns over the lack of guarantees of a free and fair ballot.
Return stolen assets
EU Member States should facilitate the return to the people of Egypt of assets stolen by the former regime, the resolution says. These assets could contribute to delivering justice and accountability to the Egyptian people. Returning them would also be highly symbolic in the relations between the EU and Egypt, MEPs add.