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Mercoledì 6 luglio 2011 - Strasburgo Edizione rivista

12. Situazione nel mondo arabo e nell'Africa del nord - Situazione in Yemen - Situazione in Siria (seguito della discussione)
Video degli interventi
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  President. − We now continue with the debate on the situation in the Arab world and North Africa, Syria and Yemen.

 
  
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  Ioannis Kasoulides (PPE). - Mr President, it is unacceptable that there is no reaction by the Security Council to the developments in Syria. International humanitarian law transcends the narrow notion of non-interference in the internal affairs of states and the danger to peace and security cannot concern only states, but also the security of individuals.

Russia and China must be convinced to lift their opposition and allow the Security Council to condemn in the first instance the use of lethal force perpetrated against civilians, who must enjoy freedom of assembly, expression and peaceful demonstration.

On Yemen, the GCC plan must be put into effect now, taking into account that Ali Abdullah Saleh is out of the country for reasons of health and must be discouraged by Saudi Arabia from returning, for the same reasons.

In Bahrain, the national dialogue and the commission of inquiry appointed to investigate the events must also answer the question of why the Shia majority is living in conditions of poor housing and in poverty within a rich country. Because this is what it is all about.

On Libya, I support France for providing weapons to unarmed civilians in danger of massacre by the Gaddafi forces, in conformity with Resolution 1973. Even a landing of special forces for a 24-hour clean-up operation and then withdrawal – let us say in Zliten or Al Zawiya – is not an occupation force and is within the remit of Resolution 1973. Gaddafi’s departure must be hastened.

 
  
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  Hannes Swoboda (S&D). - Herr Präsident! Ich möchte mich zuerst bei Frau Ashton und Herrn Stefan Füle recht herzlich für das wirklich großartige Engagement in unserer Nachbarschaft bedanken. Natürlich bleiben einige Fragen offen. Was Libyen betrifft, frage ich mich: Wann kommen wir zu einer Lösung? Rein militärisch wird es nicht gehen. Man muss also versuchen, auch parallel eine politische Lösung anzustreben – nicht anstatt einer militärischen, sondern parallel zu einer militärischen.

Was Syrien betrifft, teile ich natürlich die Wut und den Ärger über die Situation, und ich bin auch sehr dafür, dass wir, wie Kollege Verhofstadt das gesagt hat und wie es auch in der Entschließung heißt, diese Aktionen ausdehnen. Die Frage ist: Gibt es noch eine Chance für eine Sicherheitsratsresolution oder nicht? Oder was sind die Voraussetzungen dafür, um mit Russland in dieser Frage hier zu einem Konsens zu kommen? Alles andere zeigt nur wieder, wie wichtig ein gutes Verhältnis zwischen der Europäischen Union und der Türkei ist. Denn dieses Verhältnis ist gerade für die Situation in dieser Region sehr wichtig und straft all diejenigen Lügen, die sagen, wir brauchen die Türkei nicht als Partner – ich will jetzt nicht von einer Mitgliedschaft reden – in dieser Region.

Drittens: Frau Ashton, können wir die Dinge in dieser Region längerfristig bearbeiten, ohne Sonderbeauftragte auf Ministerrang zu haben? Sie haben Beauftrage ernannt, das ist absolut richtig. Aber es gibt ja Leute, ob ich jetzt einen Moratinus erwähne oder andere, die zur Verfügung stehen würden, um Sie zu unterstützen. Denn Sie beide leisten eine ungeheure Arbeit. Aber es ist ja nicht die einzige Region, mit der Sie zu tun haben. Herr Füle hat insbesondere auch mit einer östlichen Region zu tun. Da frage ich mich, ob wir noch eine stärkere politische – und ich betone: politische – Präsenz in dieser Region brauchen, durch die wir den Menschen dort klarmachen, dass wir als Europäische Union helfen wollen. Ich bitte Sie wirklich, das zu überlegen.

Der letzte Punkt, den ich erwähnen möchte: Wir geben verschiedene Signale. Hoffentlich meistens gute Signale. Sie sind in der Region, Sie sind anwesend, und dieses Europäische Parlament bekennt sich immer zur Solidarität. Aber in dieser Situation erwägt ein großes Mitgliedsland der Europäischen Union, Panzer zu liefern, wenn es auch „nur“ an Saudi-Arabien ist. Saudi-Arabien ist ein sinistres Regime. Saudi Arabien hat einen Nachbarn besetzt. Saudi-Arabien ist nicht Vertreter des Fortschrittsgedankens in dieser Region.

(Beifall)

Dass Deutschland bereit ist, Panzer zu liefern, empfinde ich als Skandal. Ich glaube, wir müssen uns ganz klar gegen Waffenlieferungen in diese Region zum jetzigen Zeitpunkt aussprechen.

 
  
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  Annemie Neyts-Uyttebroeck (ALDE). - Mr President, the turmoil in North Africa and the Middle East and what we call – for lack of a better word – the Arab world in general, is such that one does not know where to begin.

Of course the situation in Syria is the most worrisome and provokes the most indignation – and rightly so. Also worrisome is what appears increasingly to be a stalemate in Libya. I am afraid that in both situations a strictly military solution is probably not possible. If that is so, then we need to find a political, diplomatic solution, however unpalatable that might be inasmuch as it means, either directly or indirectly, entering into conversation and negotiation with leaders whom we despise and rightly want to see condemned for treating their own people in the most horrible way. I am afraid we need to face the fact that there might be no other solution.

With regard to the conflict between Palestine and Israel, it is clear to us that progress here could be extremely important, both to spare us the torment of having to take positions in the UN General Assembly next September and also in terms of advancing towards a peaceful solution.

Finally, I would like to welcome the glimmers of hope offered by recent events in Morocco, Jordan and – to a slightly lesser degree – Algeria, as well as the developments in Tunisia and Egypt. Let me conclude by calling upon the Member States to please respond to these positive developments with a ‘yes’ to increased financial assistance to the countries concerned.

 
  
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  Konrad Szymański (ECR). - Musimy zrobić z pewnością wszystko, aby demokracja utrzymała i rozwijała się na Bliskim Wschodzie, jednak demokracja to nie tylko procedury wyborcze. Potrzebne jest prawdziwe przestrzeganie prawa, w tym uznanych międzynarodowo praw mniejszości, a w tym praw mniejszości religijnych. W realiach Egiptu czy Iraku nadejście demokracji nie jest niestety równoznaczne z poszanowaniem wolności religijnej społeczności chrześcijańskich, które żyją tam od setek lat. Koptowie w Egipcie czują się dziś zagrożeni przemocą ze strony radykałów islamskich oraz dyskryminacją prawną, której ucieleśnieniem jest szariat jako źródło prawa w tamtejszej konstytucji. Chrześcijanie asyryjscy w Iraku są od lat wypędzani z kraju w imię czystek religijnych o bardzo podobnym podłożu. Nie możemy w tej sprawie milczeć. Nie chodzi o to, by demokracji na Bliskim Wschodzie czynić kłopoty, by jej przeszkadzać. Chodzi o to, by tworzyć tam podwaliny realnie demokratycznego porządku.

Apeluję, by Pani nigdy nie zapominała o sytuacji tamtejszych chrześcijan w tamtejszych krajach. Demokracja nie może oznaczać dla nich jeszcze więcej dyskryminacji.

 
  
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  Franziska Katharina Brantner (Verts/ALE). - Mr President, I would like to welcome Baroness Ashton and Mr Füle, it is a pleasure to have you both here with us. Baroness Ashton, I thank you for your commitment to the region and its democratic transformation. The people expect our genuine support especially after years of European hypocrisy and collaboration with the regimes. I have three points I would like to make.

Firstly, about the structures you have set up. You have, with the Member States, appointed a Special Representative for the region. I think it is good but it comes a bit late. As Mr Swoboda said, in appointing Mr Leon you have certainly picked a very experienced and knowledgeable man. However, he is not a public political figure and not somebody who has the weight to actually go there and lead the negotiations and have the continuous support we would like to see. You have set up a task force for the region which is chaired at director level. My question is: how will you articulate the task force and its director, the Special Representative and the External Action Service team you have together with Mr Füle and Mr Mingarelli sitting behind you? How will they articulate together? Will there be extra staff for example for the Special Representative?

My second question is on Egypt. I think it is important to continue criticising ongoing human rights violations in Egypt; it is not as if everything is going perfectly well there. I have two questions there for you on the housing project you have financed and I ask you: if you implement this, will you ensure that the local community is involved in the planning? And secondly, will you finance civil society monitoring of the project afterwards? The EIB cannot finance this. It needs to be financed by the other instruments that we have.

Und drittens – Herr Swoboda hat es erwähnt: die von Deutschland nach Saudi-Arabien gelieferten Panzer. Wir haben einen New Code of Conduct, und wie ich ihn verstehe, ist dieser nicht mit den aktuellen Exporten, die Deutschland vorhat, in Einklang zu bringen. Haben Sie dies kontrolliert? Haben Sie überprüft, ob das möglich ist? Was ist Ihre Stellung dazu? Vielleicht könnten Sie dazu etwas sagen. Ich glaube, es ist nicht förderlich für die Region, jetzt diese Signale und diese Unterstützung an Saudi-Arabien zu geben.

 
  
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  Κυριάκος Τριανταφυλλίδης (GUE/NGL). - Πρόεδρε, αυτό που σήμερα συντελείται στον αραβικό κόσμο αφήνει ήδη το ιστορικό του στίγμα στην πορεία των λαών της περιοχής για ελευθερία και δημοκρατία. Οι λαοί αυτοί αποτίναξαν πριν 50-60 χρόνια τον αποικιακό ζυγό αλλά οι αντιαποικιακές τους επαναστάσεις κατέληξαν δυστυχώς στην εγκαθίδρυση στρατιωτικών και σκοταδιστικών καθεστώτων.

Κάποια στιγμή, αυτό που συνέβη και στο Ιράν έδωσε την εντύπωση ότι οι λαοί της περιοχής στρέφονται προς στον Ισλαμισμό. Ήρθε όμως η Αραβική Άνοιξη να ανατρέψει αυτή την εντύπωση. Οι εξεγέρσεις στις αραβικές χώρες, αυθόρμητες και χωρίς ιδεολογικό χρώμα, έχουν στόχο την εγκαθίδρυση δημοκρατικών κοσμικών καθεστώτων.

Η κοινωνία των πολιτών πήρε την τύχη της στα χέρια της και απαιτεί τη συμπαράσταση της διεθνούς κοινής γνώμης για να ολοκληρώσει την ανατροπή με ειρηνικά μέσα, όχι με στρατιωτικές επεμβάσεις όπως στη Λιβύη. Είναι μέσα σ’ αυτά τα πλαίσια της ειρηνικής παλλαϊκής δράσης που και ο παλαιστινιακός λαός προσφεύγει στα Ηνωμένα Έθνη ζητώντας την αναγνώρισή του ως κράτος.

Εμείς, ως Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση, ας φανούμε αλληλέγγυοι στους εξεγερμένους λαούς της Βόρειας Αφρικής και στην Παλαιστίνη.

 
  
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  Νικόλαος Σαλαβράκος (EFD). - Κύριε Πρόεδρε, φαίνεται ότι οι διαδικασίες εκδημοκρατισμού στο μεσογειακό τμήμα της Αφρικής δρομολογήθηκαν ικανοποιητικά, πλην βεβαίως της Λιβύης. Προσωπικά, φοβόμουν την επέκταση των διαδηλώσεων στη Μέση Ανατολή, που είναι ένα καζάνι που βράζει και παράλληλα είναι το επίκεντρο πολλών τρομοκρατικών οργανώσεων.

Από το Μάρτιο του τρέχοντος έτους, η Συρία βρίσκεται στο έλεος των αντικυβερνητικών διαδηλώσεων, έχει κλείσει τα σύνορά της σε οργανώσεις διεθνούς αμνηστίας, ενώ τα διεθνή μέσα και σε διεθνείς παρατηρητές, ενώ το όλο σκηνικό εγείρει ερωτήματα για το αν το καθεστώς Άσαντ είναι το επόμενο που θα ανατραπεί στα πλαίσια της λεγόμενης Αραβικής Άνοιξης.

Προσέξτε ιδιαίτερα τη Συρία, κυρία Ashton! Η γεωπολιτική σημασία της Συρίας είναι ιδιαίτερα σημαντική, διότι βρίσκεται στην προέκταση του Ιράν προς τη Μεσόγειο και παράλληλα συνορεύει με την Τουρκία, ενώ οι σχέσεις φιλίας με κράτη της περιοχής, είτε ανατραπούν είτε αλλάξουν προς το χειρότερο ή το καλύτερο, ίσως επιφέρουν ορισμένες ανατροπές της γεωπολιτικής κατάστασης στην περιοχή.

Η γεωπολιτική σημασία της Συρίας, βεβαίως, πρέπει να προσεχθεί και θα σας παρακαλούσα να λάβετε όλα τα μέτρα που χρειάζονται για τη σταθεροποίηση του ρόλου της επιρροής της Ευρωπαϊκής Ένωσης σαν παγκόσμιου εταίρου. Δυστυχώς, παρατηρώ βραδείες αντιδράσεις του Συμβουλίου Ασφαλείας, και θα ήθελα επίσης να τονίσω ότι πρέπει να δώσετε ιδιαίτερη σημασία και στην Ελλάδα, διότι μπορεί να περνάει μια δύσκολη περίοδο αλλά ο γεωπολιτικός της ρόλος και η ισορροπία που φέρει στη Μέση Ανατολή είναι σημαντικότατα.

 
  
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  Nicole Sinclaire (NI). - Mr President, the so-called Arab Spring filled many of us with hope and we are pleased to see the fall of some of these disgraceful regimes.

However, democracy is not coming to all Arab nations just yet, with the situation in the Lebanon being particularly worrying. Hezbollah, officially categorised as a terrorist organisation, is now controlling the Lebanese Government. Every city in Israel is now within range of Hezbollah rockets stationed in Lebanon. There are believed to be 15 000 such rockets. A UN tribunal has recently issued indictments charging four individuals, reported to be members of Hezbollah, with the murder of Lebanese Prime Minister Hariri and 22 others in 2005. Hezbollah provides military training to Hamas, another terrorist group and one that has been blacklisted by the EU since 2003. Hezbollah is supported by Syria and Iran. The Iranian Revolutionary Guard funds Hezbollah to the tune of USD 0.5 billion per year.

Baroness Ashton, this is my question. Given that Lebanon is also a major recipient of EU funding, currently receiving over EUR 200 million per year, could you please explain to me the type of relationship that you envisage between the EU External Action Service and the Hezbollah-led government of the Lebanon?

 
  
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  Mário David (PPE). - Senhor Presidente, enquanto presidente da Delegação do Maxereque, gostaria de deixar uma frase sobre cada um dos meus, entre aspas, obviamente, quatro países. Começando pela Síria, e reiterando aquilo que também alguns colegas já disseram, é de lamentar que a comunidade internacional pareça, aos olhos da opinião pública, ter dois pesos e duas medidas. É preciso denunciar, se necessário, os países que, no Conselho de Segurança, e estou-me a referir, obviamente, à Rússia e à China, além do Brasil, mas com direito de veto, têm impedido que a comunidade internacional possa assumir uma posição mais consentânea com aquilo que devem ser os valores que partilhamos.

Relativamente ao Egipto, julgo que há uma necessidade premente de sensibilizar as autoridades egípcias para o adiamento das eleições, tal como se fez já na Tunísia.

Quanto ao Líbano, é preciso, julgo eu, que saia deste debate uma mensagem muito clara para o novo governo libanês, para que tenham consciência de que vão ser julgados em função da actuação que tiverem relativamente às acusações formuladas pelo Tribunal Especial para o Líbano.

Sobre a Jordânia, é o exemplo de que uma transição pacífica é possível e há talvez apenas a necessidade, nesta fase, de sensibilizar e encorajar as autoridades para um acelerar do processo de reformas.

Não podemos esquecer, obviamente, num debate deste género, o processo de paz no Médio Oriente, além de reiterar a nossa esperança de que a reunião do quarteto da próxima segunda-feira possa efectivamente ser produtiva e reafirmar que esta casa gostaria seguramente de ver um muito maior envolvimento da União Europeia em todo este processo. Não tenho dúvidas de que haverá uma nova ronda de negociações antes da Assembleia-Geral das Nações Unidas, em Setembro, mas espero que essa ronda de negociações seja produtiva e seja feita de boa fé.

 
  
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  Pier Antonio Panzeri (S&D). - Signor Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, voteremo domani una risoluzione importante ed impegnativa che mette in evidenza la volontà del Parlamento europeo, pur tra mille difficoltà, di esprimere una posizione chiara sugli avvenimenti che stanno interessando paesi come la Siria, il Bahrein, lo Yemen, con tutti i problemi che trascinano con sé.

È pur vero che ciò che si sta realizzando in altri paesi, invece, come la Tunisia e il Marocco, dimostra che la strada della democrazia è possibile, essa può seguire percorsi diversi, ma è possibile. Questa constatazione tuttavia non elimina la percezione che l'opinione pubblica ha delle politiche perseguite dalla comunità internazionale e dalla stessa Europa in queste vicende che coinvolgono la regione mediterranea.

E questa percezione chiama in causa l'idea che una politica estera nel suo districarsi possa usare il doppio peso e la doppia misura. Nella sostanza ci si chiede perché in Libia si fa in un modo e in Siria in un altro. Non sfugge certo che in politica estera pesano diversi equilibri: dal realismo politico, alla strategicità di alcune aree, alla riluttanza di grandi paesi ad assumere posizioni più determinate.

In ogni caso questa è una contraddizione che continua a inseguirci e che dobbiamo sapere affrontare. Come? In due modi: c'è bisogno di un maggiore protagonismo politico europeo, di una maggiore coerenza per dare credibilità alla nostra presenza in tutta quest'area; c'è bisogno di conferire un peso politico all'idea di una struttura operativa euromediterranea capace di offrire un serio e duraturo punto di riferimento per la sponda nord e la sponda sud e in grado di affrontare i problemi esistenti.

E questo lavoro va fatto da subito con la forza e la determinazione necessarie.

 
  
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  Alexander Graf Lambsdorff (ALDE). - Herr Präsident! Frau Ashton, Sie haben erwähnt, dass Sie am 11. September Quartett-Verhandlungen führen, und ich bin darüber sehr erfreut. Ich bin genauso darüber erfreut – wenngleich vielleicht etwas verwundert, weil Sie sich hier die Latte sehr hoch legen – dass Sie so klar gesagt haben, dass Sie erwarten, dass bei diesem Treffen eine Stellungnahme herauskommt, mit der Palästinenser und Israelis an den Verhandlungstisch zurückkehren. Das ist ein sehr hohes Ziel, das Sie sich hier öffentlich gesetzt haben! Ich hoffe sehr, dass Sie es erreichen.

Warum hoffe ich das? Zum einen für die Menschen in der Region, zum anderen aber auch weil ich mir wieder um die Gemeinsame Außen- und Sicherheitspolitik Sorgen mache. Die Ankündigung von Präsident Sarkozy, sich so zu verhalten, die Ankündigung der Bundesregierung, sich anders zu verhalten, wenn es denn zu einer Situation kommt, in der die Palästinenser ihre Anliegen in die Generalversammlung tragen, gibt mir schon wieder Anlass zur Sorge über die Einigkeit unserer Mitgliedstaaten in einer zentralen außenpolitischen Frage, für die Sie dann die Kritik abkriegen werden. Ich wünsche Ihnen also alles Gute bei diesen Quartett-Verhandlungen!

Der zweite Punkt: Sie haben gesagt, Demokratie sei wichtig, die Menschen wollten Demokratie in der Region. Das ist sicher richtig. Ich glaube aber, wir sollten nicht aus den Augen verlieren und das wirklich auch ins Zentrum unserer Aufmerksamkeit stellen: Das, was die Menschen wirklich wollen, ist Würde! Ein Leben in Würde! Rechtsstaatlichkeit, keine willkürliche Wegnahme von Eigentum! Habeas Corpus, keine ständige Bedrohung durch die Geheimpolizei! Jobs, heraus aus der Perspektivlosigkeit, so dass wir mit einem Freihandelsangebot wirklich etwas anfangen können! Dann Demokratie, natürlich, echte Teilhabe an der politischen Gestaltung. Aber das ist ein Teil des großen Ganzen. Und schlussendlich natürlich Frieden, ein Ende dieser schrecklichen Gewalt!

Ich möchte noch einmal unterstreichen, dass wir die Maßnahmen, die hier von Herrn Verhofstadt im Zusammenhang mit Syrien vorgeschlagen worden sind, umsetzen sollten, es wäre wirklich gut, wenn wir eng mit der Türkei zusammenarbeiten und Fortschritte erreichen würden.

 
  
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  Peter van Dalen (ECR). - Voorzitter, dank, mevrouw Ashton, voor uw aanwezigheid hier. Het wel zaak dat wanneer we over Noord-Afrika spreken, dat we dan met name de situatie in Zuid-Soedan niet vergeten. Voor die nieuwe natie nadert de glorieuze zaterdag van 9 juli 2011. Zuid-Soedan wordt eindelijk onafhankelijk. We hopen en bidden dat er een einde komt aan een lange tijd van oorlog en onderdrukking. Die onafhankelijkheid is een eerste stap op een zeer lange weg, want de moeilijkheden voor die nieuwe natie zijn niet voorbij. Integendeel.

Het is zaak dat de Europese Unie dat nieuwe land voluit steunt. Ik denk dan met name aan onderwijs en landbouw. Die moeten topprioriteit krijgen. Daardoor kan het land op termijn zelfvoorzienend worden. Juist op die terreinen heeft de Europese Unie veel kennis beschikbaar, dus daarin moeten we de nieuwe natie op weg helpen.

Maar er is meer nodig. Omar Al Bashir moet gestopt worden. In de regio Abyei is hij bezig burgers uit te moorden. Hij is begonnen aan een etnische zuivering tegen het Ngok-Dinkavolk. Dat moet gestopt worden. Mijn vraag aan u is: wat doet daaraan, wat kunt u daaraan doen? Mevrouw Ashton, u kent onze steun voor uw mensenrechtenbeleid, maar mijn oproep aan u luidt ook: kies voor het volk van Zuid-Soedan. Geef die natie alle steun die ze kan gebruiken en ik hoor graag uw reactie op mijn verzoek.

 
  
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  Ulrike Lunacek (Verts/ALE). - Herr Präsident! Ich möchte mich zuerst an jene deutschen Kollegen hier im Haus richten, die die Kritik mancher anderen Kollegen an den Plänen der deutschen Regierung, Panzer nach Saudi-Arabien zu schicken, anscheinend nicht ertragen. Als Europa-Abgeordnete müssten sie den Waffenexportcode der Europäischen Union kennen und sich auch für seine Einhaltung einsetzen.

Having said that, Foreign Minister Ashton and Commissioner Füle, I would like to thank you for your commitment and the support that you, with the External Action Service and the Commission, are giving to the transformation processes in Northern Africa and the Middle East. I would like to refer especially to the money that the European Union is giving to this area and especially with regard to the situation of poverty, not just of refugees but of people who are still suffering from poverty in the region. We have to do something for them.

As to the additional EUR 1.2 billion that was promised in ENP (European neighbourhood policy) funds, we found out that only EUR 238 million is actually additional funds to be shared between the Southern Mediterranean and Eastern Europe. Is that really enough for Europe to make a difference? If it is not, then please correct me and put the numbers right.

The other thing is that you support programmes for the region, known as ‘national indicative programmes’. It is our understanding – half a year after the Arab Spring – that they are still the old ones, the pre-revolution ones. They have not been updated. As far as I know that is due to the Member States not going ahead. What are you doing in order to make it clear that we do not just have an ENP review paper, but also actual policy guidelines that reflect the modern situation?

 
  
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  Helmut Scholz (GUE/NGL). - Herr Präsident, Frau Ashton, Herr Füle! Es ist nicht das erste Mal, dass wir heute über die arabischen Länder und die dortigen Umbrüche sprechen. Wenn wir über die Entwicklungen von Syrien bis Marokko reden, dann arbeitet das Parlament meines Erachtens dabei auch seine eigene Vergangenheit auf: die mindestens geduldete Zusammenarbeit der Europäischen Union mit Ländern, die wir heute zutreffend als autokratisch bezeichnen und um deren innere Verfasstheit wir uns sorgen. Das ist gut so. Ich kann mich aber des Eindrucks nicht erwehren, dass wir schon wieder begonnen haben, uns bequem einzurichten in der vermeintlichen Gewissheit, alles sei geregelt, alles sei klar.

Womit ich persönlich nicht umgehen kann und auch nicht umgehen will, ist, dass wir zwar unverändert politische Prozesse kommentieren, aber noch immer nicht bereit sind, diese Entwicklung in ihren nationalen und regionalen gesellschaftlichen Kontext zu stellen und der Frage nach den Ursachen von Entwicklungen nachzugehen. Wir müssten endlich aufhören, Doppelstandards im auswärtigen Handeln und auch im demokratischen Umgang miteinander an den Tag zu legen. Wir müssten über die Wechselbeziehungen der EU-Nachbarschaftspolitik und der EU-Politik zur Nichtlösung des Palästinenserkonflikts reden. Ich begrüße ausdrücklich Ihr Engagement hinsichtlich des Quartetts.

Wir müssten darüber sprechen, dass auch der Krieg gegen das autokratische Regime von Gaddafi, auf den sich einige EU-Länder und die NATO eingelassen haben, in Tunesien bereits dramatische wirtschaftliche Konsequenzen hat: Kapitalflucht, arbeitsuchende Heimkehrer, Migrantinnen und Migranten, einbrechende Tourismuserlöse und Handelsbeziehungen sind hier nur die Stichworte. Auch in Ägypten spielt dieser Krieg den restaurativen Kräften im Militär und in den Eliten stark in die Hände. Wir haben es also heute nicht nur mit Neulasten und nicht mehr nur mit Altlasten zu tun.

Frau Ashton, Herr Füle, wir brauchen – und ich glaube, das ist in der bisherigen Debatte auch deutlich geworden – eine gründliche politische und wirtschaftliche Neuorientierung des auswärtigen Handelns der Europäischen Union!

 
  
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  Andrew Henry William Brons (NI). - Mr President, I am concerned that we might be drawn into yet more conflicts in North Africa and the Middle East. Our involvement in Libya was ostensibly to oppose repression and promote democracy, but of course Gaddafi was already unpopular with the West for his policy of the gold dinar for trading oil.

Bashar al-Assad, who initially showed great promise, has shown himself to be as violent and repressive as Gaddafi. However, neither Gaddafi nor al-Assad are militant Islamists. It would be a great disaster if they were to be replaced by Islamists.

The Yemen is the country to which al-Qa’ida has allegedly moved its training operations. I hope that we will not be tempted to engage in another bloody conflict there. We must not see British and other European soldiers lured into so-called peacemaking operations in Syria or anywhere else in the region. Furthermore, we cannot assume that democracy will flourish in any of the infertile soils of the Arab countries.

 
  
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  Elmar Brok (PPE). - Herr Präsident, Frau Vizepräsidentin, meine Damen und Herren! Freiheit und besserer Lebensstandard oder – zusammengenommen – Würde sind die entscheidenden Punkte der arabischen Revolution, und eben diese beiden Wörter waren auch charakteristisch für die Bewegungen in Mittel- und Osteuropa um 1989 herum. Die Voraussetzungen sind in vielem anders, deswegen ist es hier auch schwierig, zu einer geordneten Entwicklung, zu einer Demokratie zu kommen. Ich glaube, dass wir unsere Partnerschafts- und Nachbarschaftspolitik, die Instrumente und die Mittel, die wir haben, stärker auf diese beiden Ziele ausrichten und auch den multilateralen Ansatz in dieser Frage stärken müssen, anstatt nur die alten bilateralen Beziehungen mit Substanz zu füllen. Wir müssen den Prozess unterstützen und es beispielsweise in Ägypten und Tunesien – wie der Kollege David gesagt hat – vom Timing her so gestalten, dass die Menschen dort die Möglichkeit haben, Demokratie zu entwickeln und Parteien aufzubauen. Das ist ein wichtiger Hinweis.

Aber genauso müssen wir sehen, dass sich noch immer Minderheiten hinter dem menschenverachtenden Regime in Syrien verstecken, weil sie da bisher Schutz gefunden haben. Und wenn wir uns erinnern, was im Irak mit den Christen passiert ist, nachdem Saddam Hussein gestürzt wurde, so besteht Anlass zur Sorge, dass sich dies jetzt in Syrien wiederholen könnte. Wir müssen also beispielsweise auch die Lage von christlichen Minderheiten berücksichtigen, wenn wir Reformen durchsetzen und die Systeme beseitigen wollen, die so menschenverachtend sind.

Gestatten Sie mir eine letzte Bemerkung: Ich glaube, dass Sie für Ihre Quartett-Ambitionen in der nächsten Woche großer Unterstützung bedürfen. Ich halte nichts davon, Position zu beziehen, ob man für eine einseitige Anerkennung Palästinas ist oder nicht. Unsere Politik muss sein, dass diese Fragestellung vermieden wird, und dass so schnell wie möglich Verhandlungen zwischen Palästinensern und Israelis stattfinden, damit hier eine bestimmte vernünftige, dauerhafte Politik entwickelt wird. Wenn Sie das doch zu Wege bringen sollten, wäre das eine grandiose Leistung! Ich glaube, das ist im Interesse der Palästinenser, der Israelis, aber auch der Mitglieder des Quartetts, denn die Absicht ist ja wohl, dass die EU hier eine stärkere politische Rolle spielt.

Die gesamte Entwicklung der arabischen Revolution ist in diesem Zusammenhang zu sehen, ebenso wie auf der anderen Seite auch das negative Beispiel des Iran und das Sicherheitsbedürfnis, das damit in Israel verbunden ist, nicht außer Acht gelassen werden sollten. Und wenn dies auch im Widerspruch stehen sollte zu all dem, was ich bisher gesagt habe: Diejenigen Länder in der Region, die einen counterpart zum Iran darstellen und vieles aufgegeben haben, um zu verhindern, dass der Iran wirklich in den Besitz der Atombombe kommt, müssen wir unterstützen, ob uns die Regime nun gefallen oder nicht, damit der Iran nicht zur dominierenden Macht in der Region wird. Dazu müssen wir auch den Nachbarstaaten die entsprechenden Sicherheitsmöglichkeiten geben. Dies vielleicht auch als Antwort an Frau Brantner.

 
  
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  Saïd El Khadraoui (S&D). - Voorzitter, mevrouw de hoge vertegenwoordiger, bedankt voor uw inleiding en de inspanningen die u al heeft ondernomen. De toestand verschilt natuurlijk sterk van land tot land en wat ons de laatste weken en dagen meer en meer zorgen maakt, is de situatie in Syrië. De choquerende beelden, de meer dan duizend doden, de vele mensen die opgejaagd en opgesloten worden, de tienduizenden vluchtelingen ook, en het houdt maar niet op ondanks de druk die geleidelijk aan opgevoerd werd en onder meer de sancties die u heeft aangekondigd. Maar dat blijkt absoluut geen of alleszins veel te weinig indruk te maken. Ik volg natuurlijk wel de redenering dat bij gebrek aan een VN-resolutie de opties voorlopig beperkt blijven, dat een politieke dialoog, die nu heel snel zal moeten opstarten, de beste oplossing blijft, maar het mag niet bij woorden blijven. We hebben al vele aankondigingen daarover gehoord vanuit Damascus, maar het moet komen tot daden.

Wat zijn nu onze opties op korte termijn? We moeten het sanctieregime verder verstrakken en uitbreiden, ofschoon de effecten daarvan ook niet overschat mogen worden. Die mensen vechten immers letterlijk en figuurlijk voor hun politiek overleven en een kat in het nauw maakt soms rare sprongen. Maar we moeten het wel doen.

Ten tweede moet de Europese Unie een strategie ontwikkelen die ertoe leidt dat de minderheden die blijkbaar het regime blijven ondersteunen, gerustgesteld worden. Er moet duidelijk worden gemaakt dat er met dit regime geen toekomst is, dat dialoog en verandering nodig zijn en dat hun veiligheid gegarandeerd kan worden in een nieuwe context.

Ten derde, hoe langer de situatie duurt, hoe meer slachtoffers er zullen vallen maar ook hoe meer het land economisch en financieel in een wurggreep zal komen. En dat zal tot nieuwe moeilijkheden leiden, het regime verzwakken en misschien tot enige toegeeflijkheid dwingen. We moeten dit van zeer dichtbij opvolgen en alert en snel kunnen reageren op nieuwe ontwikkelingen.

Ten slotte sluit ik mij aan bij diegenen die de rol hebben benadrukt die Turkije kan en moet spelen bij de oplossing van de situatie in Syrië en ik wil u, mevrouw de hoge vertegenwoordiger, vragen om zeer nauw en gecoördineerd overleg te plegen met Turkije.

 
  
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  Anneli Jäätteenmäki (ALDE). - Arvoisa puhemies, EU haluaa edistää demokratiaa ja ihmisoikeuksia Pohjois-Afrikassa. Yhtä tärkeää on luoda työ- ja koulutuspaikkoja afrikkalaisille, ja tässä reilun ja oikeudenmukaisen kaupan säännöillä on erittäin tärkeä merkitys. Kannustaisin, että tässä yritettäisiin luoda reilumpia sääntöjä ja kannustaa myös näitä maita keskenään tiiviimpään yhteistyöhön.

Komissio haluaa lisätä eteläisille kumppaneillemme annettavaa tukea yli miljardilla eurolla vuosien 2011–2013 aikana. Kysyisinkin Teiltä, korkea edustaja, mitkä ovat ne rahoitusvälineet EU:n budjetissa, joiden puitteissa EU aikoo kanavoida nämä rahat ja mitä on tarkoitus saavuttaa näillä rahoilla.

Olen tyytyväinen, että parlamentti tunnustaa päätöslauselmassaan Turkin tärkeän roolin arabimaailmassa välittäjänä ja rauhanrakentajana. Turkin toiminta on ollut esimerkillistä eikä vähiten siksi, että se on pitänyt rajansa auki syyrialaispakolaisille. Koordinaatiota Turkin kanssa pitää lisätä erityisesti ulkopoliittisissa kysymyksissä ja suhteita ei voida täysipainoisesti kehittää pelkästään laajentumispolitiikan puitteissa. Turkin pitää olla myös EU:n strateginen kumppani, ei vain avunsaajamaa, ja mielestäni EU:n pitää pystyä tunnustamaan Turkin tärkeä rooli tässä.

 
  
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  Geoffrey Van Orden (ECR). - Mr President, a properly negotiated two-state solution to the Israel-Palestine question would be the greatest catalyst to democracy, economic progress and confidence in the Arab world. Instead, the proposed unilateral declaration of statehood at the UN General Assembly by the Palestine Authority takes us in the opposite direction. It can only create more tension and deepen hostility. Will the High Representative/Vice-President use EU leverage to dissuade the Palestine Authority from this course of action?

By the way, I congratulate the governments of Turkey, Greece and the Republic of Cyprus for their robust action in thwarting the second of the so-called ‘peace flotillas’, which was of course just a deliberate provocation to violence.

Baroness Ashton has told us something of what the EU has been doing. I am not sure there is a lot to show for the EUR 4 billion being spent since 2007 on democracy and development in the Arab world.

In regard to Libya, the European Union has wasted a lot of time and money on its effort to foist an EU military mission on an unwilling international community. This mission never saw the light of day, but cost the taxpayer EUR 7 million nonetheless. All this is a distraction from the real effort. What a pity that more European NATO members have not contributed to the NATO Operation Unified Protector. I am sorry the Polish Presidency is not with us this afternoon. Why is Poland not contributing at least one of its three squadrons of F16 strike fighters to this NATO action?

(The speaker agreed to take a blue-card question under Rule 149(8))

 
  
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  Paul Murphy (GUE/NGL). - Mr President, I would like to ask how the speaker can possibly describe a peaceful flotilla – which I participated in along with two other MEPs – bringing humanitarian aid, medicine and reconstruction material to Gaza, as a provocation? How can he justify the sabotage by the Israeli regime of the Irish ship and of the Greek and Scandinavian ship that put the lives of 20, 30 or 40 people in danger – actions that, in my opinion, were carried out by the Israeli state?

 
  
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  Geoffrey Van Orden (ECR). - Mr President, my colleague will know full well that the whole point of that first flotilla was to provoke precisely the response that it got. That is exactly what he wanted. These things are politics by confrontation: he wanted a violent reaction.

The blockade of Gaza by the Israeli authorities was perfectly legal under international law. It is quite wrong to say that humanitarian aid is being denied to the people in Gaza. So I am afraid that the whole basis for these flotillas is unfounded. What the honourable Member is saying – and indeed where he comes from, and the sort of actions he takes part in – is evidence of the real nature of the design of these particular political actions.

 
  
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  Malika Benarab-Attou (Verts/ALE). - Monsieur le Président, Madame la Haute représentante, la demande de démocratie, de liberté et de dignité des peuples de la rive sud nous interpelle, nous, Européens, méditerranéens de la rive nord. Nous avons trop tardé à apporter une réponse – ou à ne pas en apporter – à ces besoins anciens, en cohérence avec les valeurs que nous prônons. Après l'Algérie – la première –, la Tunisie, l'Égypte, la Libye, la Syrie, le Maroc, la Jordanie, les peuples de la rive sud viennent nous rappeler la soif de pouvoir vivre selon les valeurs universelles d'égalité, de liberté et de fraternité.

Le projet d'Union pour la Méditerranée pourrait être celui qui refondera nos relations autour d'une mare nostrum fraternelle et respectueuse des lois. Mais celui-ci s'est heurté à la politique d'Israël qui continue à bafouer les lois internationales et à coloniser des territoires palestiniens. Le sommet de l'UPM a été annulé deux fois à cause de cela. Il est temps de faire ce que nous disons, de sortir du double standard.

Madame Ashton, aurez-vous le courage d'agir pour faire exister l'État de Palestine dans les frontières de 1967 et de faire lever le blocus de Gaza? Le temps est venu si nous ne voulons pas nous déligitimer aux yeux des peuples du sud.

 
  
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  Χαράλαμπος Αγγουράκης (GUE/NGL). - Κύριε Πρόεδρε, στη Βόρεια Αφρική και στη Μέση Ανατολή έχουν εκδηλωθεί σοβαρές εξελίξεις, που συνδέονται με την ένταση της πάλης των εργατικών λαϊκών δυνάμεων για κοινωνικά και δημοκρατικά δικαιώματα αλλά και με την προσπάθεια εκσυγχρονισμού του αστικού καθεστώτος των χωρών αυτών στην περιοχή.

Δυστυχώς στις εξελίξεις αυτές εμπλέκονται ιμπεριαλιστικές δυνάμεις και διεθνείς ενώσεις που οι δυνάμεις αυτές έχουν στήσει και τις οποίες εξυπηρετούν. Μία από αυτές είναι και η Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση, η οποία φαίνεται να ανησυχεί πάρα πολύ για τις εξελίξεις και κάνει απεγνωσμένες προσπάθειες να επιβληθεί ένα νέο πιο άδικο και πιο καταπιεστικό πλαίσιο στις διμερείς σχέσεις με τις χώρες αυτές. Απόδειξη τούτων είναι το πογκρόμ σε βάρος των μεταναστών, ο συνεχιζόμενος ιμπεριαλιστικός πόλεμος του ΝΑΤΟ και η εν ψυχρώ δολοφονία αμάχων στη Λιβύη, η αποστολή πολεμικού υλικού από τη Γαλλία, οι προετοιμασίες για την αποστολή της ευρωπαϊκής EUFOR Libya.

Ταυτόχρονα, κεντρικό ζήτημα στην περιοχή παραμένει η υποκριτική στάση των Ηνωμένων Πολιτειών και της Ευρωπαϊκής Ένωσης όσον αφορά το παλαιστινιακό κράτος, όπως επίσης και το γεγονός ότι η Ελλάδα μαζί με το Ισραήλ προχωρούν τα τελευταία χρόνια σε μια συστηματική στρατιωτική συνεργασία σε βάρος της σταθερότητας και της ειρήνης στην περιοχή.

Από το βήμα αυτό θα ήθελα να καταγγείλω την ενέργεια της ελληνικής κυβέρνησης που απαγόρευσε τον απόπλου του στολίσκου της ειρήνης για τη Γάζα. Πρόκειται για μια προκλητική και απαράδεκτη ενέργεια, η οποία υπονομεύει τη σταθερότητα στην περιοχή και η οποία δεν έχει τίποτα το κοινό με τα αισθήματα του ελληνικού λαού.

Κλείνοντας, θα ήθελα να κάνω έκκληση προς όλες τις χώρες μας να αναγνωρίσουν το κράτος της Παλαιστίνης με αφορμή τη Γενική Συνέλευση του ΟΗΕ. Πρέπει επιτέλους ο λαός της Παλαιστίνης να αποκτήσει τα δικαιώματά του. Δεν μπορεί η Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση και οι ΗΠΑ να στηρίζουν την κατοχή του Ισραήλ, να στηρίζουν αυτή την απαράδεκτη παραβίαση βασικών ανθρώπινων δικαιωμάτων.

Ο ομιλητής δέχεται να απαντήσει σε ερώτηση με γαλάζια κάρτα (άρθρο 149 παράγραφος 8 του Κανονισμού).

 
  
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  Michał Tomasz Kamiński (ECR). - Szanowny Panie Przewodniczący! Chciałem zapytać mego czcigodnego przedmówcę, czy ma świadomość, że Izrael jest jedyną demokracją w tej części świata, że w Izraelu arabscy obywatele wybierają w wolnych wyborach swoich przedstawicieli do Knesetu, którzy to przedstawiciele krytykują państwo, w którego parlamencie zasiadają, i nic się z tego powodu nie dzieje. Co więcej, mam pytanie do mojego czcigodnego przedmówcy, który tak bardzo agitował za państwem palestyńskim, czy ma świadomość, jaką działalnością zajmują się dzisiaj będące uczestnikami koalicji rządowej w Palestynie organizacje, które Europa uznaje za organizacje terrorystyczne?

 
  
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  Χαράλαμπος Αγγουράκης (GUE/NGL). - Ο κύριος συνάδελφος προφανώς δεν θα γνωρίζει τις διώξεις στις οποίες υποβάλλονται βουλευτές της Κνεσέτ στο Ισραήλ όταν ζητάνε την αναγνώριση του παλαιστινιακού κράτους καθώς και τις διώξεις που υφίστανται αυτοί οι βουλευτές. Είναι βουλευτές του Κομμουνιστικού Κόμματος και άλλες προοδευτικές δυνάμεις που δεν χαίρουν των δικαιωμάτων στα οποία αναφέρθηκε ο κύριος συνάδελφος.

Δεύτερον, από πού και ως πού το Ισραήλ, που μπορεί όντως να έχει κοινοβούλιο, να έχει πολιτικά κόμματα, να έχει οτιδήποτε, θεωρείται δημοκρατικό κράτος τη στιγμή που συνεχίζει την παράνομη κατοχή ξένου εδάφους; Από πού μπορεί να θεωρηθεί νόμιμη μια τέτοια κατοχή, την οποία έχουν καταδικάσει οι Ηνωμένες Πολιτείες, ο Οργανισμός των Ηνωμένων Εθνών με επανειλημμένα ψηφίσματα, με επανειλημμένες τοποθετήσεις, ενώ είναι κοινός τόπος πια ότι πρέπει να αναγνωριστεί η ύπαρξη παλαιστινιακού κράτους; Από πότε η άρνηση αναγνώρισης ενός κράτους, η οποία είναι απαίτηση της διεθνούς κοινότητας, αποτελεί δημοκρατικό δικαίωμα και δείγμα δημοκρατίας για μια χώρα;

Και όσον αφορά τους Παλαιστίνιους, με συγχωρείτε κύριε συνάδελφε, εδώ ήμασταν, η Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση είναι εκείνη που τους είχε προκαλέσει να οργανώσουν εκλογές, εκλέξανε αυτούς που θέλανε και μετά δεν μας άρεσαν αυτοί που εκλέξανε.

(Χειροκροτήματα)

 
  
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  Hans-Gert Pöttering (PPE). - Herr Präsident! Wenn vor einem Jahr jemand vorausgesagt hätte, dass die Menschen in der muslimischen, in der arabischen Welt ihre Würde vertreten werden, dass der Wind der Freiheit, der Demokratie durch die arabische Welt gehen wird, dann hätten viele bei uns gesagt, das sei eine Illusion, das glauben wir nicht. Aber es ist passiert und wir sollten uns darüber freuen, und es widerlegt vor allen Dingen die These des clash of civilisations, an die so viele geglaubt haben.

Ein friedlicher Moslem, der nach Freiheit, nach Würde, nach Demokratie strebt, ist unser Verbündeter, und wir haben die politische und moralische Verpflichtung, diese Menschen mit Rat und Tat zu unterstützen, ihnen mit Solidarität entgegenzukommen. Und wir müssen all diejenigen kritisieren und isolieren, die diese Menschen unterdrücken, sei es in Libyen oder in Syrien. Im Zusammenhang damit steht auch, dass wir eine Friedensregelung im Nahen Osten brauchen. Die Dinge dürfen nicht so bleiben, damit es im Nahen Osten so bleibt – wir hören ja gelegentlich diese These: Es darf sich nichts verändern, weil das dann vielleicht bedrohlich sein könnte. Nein, die Freiheit ist niemals bedrohlich!

Wir wollen, dass Israel in sicheren Grenzen lebt, und wir wollen, dass Palästina in sicheren Grenzen lebt. Beide haben ihre Würde, die Israelis und die Palästinenser. Wer dagegen ist, dass man jetzt einseitig einen Palästinensischen Staat in den Vereinten Nationen anerkennt, der muss dafür sein, dass die Verhandlungen wieder beginnen, mit dem Ziel, dass Israel als Staat anerkannt wird durch die Palästinenser und dass Palästina anerkannt wird durch Israel und durch die Internationale Gemeinschaft. Das sichert den Frieden zwischen Israel und Palästina, aber es sichert auch unsere Beziehung zur arabischen und islamischen Welt.

(Der Redner ist damit einverstanden, eine Frage nach dem Verfahren der „blauen Karte“ zu beantworten (Artikel 149 Absatz 8 GO).)

 
  
  

Elnökváltás: UR LÁSZLÓ TŐKÉS
Alelnök

 
  
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  Ivo Vajgl (ALDE). - Spoštovani gospod Poettering! Vi ste bili zelo uspešen in zelo zelo (rekel bi) poglobljen predsednik Evropskega parlamenta. Cenim vas kot modrega politika. Rad bi imel vaše mnenje:

Ali ne bi bilo prav, da Evropski parlament enkrat opravi temeljito razpravo o izraelsko-palestinskem problemu, ne pa da ga tako parcialno, na robu nekih drugih razprav, opravljamo. Mislim, da je skrajni čas, da to naredimo in da temu problemu posvetimo dolžno pozornost. Kaj je vaše mnenje o tem? Prosim.

 
  
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  Hans-Gert Pöttering (PPE). - Herr Kollege Vajgl, ich halte Ihre Meinung für absolut richtig. Das Problem bzw. die Beziehung zwischen Israel und Palästina hat eine Bedeutung, die weit über die Region dort hinausgeht, weil dies auch die Frage berührt, wie wir als Zivilisation in der Welt zusammenleben. Wenn es zwischen Israel und Palästina keinen Frieden gibt, und wenn das Recht Palästinas, in sicheren Grenzen in Würde zu leben, nicht anerkannt wird, dann wird das immer unsere Beziehungen auch zur arabischen und moslemischen Welt belasten. Deswegen müssen alle wissen, dass die Beziehungen zwischen Israel und Palästina eine Bedeutung haben, die weit über das Verhältnis zwischen diesen beiden Gruppen hinausgeht. Ich würde es sehr begrüßen, wenn wir einmal ausschließlich zu diesen Fragen – die politische Fragen sind, die religiöse Fragen sind, die kulturelle Fragen sind, die geografische Fragen sind – hier im Europäischen Parlament eine sehr umfassende Debatte führen würden.

 
  
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  Richard Howitt (S&D). - Mr President, I welcome the unconditional condemnation of repression made by the High Representative, Baroness Ashton, this afternoon and welcome the commitment, repeated this afternoon by herself and by Commissioner Füle, of more for more, which aims to make Europe an active player in the unanswerable process of democratic transition in the region.

In this debate I ask for their response in three areas.

Firstly, do they agree with Amnesty International? The witness testimonies, videos and monitoring reports show systematic crimes of humanity in Syria – in excess of those recorded in Libya – and that therefore there should be no barrier to European countries seeking full referral of Syrian perpetrators to the International Criminal Court within the UN Security Council.

Secondly, will they accept that there should be full reference to international humanitarian law (IHL) following the May communication, and support for the EU guidelines on IHL in all of the follow-up actions in countries within the region? We seek to uphold the rule of law. There is no higher law.

Thirdly, I do not understand why, for the last recorded year, Europe exported over EUR 250 million of aircraft, military vehicles, small arms and light weapons to Libya, how the United Kingdom, until at least late last year, sold small arms, ammunition, body armour, assault rifles and tear gas to Syria, Yemen and Bahrain, and why Germany and Spain appear poised to sell battle tanks to Saudi Arabia. Do they really think this is consistent with the ban on selling weapons which could be used for internal repression? Should there not now be a freeze on all arms sales and security cooperation with all of the countries of North Africa and the Gulf, or is the Arab Spring really the spring for European machine guns, gunning down the democracy protesters that we say we support?

 
  
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  Marielle De Sarnez (ALDE). - Monsieur le Président, Madame la Haute représentante, aujourd'hui, tous nos regards se tournent évidemment vers la Syrie, mais aussi vers la Libye, où la situation est difficile; et en même temps, ce qui est urgent, c'est de voler à l'aide de la Tunisie et de l'Égypte. Le G8 de Deauville a déclaré qu'il allait mobiliser 40 milliards de dollars, la moitié de cette somme pour les seules Tunisie et Égypte, pour la période 2011/2015.

Je voudrais vous dire, Madame la Haute représentante, que c'est maintenant qu'il faut aider ces deux pays–là. C'est maintenant, avant leurs élections, qu'il faut les aider à stabiliser leur économie, les aider à faire repartir leur économie; il n'est pas de démocratie sans développement, ni de développement sans démocratie. Il est donc urgent d'aider, d'investir, d'être à leurs côtés. Urgent aussi de nous doter d'une politique de partenariat plus cohérente, de repenser nos liens commerciaux avec eux, d'ouvrir nos frontières aux produits, par exemple, de la Tunisie. Ce sera aussi une façon de les aider et de repenser une politique de migration qui soit une politique européenne et non une addition de politiques nationales égoïstes.

Encore un mot sur la Syrie. Tout le monde en a parlé; Amnesty international a estimé, hier, que la brutalité des répressions s'apparentait à un crime contre l'humanité. Je prends cela très au sérieux. Il est évident que l'Europe doit agir plus encore qu'elle ne l'a fait; elle l'a bien fait, mais nous devons renforcer les sanctions. Et je pense que le silence de la communauté internationale est absolument condamnable, que se taire équivaut à délivrer un permis de tuer, et qu'on ne peut pas parler ou négocier avec eux sans avoir auparavant condamné ce qui se passe aujourd'hui en Syrie.

Nous devrions réfléchir, me semble–t–il, à la manière dont l'ONU fonctionne quant il s'agit de crimes contre l'humanité.

(Applaudissements)

 
  
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  Adam Bielan (ECR). - Pani Ashton! Panie Komisarzu Füle! Telewizja CNN pokazała w tym tygodniu wstrząsające amatorskie nagranie, na którym syryjski żołnierz otworzył ogień do filmującego demonstracje. Według miejscowych organizacji humanitarnych w okresie 16 tygodni starć śmierć poniosło niemal półtora tysiąca osób. Podczas ubiegłotygodniowej, największej od marca demonstracji w Hamie zginęło 28 osób. Szczególnie bulwersujące są doniesienia o odwołaniu przez władze gubernatora miasta próbującego zapobiec rozlewowi krwi. Także blokowanie możliwości ucieczki uchodźcom zmierzającym do Turcji oznacza pogwałcenie podstawowych praw.

Społeczność międzynarodowa nie może biernie przyglądać się przypadkom jawnego łamania praw człowieka przez syryjski reżim. Należy więc intensyfikować starania na rzecz przyjęcia rezolucji ONZ potępiającej postępowanie Baszara al-Assada. Traci on legitymację do wykonywania władzy, i dlatego zgadzam się ze stanowiskiem brytyjskiego ministra spraw zagranicznych Williama Hague'a, że syryjski przywódca musi się zreformować albo odejść. Powinniśmy rozważyć zwiększenie presji poprzez rozszerzenie sankcji ekonomicznych, a także sformułowanie oskarżeń w kontekście łamania praw człowieka. Niezbędna jest również pomoc dla opozycji oraz uchodźców. Niezwykła determinacja Syryjczyków w walce z reżimem zasługuje na pełne uznanie i wsparcie oraz rokuje pozytywnie na rozwiązanie konfliktów w przyszłości.

 
  
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  Paul Murphy (GUE/NGL). - Mr President, brutal repression is being used to maintain a corrupt dictatorship in Bahrain. Dozens of people have been killed and thousands have been injured. Forty-seven doctors and nurses, including some trained in Ireland, now face military trial and are suffering torture. They are guilty only of treating those injured by the regime.

The United States’ supposed support for democracy in the Middle East, about which we heard so much, has hastily been dropped and replaced by support for this brutal monarchy. This is because of Bahrain’s strategic location and the presence there of the US Navy Fifth Fleet. US and EU-made weapons are being used to kill peaceful protestors. Disgracefully, Bahrain has taken a libel action against Robert Fisk and The Independent newspaper for daring to tell the truth about the brutal repression that has been unleashed.

In my opinion, the EU should cancel its cooperation agreement with the Gulf Cooperation Council. I demand an end to the oppression, and the immediate release of all opposition activists and imprisoned doctors, and I call for a united movement of workers and the poor to overthrow the dictatorship and create a democratic workers’ and poor people’s government.

 
  
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  Mario Mauro (PPE). - Signor Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, Signor Commissario, la situazione legata alla cosiddetta primavera araba rischia per molti versi di tramutarsi in un gelido inverno e la preoccupazione che molti colleghi hanno espresso parlano in questo senso.

Questa mattina in un interevento molto bello, il Presidente Tusk ha accennato anche al possibile sviluppo della politica di vicinato. Ha accennato inoltre al tema della crisi nell'area sud del Mediterraneo e ha parlato di interventi misurati e ragionati.

Vorrei invitare ad andare oltre questa pur ragionevole prudenza, per una semplice ragione: quando siamo intervenuti sul teatro della crisi dei paesi del blocco sovietico, siamo probabilmente intervenuti presto e bene, e le conseguenze si sono viste. Quando siamo intervenuti sul teatro della crisi dei Balcani, abbiamo aspettato troppo, tentennato troppo, e le conseguenze sono state tragiche. Oggi se non diamo coerenza, forza e risorse a un'azione che faccia capire che l'asse della crisi si è spostato in questi anni da Est a Sud, non riusciremo ad interpretare fino in fondo quella che è l'ansia di giustizia, di sviluppo, di pace dei popoli dell'area sud del Mediterraneo.

Credo che Lei possa fare tantissimo per raggiungere questo obiettivo e che possa appellarsi anche alla Presidenza polacca perché gli sforzi che facciamo in questi mesi possano essere conseguenti.

 
  
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  Wolfgang Kreissl-Dörfler (S&D). - Herr Präsident! Genug ist leider nicht genug, sehr verehrte Hohe Repräsentantin und Herr Kommissar Füle. Es ist zwar schon sehr viel von Ihrer Seite in der Region getan worden, aber der Druck auf Syrien muss weiter erhöht werden. Die Unterstützung aller demokratischen Kräfte und deren Sicherheit gilt es mit noch mehr Nachdruck zu gewährleisten. Die Menschen dort müssen aber auch eine wirtschaftliche Zukunftsperspektive haben. Das heißt, es ist ein Entwicklungsplan für die einzelnen Länder sowie für die gesamte Region aufzustellen. Wir müssen unsere Märkte öffnen und auch die Flüchtenden unterstützen. Das wird viel Geld kosten. Aber alles ist weit billiger und sinnvoller als weitere Gewalt und kriegerische Auseinandersetzungen.

Umso unverständlicher ist die Lieferung von Leopard-II-Panzern von Deutschland an Saudi-Arabien. Ja, haben Sie, Herr Westerwelle und Frau Merkel, denn die revolutionären Veränderungen in der Region nicht mitbekommen? Wissen Sie denn nicht, dass man diese stärksten Panzer auch gegen demokratische Bewegungen im Inneren und zur Niederschlagung von Aufständen bestens einsetzen kann? Deutschland hat in diesem Monat den Vorsitz im UN-Sicherheitsrat. Ja, was will denn Deutschland mit dem Vorsitz überhaupt erreichen oder anfangen, wenn es Panzer in die Krisenregion liefert? Aktive Friedenspolitik sieht anders aus! Libyen lässt grüßen, Herr Westerwelle. Der Iran muss von allen gemeinsam gestoppt werden. Und mit Leopard-Panzern werde ich auch keine Atomwaffen aufhalten. Auch das gilt es klarzumachen.

Frau Hohe Repräsentantin für Außen- und Sicherheitspolitik, bitte setzen Sie all Ihren Einfluss und Ihre Macht ein, um diesen Deal doch noch zu verhindern. Es gibt einen schönen lateinischen Satz: Pecunia non olet – Geld stinkt nicht. Aber diese Milliarden Euro, die tun es doch!

 
  
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  Niccolò Rinaldi (ALDE). - Signor Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, Signora Alto Rappresentate, signor Commissario, l'impressione è che stentiamo a far convergere tutti gli strumenti possibili e a dare segnali anche piccoli, ma tangibili.

Abbiamo: dialogo politico, politica commerciale, cooperazione allo sviluppo, politiche di immigrazione, aiuto umanitario con responsabili, procedure e linee di bilanci distinti e a volte l'Europa fa il gioco delle tre carte utilizzando la politica che più ci aggrada, invece occorre aiutare chi più merita con tutte le possibilità e aggiornare tutti gli strumenti.

Ad esempio, il commercio con Egitto e Tunisia non può continuare con gli stessi accordi per gli altri paesi della regione. Manca una banca di sviluppo per il Mediterraneo o altrimenti si estenda il mandato della BERS, così come la Banca europea per gli investimenti può finanziare piccole imprese in Moldavia o in Ucraina, ma non in Egitto.

L'OSCE, il Consiglio d'Europa raggiungono il Caucaso e l'Asia centrale, mentre manca un'organizzazione di cooperazione mediterranea per l'integrazione. Che iniziative intendiamo prendere in questa direzione? Il Parlamento europeo attualmente chiede un Erasmus specifico per il Mediterraneo e perché la Commissione non fa subito sua questa iniziativa? Il dipendente arabo di una multinazionale può ottenere un visto per l'Europa, ma il piccolo imprenditore tunisino che vuole firmare un contratto, no.

Spetta al suo ruolo, signora Alto Rappresentante, non disperdere nessuna iniziativa e comporre con coerenza l'insieme delle nostre azioni tra le tante stanze dell'Unione europea, altrimenti il cambiamento travolge e ispira il Mediterraneo, ma non avrà ispirato noi.

 
  
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  Struan Stevenson (ECR). - Mr President, tens of thousands of people died in Iraq in the quest for democracy following the toppling of Saddam Hussein, but I fear the current government in Baghdad is not providing an ideal role model for the democratic process for other countries in the zone. Assassinations, suicide bombings and rocket attacks continue daily. Corruption is endemic, the citizens have limited access to drinking water, and electricity supplies are restricted to about six hours a day, while temperatures just now rise to above 50°C. There are few jobs, and there is massive unemployment.

The Erbil Agreement, which was supposed to create a government of national unity, has never been implemented. Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki alone controls the army, security and intelligence services, and such power has been abused repeatedly, most clearly in the massacre of unarmed civilians in Ashraf on 8 April. Baroness Ashton, can I thank you for all the work you have done on Ashraf, but please support the resettlement plan proposed by this Parliament. Time is running out and we must not risk another Srebrenica.

 
  
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  Francisco José Millán Mon (PPE). - Señor Presidente, señora Ashton, comparto con usted que la Unión Europea tiene que otorgar una atención prioritaria a la vecindad sur, que está atravesando un periodo de cambios extraordinarios. Celebro mucho que el reciente referéndum en Marruecos haya aprobado la reforma impulsada por el rey Mohamed VI. Sería bueno que los cambios en el plano constitucional vayan acompañados también de reformas en materia económica y social para reducir las desigualdades.

Contrariamente a lo que sucede en Marruecos, nos llegan malas noticias de Siria, y, desgraciadamente, en Libia no se ha conseguido todavía el fin del régimen de Gadafi. Tenemos que seguir implicados en estos procesos, y también en Egipto y Túnez. Es muy importante que acompañemos los cambios que están teniendo lugar en la región y debemos procurar que triunfen los valores de libertad, justicia, democracia y respeto de los derechos humanos, incluidos la libertad de conciencia y religión, y también la igualdad de género. La condicionalidad positiva, o lo que es lo mismo, la estrategia más por más, debe ayudar a ello, así como intensificar las relaciones con la sociedad civil.

Señorías, termino. Yo espero, además, que la Unión para el Mediterráneo, por fin, pueda actuar, después de una etapa de parálisis. Además, desde ayer cuenta con un nuevo Secretario General, a quien deseo éxito en su gestión tan compleja. Ojalá los proyectos identificados hace ya tres años puedan ponerse en marcha y ayuden así a la mejora de la economía en los países mediterráneos.

 
  
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  Kader Arif (S&D). - Monsieur le Président, Monsieur le Commissaire, chers collègues, j'ai même mis une chemise à fleurs pour incarner le printemps arabe. Qui pouvait s'attendre, il y a quelques mois, à ce vent nouveau nourri par les valeurs universelles de la démocratie, et qui souffle aujourd'hui sur la rive sud de la Méditerranée et, plus largement, sur le monde arabe? Personne. Sûrement pas la plupart des dirigeants européens qui nous exhortaient, depuis des années, à passer des accords de toutes natures avec des régimes dictatoriaux pour le confort des intérêts de l'Europe.

Je me dis, aujourd'hui, qu'il n'est jamais trop tard pour faire preuve de courage et de dignité – le courage de dire à nos peuples qu'il n'y a pas de horde musulmane qui déferle en Europe, mais qu'il y a des populations jeunes qui, au prix de leur sang, désirent, de manière irréversible, l'installation d'une démocratie, et souhaitent que l'Europe soit un acteur qui les aide pour que l'état de droit ne soit plus une chimère, mais devienne une réalité.

La Tunisie et l'Égypte connaissent aujourd'hui une situation d'urgence. Je ne dresserai pas – parce que le temps m'est aussi compté – le panorama de la situation des pays en révolte. Mais je veux ici, devant vous, dénoncer avec force et émotion les atrocités commises par les régimes de Kadhafi, en Libye, et de Bachar el-Assad en Syrie.

Cette condamnation concerne, bien entendu, tous les pays où le mot répression est opposé au mot liberté. Dans ces moments-là, même si l'histoire est parfois cruelle, la communauté internationale – dont vous êtes l'une des dignitaires, Madame –, devrait s'exprimer pour apporter soutien et solidarité aux peuples en lutte, mais aussi pour condamner, de la manière la plus ferme, dans toutes les instances, l'ensemble de ces régimes honnis et l'ensemble des pays qui ne respectent pas le droit international et les résolutions des Nations unies.

Dans votre communication du 25 mai, vous avez évoqué ce soutien. Je sais que c'est l'une de vos priorités. Mais je vous demande, Madame la Haute représentante, même si vous devez y consacrer toute votre énergie, de passer des mots qui apaisent aux solutions qui construisent. Je ne voudrais pas, comme seule réponse à ce printemps arabe qui change la face du monde, un hiver européen où les esprits s'étriquent, les frontières se ferment et les murs s'élèvent.

 
  
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  Louis Michel (ALDE). - Monsieur le Président, Madame la Haute représentante, Monsieur le Commissaire, le peuple syrien n'accorde plus aucun crédit à Bachar el–Assad. Cette révolution a été lancée – cela a été dit très largement –, comme en Tunisie, en Égypte, en Libye, au Yémen, au nom de la dignité, de la liberté, de la démocratie. Cela n'a rien à voir, évidemment, avec le fondamentalisme dont on parlait tellement, comme une sorte d'épouvantail.

Ces révolutions sont clairement inspirées par la notion de laïcité de l'État et par l'envie de liberté d'une jeunesse qui veut prendre son destin à bras–le–corps. Les pressions que nous exerçons doivent donc être efficaces. Aujourd'hui, elles sont de l'ordre de la rhétorique. Elles ne sont pas, me semble–t–il, suffisamment efficaces. Nous devons aller au–delà de postures virtuelles. Je sais les limites, Mme Ashton, de la diplomatie; je sais qu'il est difficile de définir une position commune au sein des Vingt–sept, mais il y a une chose que je sais aussi, c'est que vous avez la possibilité, si vous le voulez, de proposer, par exemple, une mesure un peu plus radicale, qui consisterait à demander aux 27 États membres de renvoyer les diplomates syriens en poste en Europe. C'est d'ailleurs une demande qui est formulée par l'opposition syrienne. Je crois qu'il y aurait là un acte fort qui, à mon avis, pourrait, peut–être, être un peu plus efficace.

Je voudrais aussi, bien entendu, vous demander de relayer cette demande de commission d'enquête internationale indépendante et, enfin, dernier élément – cela a été dit remarquablement par M. Pöttering et par d'autres, notamment par M. Brok – je pense que vous ne pouvez pas ignorer le lien d'opportunité fort qui existe entre ce qui se passe dans le monde musulman et arabe et ce qui devrait se passer au Moyen–Orient. Je pense que nous avons là une occasion de faire avancer le règlement du conflit au Moyen–Orient, et ce de façon déterminante, en faisant pression sur les deux parties. Je n'ai pas beaucoup aimé les excès de langage des porte–parole des uns et des porte–parole des autres.

(Applaudissements)

Aujourd'hui, ce qu'il faut, c'est essayer de trouver un compromis et une entente.

(L'orateur accepte de répondre à une question "carton bleu" (article 149, paragraphe 8 du règlement))

 
  
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  Charles Goerens (ALDE). - Monsieur le Président, notre collègue, Louis Michel, vient de développer une idée très intéressante et qui vise à isoler la Syrie sur un plan diplomatique. Il préconise, entre autres, de renvoyer tous les ambassadeurs syriens en Europe.

J'aimerais demander à Louis Michel s'il ne serait pas opportun de faire la même proposition au Conseil de sécurité des Nations unies, afin d'avoir un impact renforcé sur le régime de Damas?

 
  
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  Louis Michel (ALDE). - Monsieur le Président, si j'ai fait cette proposition, c'est, évidemment, pour qu'elle soit relayée, aussi, aux Nations unies, mais je pense qu'un premier pas consisterait à le faire au niveau de l'Union européenne. C'est, en tout cas, une proposition qui aurait le mérite, me semble-t-il, de mettre nos États membres devant leurs responsabilités par rapport à cet isolement de la Syrie, qui est nécessaire.

 
  
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  Michał Tomasz Kamiński (ECR). - Panie Przewodniczący, Szanowni Koledzy! W tym, czego byliśmy świadkami w tym roku jest coś niesłychanie optymistycznego i o tym chciałbym powiedzieć najpierw. Oto bowiem, jeżeli byśmy spytali ekspertów od świata północnej Afryki na początku tego roku, to mogliby oni nam powiedzieć, że dyktatorzy w tamtej części świata mogą spać spokojnie. Wszystko na papierze wyglądało bardzo solidnie: armia, służby bezpieczeństwa, pełna kontrola. A oto jeden młody człowiek, który po prostu podpalił się na znak protestu przeciwko złu, rozpoczął falę, która udowodniła, że ci, którzy twierdzili, iż świat arabski, iż nasi muzułmańscy bracia nie dorastają do demokracji, nie zasługują na demokrację, nie mieli racji.

Jesteśmy dziś świadkami czegoś niesamowitego. Nasi muzułmańscy bracia umierają za demokrację, oddają swoje życie po to, by być wolnymi. I dlatego myślę, że naszym szczególnym moralnym obowiązkiem jest niesienie pomocy tym ludziom. Nie przyłączam się do głosów krytyki wobec Pani Wysokiej Przedstawiciel, ponieważ uważam, że Unia Europejska przy tych skomplikowanych warunkach, w których pracuje, zrobiła dużo, choć zawsze można mówić, że można zrobić więcej. Unia Europejska zrobiła dużo, aby naszym braciom, którzy żyją na tamtym terenie, pokazać, że Unia Europejska ich wspiera.

 
  
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  Cristian Dan Preda (PPE). - Aş vrea să încep prin a o felicita pe Înalta Reprezentantă pentru implicarea sa în soluţionarea diverselor situaţii provocate de valul de libertate ce suflă pe malul sudic al Mediteranei de mai bine de jumătate de an. Vreau, pe de altă parte, să mă refer la contextul mai larg al discuţiei de astăzi - situaţia din lumea arabă şi Africa de Nord - pentru a sublinia nevoia de a distinge în mod clar diferitele procese de schimbare. Sigur, în Siria, Yemen şi Bahrain, cu toate nuanţele necesare, violenţa a fost principalul răspuns la revendicările de schimbare şi, la limită, de democratizare exprimată de populaţie.

Sper, cum cred că sperăm cu toţii, că autorităţile din aceste ţări vor înţelege că nu există o cale de ieşire, în afara unui proces de tranziţie autentic, către democraţie. Violenţa nu aduce câştig de cauză.

În acest context aş vrea să subliniez, pe de altă parte, exemplul Marocului, care, în acest sens, e foarte semnificativ, dovedind că o tranziţie paşnică spre democraţie este posibilă. Şi în acest sens, salut - a făcut-o şi colegul meu Millán Mon - rezultatul referendumului de vinerea trecută, sperând că un vast program de reforme va fi pus în funcţiune, şi că, pe de altă parte, partidele marocane vor juca un rol mai mare în modernizarea ţării.

În fine, aş vrea să evoc situaţia din Algeria, unde autorităţile au demarat un proces de reformă constituţională, şi să subliniez că riscul violenţei nu va putea fi evitat dacă acest proces nu e unul incluziv.

În fine, să-mi daţi voie să spun un cuvânt despre propunerea pe care o făcea dl Rinaldi mai devreme, vorbind despre solicitarea adresată Comisiei de a crea un Erasmus european: există o declaraţie scrisă în acest sens, şi, din păcate, avem foarte puţine ...

(Oratorul a fost întrerupt de către Preşedinte).

 
  
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  Ana Gomes (S&D). - No Conselho de Segurança, China e Rússia vetam acção sobre a Síria, incitando, assim, o regime de Assad a continuar o massacre. Alemanha, Reino Unido, França e outros membros vendem armas à Arábia Saudita e fazem vista grossa à repressão no Bahrein e no Iémen. Ao menos, na Líbia, o Conselho de Segurança assumiu as suas responsabilidades, mas a nossa Europa arrisca-se a falhar, lamento dizê-lo, apesar dos vossos esforços, Senhora Ashton e Comissário Fülle.

Em vez de agirem unilateralmente ou limitadamente no quadro NATO, há muito que os Estados-Membros da União Europeia deveriam ter accionado uma missão da política comum de defesa e segurança, para ajudar a impor o embargo de armas, controlar fronteiras e, sobretudo, proteger civis. Se a EUFOR Líbia estivesse a operar em articulação com a NATO, talvez já o povo líbio tivesse ultrapassado o impasse que ameaça tantas vidas em Tripoli e noutras cidades ainda controladas pelo ditador.

Como pedimos nesta resolução, a União Europeia deve urgentemente disponibilizar parte dos fundos congelados para que o Conselho Nacional Provisório responda sob supervisão da ONU às necessidades básicas da população. Isto pode determinar o futuro da Líbia, Senhora Ashton. No pós-Kadafi, líbios e comunidade internacional esperarão tudo da Europa para ajudar a capacitar o governo transitório de forças políticas democráticas e a sociedade civil e apoiar as reformas eleitorais, constitucionais, judiciais, administrativas e de segurança que são necessárias à construção de uma Líbia democrática. O Serviço de Acção Externa tem de se preparar já para esse grande desafio na nossa vizinhança.

 
  
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  Ivo Vajgl (ALDE). - Položaj v arabskem svetu ostaja eksploziven in različen od države do države, kot smo danes tukaj slišali. Zato je veliko bolj pomembno, da je vloga Evropske unije kot neposrednega soseda čim bolj proaktivna, da v odsotnosti širokega programa stabilizacije, nekakšnega celovitega plana za Sredozemlje, prispeva h gradnji novih demokratičnih državnih institucij in pa mreže civilne družbe.

Mislim, da je mogoče tudi ta trenutek primeren, da se vam, gospa lady Ashton, zahvalimo in izrečemo nekaj besed priznanja za aktivnosti in vaše izjave v zadnjem času. Ob tem pa moram reči, da je ... da se posebej paradoksalno sliši, da hoče Nemčija prav sedaj prodati Savdski Arabiji dvesto najmodernejših tankov. In to prav državi, ki je oklopnike uporabila proti lastnim sosedom in ki brez dvoma sodi med kandidate, da tanke uporabijo tudi proti svojemu lastnemu prebivalstvu.

Nujno je, spoštovana visoka predstavnica, pripraviti strategijo in predvidevati naslednje korake. Ko gre za vprašanje vojne in miru, ne smemo improvizirati. Diplomacija mora biti hitrejša in učinkovitejša pri iskanju mirnih rešitev. Ponuditi moramo svoje….

 
  
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  Sajjad Karim (ECR). - Mr President, it is quite clear that the Arab Spring simply would not have unfolded in the way that it did if it were not for the part played by modern technology.

I am keen to explore, in terms of the overall programme of packages that we are putting forward, what we are going to do to focus on raising awareness of the role of online activists inside and outside Syria, in particular, as the situation there unfolds.

There are Syrian protestors, and people are ensuring that those voices are being heard. These online activists are connecting anti-government protestors in Syria and rallying support for the protest through social media networks and websites. They are using Skype to call protestors across the country and social media to stream live images to upload onto YouTube.

This is particularly important, because they are providing news feeds and video uploads to the media in the absence of foreign journalists inside Syria. From a human rights perspective, these activists are subject to aggressive actions by Syrian security services, including spamming and hacking into their social media.

 
  
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  David-Maria Sassoli (S&D). - Signor Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, signora Alto Rappresentante, Commissario Füle, abbiamo capito che ci sono paesi nel mondo arabo e nel Nord Africa che chiedono di noi.

Opinioni pubbliche che chiedono che l'Europa sia vicina a quel vento di libertà, quell'ansia di dignità, ed è una richiesta che viene fatta a noi e quando dico "noi" mi riferisco all'Europa. È giusto che l'Europa faccia in modo che la comunità internazionale sia presente, ma quella domanda, la domanda di quei paesi è direttamente rivolta a "noi".

Possiamo giustamente impegnarci in tutti gli sforzi diplomatici perché la comunità internazionale intervenga, ma non può intervenire se l'Europa non ha una politica per il Mediterraneo. Noi dobbiamo rafforzare questa volontà di avere una politica per il Mediterraneo. Si dice ed è stato detto molto bene, durante il dibattito sulla questione siriana: "incontriamola la Turchia". Però Alto Rappresentante Ashton, noi dobbiamo avere un'idea chiara del nostro rapporto con la Turchia, non può essere un rapporto ad intermittenza.

Un giorno la vogliamo vicina a noi e l'altro giorno non la vogliamo vicina a noi, non è possibile. Bisogna che l'Europa dica una parola chiara sul suo rapporto con la Turchia e oggi capiamo quanto sarebbe stato importante nel passato scommettere sulla Turchia...

(il Presidente toglie la parola all'oratore).

 
  
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  Ashley Fox (ECR). - Mr President, Yemen is not a country that often attracts much attention in this House, but its importance in the Middle East and for maintaining the stability of that region must not be underestimated. Yemen needs support if it is to avoid becoming a failed state. Al-Qa’ida already has a strong presence there, and there are at least two secessionist movements trying to rip the country apart.

If Yemen is allowed to fail, then the consequences are dire. Not just for Yemeni citizens, but for us all. Whilst I do not think it is wise for us to lecture other countries on how to run their internal affairs, it is abundantly clear that President Saleh has lost the confidence of his people. He has no role in his country’s future and the best thing he could do would be to stand down.

Baroness Ashton, we should support and welcome the efforts of the Gulf Cooperation Council to negotiate a peaceful transition of power to a new interim government. We must do all we can to ensure that Yemen does not become a second Somalia.

 
  
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  Monica Luisa Macovei (PPE). - Mr President, I want to congratulate the Vice-President of the Commission/High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy on the work that has been done during this period of very complex events in the Arab world and North Africa.

I also want today to raise concerns about the repression of children in Syria, which reached a new level of horror with the release at the end of May of a video showing the body of Hamza al-Khatib. Hamza was only 13 years old. He was arrested among other protestors in Saida on 29 April 2011. A month later, his body was returned to his family, and it was obvious that the boy had been through severe torture during his detention. It was reported that he had injuries and burns consistent with the use of electric-shock devices. His eyes were swollen and black. He had been shot through both arms. His neck was broken. He had suffered genital mutilation.

The case of Hamza is not isolated. Alarming reports, testimonies and footage reveal that a significant number of children in Syria are being arrested, detained and subjected to various forms of torture and degrading treatment. We ask – through this resolution here today – for the urgent release of all the children arrested and detained in Syria, and we must also give urgent consideration to ways of supporting these children and their families in the near future.

 
  
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  María Muñiz De Urquiza (S&D). - Señor Presidente, felicidades, señora Ashton, porque las iniciativas que anunció en el último debate ha conseguido usted concretarlas en un marco estratégico coherente, que va desde la reforma de la política de vecindad a acciones de diplomacia real, sobre el terreno, algunas de las cuales ha desgranado usted ya y de las que yo quiero destacar el nombramiento de su Enviado Especial para el Mediterráneo, el señor Bernardino León, que cuenta con veinte años de activa actividad diplomática en la zona, su respaldo y su apoyo.

Quiero reconocer, por tanto, el esfuerzo que han realizado usted y su equipo, y usted también, señor Comisario Füle, para adaptar la política exterior al nuevo escenario, para apoyar con determinación y con respeto los cambios en el mundo árabe y espero que los Estados miembros le acompañen en este camino.

Durante décadas se ha criticado el enfoque de la Unión Europea hacia el Mediterráneo porque no se contaba ni con la voluntad política, ni con los medios para lograr los objetivos que se habían planteado de paz, de estabilidad y de prosperidad.

Ahora hay voluntad política y hay también medios para apoyar estas reformas, porque sin las reformas económicas no se podrán llevar a cabo las reformas políticas.

En la Comisión de Asuntos Exteriores hemos apoyado estos nuevos fondos para el Mediterráneo, pero deben asignarse sin que sea en detrimento de otras dimensiones de la política exterior de la Unión Europea, igualmente importantes.

Y, en el marco de la condicionalidad, creo que es de justicia reconocer las reformas pacíficas emprendidas en Marruecos, en Jordania y en Argelia. En Marruecos, además del referéndum, hay que señalar y tomar nota de la liberación de 190 presos políticos, casi todos islamistas, pero también algunos defensores saharauis de los derechos humanos.

Y, por supuesto, hay que apoyar a Turquía por su papel en la crisis de los refugiados sirios y tener muy en cuenta su capacidad de interlocución con los países de su entorno, incluido Irán, y el modelo político y socioeconómico que supone para muchos de los países árabes en transición.

Hay dictadores que se aferran al poder a pesar de los riesgos de fractura social e incluso de guerra civil. No habrá para Siria otro escenario como el de Libia y entendemos y compartimos...

(El Presidente interrumpe a la oradora)

 
  
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  Emma McClarkin (ECR). - Mr President, no doubt Members are aware of the horrific campaign of rape by forces loyal to Colonel Gaddafi during the siege of Misrata and elsewhere in Libya earlier this year. I want to speak for the hundreds, if not thousands, of women who have suffered this brutalisation and continue to suffer physically and mentally from their assault.

Eyewitness accounts and reports suggest that the abuse was widespread and systematic. In one refugee camp alone humanitarian workers found over 250 women who would cautiously speak out about their ordeal. This is a truly astonishing figure, given the stigma attached to rape in Libyan society. Not only do these women have to deal with the trauma of abuse, but they are then compelled into silence for fear of shaming their families.

The accounts of those women in Libya confirm our worst suspicions about the nature of the Gaddafi regime and the true scale of the atrocities he is willing to subject his people to in order to cling to power. The use of children as human shields, snipers that indiscriminately attack civilians and now the use of rape as a weapon of war are tactics of a true despot. They are a powerful reminder to the international community that taking action in Libya was the right and the proper thing to do.

Under the leadership of NATO we must remain resolute in our determination to protect and support the Libyan people in the pursuit of democracy and bring to justice those responsible for the atrocious crimes being committed against her citizens.

 
  
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  Μαριέττα Γιαννάκου (PPE). - Κυρία Ύπατη Εκπρόσωπε, πολύ σωστά τοποθετηθήκατε στο θέμα, αλλά πάντα υπάρχει το καλύτερο σε σχέση με το καλό. Επί πολλά χρόνια κλείναμε το μάτι σε καθεστώτα φρικτά, θεωρώντας μάλιστα ότι η ευρωπαϊκού τύπου δημοκρατία μάλλον δεν κάνει για τα καθεστώτα αυτά.

Όμως η κοινωνία της γνώσης και της πληροφορίας αποτελεί τη μεγαλύτερη κοινωνική επανάσταση των αιώνων για τους καταπιεσμένους και τους φτωχούς. Και αυτή την επανάσταση δεν μπορεί να τη σταματήσει κανείς.

Η Ευρώπη πρέπει να είναι μαζί με τους καταπιεσμένους. Πάρτε και άλλα μέτρα, κυρία Εκπρόσωπε, κηρύξτε personae non gratae τα πρόσωπα της ηγεσίας που βρίσκονται στη Συρία και σε άλλες χώρες, όπως η Λιβύη! Zητήστε από τα κράτη μέλη να αποσύρουν τους πρέσβεις τους! Κάντε πράγματα που δεν χρειάζονται το Συμβούλιο Ασφαλείας, γιατί αν περιμένετε το Συμβούλιο Ασφαλείας για τη Συρία μάλλον θα καθυστερήσει!

 
  
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  Emine Bozkurt (S&D). - Voorzitter, ik maak me grote zorgen over de situatie in Syrië. Vanochtend nog zijn er in de stad Hama 18 doden gevallen en 40 mensen gewond geraakt. De stad is omsingeld door tanks en pantserwagens van het Assad-regime. Dit is alleen vandaag en in één stad. Het geweld gaat ook keihard door op andere plaatsen in het land. Syrische autoriteiten hebben de grenzen met Turkije en Libanon gesloten. De dorpen bij de grenzen zijn omsingeld. Duizenden vluchtelingen zijn de grens naar Turkije overgestoken en duizenden wachten nog om dit te doen. Deze mensen zitten nu op dit moment als ratten in de val. Turkije heeft toegezegd de vluchtelingen op te vangen en het is aan de EU om deze kandidaat-lidstaat hierbij snel alle hulp te bieden. Er zijn vluchtelingen die ook zijn teruggekeerd naar Syrië. Van honderden daarvan ontbreekt elk spoor.

Ik vraag de hoge vertegenwoordiger om aan te dringen op opheffing van de belegering van de getroffen steden en dorpen en op directe en ongehinderde toegang voor humanitaire organisaties en journalisten. Het volk komt op voor zijn eigen rechten. De mensen hebben het vertrouwen in het regime verloren. Zij willen democratie en veranderingen. Er zijn oppositiepartijen en zij moeten de kans krijgen om mee te doen aan vrije verkiezingen.

Mevrouw Ashton, gaat u druk uitoefenen, zodat de situatie in Syrië verwezen wordt naar de aanklager van het Internationaal Strafhof? Denkt u dat de VN een resolutie zal aannemen om dit te bewerkstelligen? Gaat u zich hiervoor namens de EU inzetten?

 
  
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  Elena Băsescu (PPE). - Doresc să salut şi eu intervenţia Înaltului Reprezentant, în contextul intensificării acţiunilor de represiune pe teritoriul Siriei. Discursul Preşedintelui Assad nu a oferit garanţia unui dialog deschis şi angajat cu reprezentanţii societăţii civile din ţară. Ca ecou al primăverii arabe, populaţia cere reforme concrete şi construirea unei democraţii autentice, însă, până acum, autorităţile nu s-au arătat receptive la aceste apeluri. În continuare sunt semnalate cazuri de cenzură a manifestaţiilor antiguvernamentale, precum şi arestări abuzive. Dreptul la libera exprimare este monopolizat de către cei loiali regimului. Este nevoie de o strategie naţională pentru ieşirea Siriei din criza politică în care se află. Implicarea cetăţenilor în acest proces este esenţială pentru obţinerea unei soluţii viabile pe termen lung.

Referitor la Yemen, populaţia cere, de zile întregi, schimbarea regimului şi instalarea unei democraţii adevărate. În repetate rânduri, s-a făcut apel pentru renunţarea la perioada de tranziţie. Intervenţia Arabiei Saudite în calitate de mediator este binevenită, deoarece asigură o rezolvare la nivel regional a instabilităţii.

Ca lider internaţional în domeniul apărării drepturilor omului, UE este datoare să participe la protejarea democraţiilor tinere sau în curs de formare, precum cele din Siria şi Yemen.

 
  
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  Proinsias De Rossa (S&D). - Mr President, there is a continued occupation by Israel of Palestinian territory beyond the 1967 borders, and a failure to find mutual agreement on final status issues, which would end the conflict between these two proud peoples. Untie that knot and you release the potential of the Arab Spring. Palestinians are entitled to their own democratic state; to have their sovereignty respected by Israel and by the world; and to be secure from attack. These are principles that the European Union and the United States endorse in practice for Israel, but only in principle for Palestine.

As democrats, we have an obligation to support the implementation of these rights for Palestinians too. There is no contradiction between starting negotiations on final status issues while acknowledging these principles in practice for Palestine at the United Nations in September. The two things could, in fact, be mutually reinforcing.

Lady Ashton, I welcome your strenuous efforts to get negotiations back on track and I wish you success for your initiative with the Quartet on the Middle East next Monday. Gazans need more than humanitarian aid. They need a normal life, they need jobs and they need to be released from their open-air prison, and achieving these things would, I believe, ensure their support for a negotiated settlement. As regards Hamas, I urge the Quartet to listen carefully to the 24 former prime ministers, former ministers and peace negotiators – some of whom participated in the Northern Ireland process – who have urged it to consider the conditions it has applied to Hamas as goals rather than preconditions. They have advocated that, at least to start negotiations with Hamas, it should be sufficient that they adhere to a ceasefire and to the principle of non-violence.

 
  
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  Nadezhda Neynsky (PPE). - Mr President, I would like to express my appreciation for the constitutional reforms in Morocco and Algeria, which are a peaceful demonstration of hope for the whole region but, unfortunately, are in sharp contrast to the recent bloodshed in Egypt, Syria and Yemen. At the same time, as a participant in the political process of democratisation in Bulgaria, I share the anxiety of opposition parties in Morocco and Algeria that the proposed reforms might fall short of bringing the much-desired change. Allow me to borrow some wise words from Otto von Habsburg, who once said that the essence of a country lies in citizens’ freedoms and legal order. Systems of governing, whether monarchies or republics, are just solutions that abide by these principles.

Governance based on legality is the most acceptable system that suits human needs. Let us remember that the Arab Spring was at first inspired by the story of a Tunisian street vendor whose basic human right to dignity was violated in public.

The democratisation experience of Eastern Europe shows that democracy is not a single act but a constant process that goes well beyond simply calling elections. Democracy cannot be imposed. Democracy needs to be fully yearned for and protected by the whole society. We need to stress, also, that democratic changes are irreversible only if they guarantee the economic prosperity of a critical mass of people. The under-developed private sector of each of these countries also undermines the educated and active population. The European role in the process is not just to inject money but especially to provide know-how.

 
  
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  Boris Zala (S&D). - Mr President, the EU has shown clear support for all forms of uprising against all forms of undemocratic regimes, but our support has to be very tangible. All the people have to feel our assistance. Yes, the EU imposed restrictive measures on persons in Syria, but it did not go far enough. Our policy in Libya is crucial and effective, but we have to do more.

Allow me to mention only a few examples. We have to stop all supplies of military equipment to the undemocratic governments in the region. We have to change all instances where we use double standards. Of course, we have to be very careful not to support the forces and movements with Islamist ideology.

As regards cooperation with Turkey, Turkey has shown its really effective support for democratic changes in the region. We have to appreciate not only the humanitarian assistance for the Syrian refugees, but clear statements from Turkey against Mubarak, Gaddafi, and now against the hardliners in Syria. We have to involve Turkey more. The Palestinian-Israeli peace process is a conceivable part of the regional solution.

We have to have a united Europe in position. Calling for an urgent relaunch of negotiations is equally important, so as to avoid a European split on the UN vote. I hope, Baroness Ashton, that you will be successful in this process.

 
  
  

PRESIDENZA DELL'ON. ROBERTA ANGELILLI
Vicepresidente

 
  
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  Alf Svensson (PPE). - Fru talman! Vi måste väl en dag som denna, när vi debatterar situationen i norra Afrika och i Syrien, erkänna att vi har satt stabilitet framför demokrati och varit tillfreds om stabilitet har rått i länderna i den här regionen. Vi har varit sent ute, och nu har vi lärt oss en läxa. Vi vet ju innerst inne att det inte finns någon stabilitet om inte den är rotad i demokrati. Jag tycker vi ska erkänna att vi har lärt oss en läxa. När vi talar om Syrien ska vi akta oss för att i själva verket fundera över om det inte skulle bli ännu värre om Assad kastades åt sidan. Sanningen måste vara att Assad inte längre har någon legitimitet, vad vi än kan frukta av kaos under en period.

Jag menar att människor söker sig till demokratin. Människor söker individuell integritet. Även om vi inte väntat att detta skulle ske i norra Afrika i de länder som vi har debatterat idag, så vet vi ju innerst inne att förr eller senare når människan fram till den här situationen, då hon kan känna sig fri och respekterad och aktad.

Jag vill också gärna understryka det flera har sagt: låt oss dra in Turkiet mer i de här resonemangen. Turkiet har historiskt sett varit ett mycket betydelsefullt land. Turkiet är en stormakt, ekonomiskt och utrikespolitiskt, som växer och därför ska vi räkna med Turkiet och inte låtsas som om det ligger vid sidan om.

 
  
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  Μαρία-Ελένη Κοππά (S&D). - Κυρία Πρόεδρε, τα γεγονότα των τελευταίων μηνών στη Βόρειο Αφρική και τη Μέση Ανατολή μάς καλούν να σταθούμε στο ύψος των περιστάσεων. Το αίτημα για ελευθερία, δημοκρατία, το αίτημα για δημιουργία κράτους δικαίου, σεβασμού ανθρωπίνων δικαιωμάτων και θεμελιωδών ελευθεριών, για τα οποία αγωνίζονται στις χώρες αυτές, είναι ακριβώς οι βάσεις του ευρωπαϊκού οικοδομήματος.

Ο μεγάλος κίνδυνος σήμερα, αρκετούς μήνες από την έναρξη των εξεγέρσεων, είναι να δείξουμε ότι ως Ένωση ακολουθούμε στα μεγάλα αυτά γεγονότα δύο μέτρα και δύο σταθμά. Μετά από την αδυναμία ενιαίας στάσης των ευρωπαϊκών χωρών στο ζήτημα της Λιβύης, η Ένωση παρουσιάζει μια μεγάλη διστακτικότητα στο θέμα της Συρίας, μιας χώρας όπου η αιματοχυσία έχει ξεπεράσει κάθε προηγούμενο.

Η Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση οφείλει να ζητήσει άμεσα την αποχώρηση του ηθικού αυτουργού Μπασάρ αλ Άσαντ, ο οποίος παρά τις εξαγγελίες του συνεχίζει να αιματοκυλά τη χώρα. Επίσης πρέπει να επισημανθεί ότι δεν υπήρξε καμία ουσιαστική καταδίκη για την επέμβαση ξένων δυνάμεων στο Μπαχρέιν. Δεν μπορεί πια η Ένωση να κάνει επιλεκτικά τα στραβά μάτια σε στρατιωτικές επεμβάσεις.

Οφείλουμε να στείλουμε ένα μήνυμα καθαρό και ισχυρό, που να δείχνει την αποφασιστικότητά μας να στηρίξουμε τους δημοκρατικούς αγώνες των χωρών αυτών και αυτή τη στιγμή, την τόσο κρίσιμη, να μιλήσουμε με μια φωνή απέναντι στην καταστολή και στη βία.

 
  
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  Sari Essayah (PPE). - Arvoisa puhemies, hyvät komission jäsenet, demokratiaa peräänkuulutetaan nyt arabimaissa autoritääristen hallintojen tilalle. Kuitenkin poliittinen järjestelmä monissa näissä maissa on hyvin kehittymätön eikä todellisia demokraattisia johtajia ikävä kyllä ole näkyvästi nousemassa. Vaihtoehdot tulevaisuudelle ovatkin näissä maissa pahimmillaan sotilasvalta tai ääri-islamismi eikä suinkaan se demokratia, jota me kaikki täällä niin kovasti toivomme. Onneksi Marokon ja Tunisian viimeaikainen kehitys antaa vähän toivoa paremmasta.

Etenkin tulevat parlamenttivaalit Egyptissä ovat monella tapaa hyvin ratkaisevat. Mikäli muslimiveljeskunta pääsee tuossa maassa valtaan, he eivät ole tuomassa rauhaa, vaan pikemminkin vaarantamassa koko Lähi-idän rauhanprosessin ja esimerkiksi Israelin olemassaolon oikeutuksen. Syyriassa ja Libyassa terrorismin uhka on myös suuri. Syyrialla on edelleen läheiset suhteet Iraniin, josta aseita kuljetetaan myös Hizbollahille Libanoniin. Siksi YK:ssa Syyrian vastaisen päätöslauselman aikaansaaminen olisi äärimmäisen tärkeää.

Ihmisoikeuksien polkeminen on kansannousujen yhteydessä arabimaissa lisääntynyt ja äskettäin neljän Algeriaa edustavan järjestön komissiolle ja neuvostolle lähettämässä kirjeessä vedottiin sen puolesta, että unioni kiinnittäisi enemmän huomiota niihin vakaviin sanan- ja uskonnonvapauden loukkauksiin, joita Algeriassa on tapahtunut, muun muassa kristillisten kirkkojen sulkemiset. Toivonkin, arvoisat komission jäsenet, että Euroopan unioni tällaisissa tapauksissa puuttuisi säännönmukaisesti ja määrätietoisesti näihin tilanteisiin.

 
  
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  Ioan Mircea Paşcu (S&D). - Madam President, ‘Europe has never been so prosperous, so secure nor so free’ is the opening phrase of the European Security Strategy of 2003. That is only eight, not 50, years ago. We were wrong to ignore the fact that stabilising our neighbourhood – something on which that happy condition depended – is a relentless task in need of constant monitoring. From that standpoint, it has to be said that we failed.

Despite our extensive set of programmes and policies undertaken over years, the region, rather than being stabilised, exploded, because we committed two strategic mistakes. We approached the entire effort mainly bureaucratically and we talked only to the people in power, avoiding deeper probing into those societies. Then, how did we react when all was suddenly in flames? With a lot of effort and some luck – the new reality coinciding with our neighbourhood policy review – we managed to put in extra money, directed more effectively towards the real needs of these societies in profound transformation, while establishing contact with the emerging leaderships there.

However, let us not fool ourselves: we are in for a huge, long-term effort of supporting state-building, which requires a strategic rather than a bureaucratic approach, and the end of which, we hope, will be a more balanced and intimate relationship with these regions, without our customary arrogance of appearing to know best what others really need.

 
  
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  Santiago Fisas Ayxela (PPE). - Señora Presidenta, señora Ashton, señor Comisario, Señorías, me voy a referir al caso de Libia, en particular. Entre todos los países del Magreb, la situación de Libia me parece especialmente preocupante, pues está a las puertas de Europa y dispone de abundantes reservas de petróleo. Llevamos mucho tiempo en guerra y la situación parece que está estancada.

Creo que la Unión Europea debe hacer todo lo posible para conseguir dos objetivos: que el coronel Gadafi abandone el país y, también, que Libia goce de una situación estable y se convierta en un Estado democrático, y no corra el riesgo de derivar en un Estado fallido en el que pueda infiltrarse AQMI, lo que representaría una situación muy peligrosa y preocupante para Europa.

Además, un Estado ingobernable, el regreso masivo de emigrantes a sus países de origen y, sobre todo, de tuaregs armados, podría provocar una situación conflictiva en los países vecinos. Libia es un Estado árabe, pero ante todo es un Estado africano y me parece muy importante tener en cuenta la opinión de los Estados vecinos del Sahel sobre la situación de este país.

Si no somos capaces de echar a Gadafi y de acabar con esta guerra, quizá estos países tengan propuestas que deberíamos escuchar.

 
  
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  Γεώργιος Κουμουτσάκος (PPE). - Κυρία Πρόεδρε, κύριε Επίτροπε, λαίδη Ashton, οι ραγδαίες πολιτικές εξελίξεις στον αραβικό κόσμο έθεσαν τη διεθνή κοινότητα και πρωτίστως την Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση μπροστά σε τουλάχιστον δύο κρίσιμα διλήμματα:

Πρώτον, πώς θα στηριχθεί η απαίτηση των λαών του αραβικού κόσμου για ελευθερία και δημοκρατία χωρίς να διαταραχθεί ταυτόχρονα, με επικίνδυνο για τη διεθνή ασφάλεια τρόπο, η σταθερότητα μιας εξαιρετικά σημαντικής περιοχής του κόσμου από το Μαρόκο ώς την Υεμένη.

Δεύτερο δίλημμα: Πώς θα αποφύγουμε μία πολιτική με δύο μέτρα και δύο σταθμά στην προστασία των ανθρωπίνων δικαιωμάτων στις ίδιες χώρες, σε όλες τις χώρες της Αραβικής Άνοιξης, ενώ είναι γεγονός ότι η κατάσταση σε καθεμία από αυτές τις χώρες παραμένει διακριτή από τις άλλες.

Δυστυχώς έως τώρα και τα δύο αυτά διλήμματα μένουν χωρίς απάντηση. Έτσι, η κατάσταση στον αραβικό κόσμο μοιάζει με εξίσωση χωρίς ούτε ένα σταθερό σημείο, μια εξίσωση μόνο με αγνώστους Χ.

Η πρόκληση είναι μεγάλη λοιπόν. Αναγνωρίζω ότι η νεαρή υπηρεσία εξωτερικής δράσης παίρνει κυριολεκτικά το βάπτισμα του πυρός σε εξαιρετικά δύσκολες συνθήκες, όπως στη Λιβύη. Αυτό όμως δεν μπορεί να είναι λόγος ή άλλοθι για να μην απαιτούμε ταχύτερη αντίδραση, αποτελεσματικότερο συντονισμό, καλύτερο σχεδιασμό δράσης, μία ευρωπαϊκή φωνή.

Οι βραδυφλεγείς και υποτονικές αντιδράσεις της διεθνούς κοινότητας, και της Ευρώπης δυστυχώς, απέναντι στη θηριωδία του καθεστώτος Άσαντ προκαλούν αισθήματα αγανάκτησης και ντροπής. Πρόκειται για την πολιτική των δύο μέτρων και δύο σταθμών στο απόγειό της. Αυτή η πολιτική πρέπει να αλλάξει.

 
  
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  Salvatore Iacolino (PPE). - Signora Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, il dialogo politico ed interculturale resta l'approccio vincente per restituire serenità ai cittadini delle aree del mondo arabo, che oggi soffrono sommovimenti e tumulti.

Tiranni miopi e talvolta integralismi religiosi hanno provocato violenze e disordini, ma anche le rivoluzioni che stanno liberando alcuni territori da questi feroci e violenti tiranni, incapaci spesso di ascoltare le voci dei loro popoli. Il vertice dei dissidenti in Siria, nei giorni scorsi, testimonia la possibile svolta verso un dialogo nazionale che si confida possa portare ad un nuovo e più proficuo rapporto fra opposizione e il presidente Assad.

L'insoluta questione del Medio Oriente non attenua la complessità di un momento che vede profilarsi altri contrasti fra Siria e Turchia ed una difficile regolazione dei flussi migratori irregolari verso l'Occidente. Anche in Libano il clima è fortemente peggiorato e tutto questo influisce sulla stabilità di quell'area. Non parliamo della Libia perché altri lo hanno fatto.

Ci sono però sorprendenti dati di segno favorevole: in Marocco, il referendum appena svolto ha segnato il 98,5 per cento di "sì" verso la riforma costituzionale, ed una percentuale altissima, il 72 per cento della popolazione ha votato. È questa la strada da percorrere unitamente ad una più rinnovata, più proficua e più incisiva politica di vicinato.

 
  
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  Simon Busuttil (PPE). - Il-ġimgħa d-dieħla, il-Parlament Ewropew se jibgħat delegazzjoni ta’ seba’ Membri minn hawnhekk, li se mmexxi jien, fil-fruntiera bejn il-Libja u t-Tuneżija. L-għan tagħna huwa li nżuru l-kampijiet tar-refuġjati li hemm fuq il-fruntieri f’postijiet bħal Shusha u Ras Jedir wara li kif nafu lkoll mat-tliet kwarti ta’ miljun persuna ħarbu mill-gwerra ċivili fil-Libja.

Hemm se naraw il-kundizzjonijiet fil-kampijiet, nitkellmu mar-refuġjati u naraw kemm l-Unjoni Ewropea qed tkun effettiva fl-għajnuna umanitarja tagħha. Fl-istess ħin se naraw is-sitwazzjoni tar-refuġjati fil-Libja u fit-Tuneżija u kif din tista’ taffettwa wkoll l-influss ta’ immigrazzjoni lejn il-pajjiżi tagħna fl-Ewropa.

Id-delegazzjoni se jkollha wkoll l-opportunità li tiltaqa’ mal-Prim Ministru Tuneżin kif ukoll ma’ ministri oħra fil-gvern tranżitorju tat-Tuneżija. Fil-fatt din se tkun it-tieni darba li l-Parlament Ewropew ser ikun preżenti fit-Tuneżija f’dawn l-aħħar sitt xhur minn wara l-waqgħa tar-reġim ta’ Ben Ali.

Dak li seħħ u li qiegħed iseħħ fil-Libja huwa kriminali, u mhux ta’ b’xejn li Gaddafi huwa mfittex mill-Qorti Kriminali Internazzjonali. Kull ma jrid il-poplu Libjan huwa l-libertà u d-demokrazija li diġà ngawdu aħna. Jiena nittama li ma ndumux ma naraw lil-Libja taqbad it-triq lejn id-demokrazija, kif qabditha it-Tuneżija, u jekk tagħmel dan, aħna nkunu wara l-Libja bi ħġarna.

 
  
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  Marco Scurria (PPE). - Signora Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, il poeta siriano Adonis ha scritto una lettera aperta al presidente Assad, in cui dice: "Signor Presidente, nessuno crede che la democrazia possa realizzarsi in Siria immediatamente dopo la caduta dell'attuale regime, ma al confronto è incredibile e irrealistico che prosegua in Siria la violenza sistematica per ristabilire l'ordine. Ed è questo il problema. Occorre gettare le basi della democrazia fin dall'inizio, ora e non domani. D'altro canto senza la democrazia, ci sarà soltanto arretramento fino a giungere al baratro."

Il "baratro" di cui parla il poeta, in Siria si allarga ogni giorno: si spara su chi filma, si incarcerano persino bambini di undici anni, alcuni ufficiali dell'esercitano cominciano ad averne abbastanza e cominciano a disertare. Molti li seguirebbero se potessero più facilmente valicare i confini con gli Stati confinanti. Ancora oggi il Corriere della Sera dice, analizzando la situazione siriana: "In Siria la protesta non cala, Assad non cade, il mondo non vede".

Signora Ashton, l'Europa è l'unica istituzione che può far vedere al mondo quello che sta realmente accadendo, è l'unica istituzione che può dare un segnale vero, che può aiutare, ma soprattutto dare un orizzonte per il futuro. È il momento di investire sul Mediterraneo, scegliendo quindi di ipotizzare un mondo di pace e di stabilità per il futuro, è il momento del coraggio e che quella bandiera europea che, come ci ha raccontato, sventola a Bengasi sia un segnale per tutta l'area del Mediterraneo.

 
  
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  Γεώργιος Παπανικολάου (PPE). - Κυρία Πρόεδρε, κυρία Εκπρόσωπε, κύριε Επίτροπε, πριν από έναν περίπου χρόνο, την άνοιξη του 2010, μαζί με συναδέλφους από την επιτροπή LIBE, επισκεφθήκαμε τη Συρία για θέματα επανεγκατάστασης προσφύγων. Θυμίζω ότι πέρυσι λάβαμε αποφάσεις για το θέμα αυτό στην Ευρώπη.

Διαπιστώσαμε εκεί ότι η Συρία ήδη από τότε κράτησε ανοιχτά τα σύνορά της, σε αντίθεση με άλλες γειτονικές χώρες, και δέχθηκε να φιλοξενήσει, λόγω των αναταραχών στην ευρύτερη περιοχή, εκατοντάδες χιλιάδες Ιρακινούς και Παλαιστίνιους υπό εξαιρετικά δυσμενείς συνθήκες. Και ήδη από τότε διείδαμε, όλοι οι συνάδελφοι, τον κίνδυνο όλοι αυτοί οι άνθρωποι να επιχειρήσουν με τη βοήθεια των γνωστών σε όλους μας κυκλωμάτων διακινητών, που δρουν ανεξέλεγκτα στη γειτονική Τουρκία, να φτάσουν στην Ευρώπη.

Αντιλαμβανόμαστε όλοι ότι ο κίνδυνος αυτός σήμερα είναι πλέον περισσότερο ορατός από ποτέ και τον πυροδοτεί βεβαίως η πολιτική αναταραχή στη Συρία –ειπώθηκαν ήδη πάρα πολλά–, η οποία οδηγεί στο δρόμο της προσφυγιάς και τους ίδιους τους Σύρους πολίτες. Ενδεικτικά αναφέρω, με βάση τις πληροφορίες που διαβάζουμε, ότι στην Τουρκία έχουν φθάσει ήδη περισσότεροι από 10.000 πρόσφυγες ενώ ήδη 5.000 βρίσκονται συγκεντρωμένοι στη συριακή πλευρά των συνόρων με την Τουρκία.

Είναι αναγκαίο λοιπόν, κυρία Εκπρόσωπε, η Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση, πέραν των όσων ήδη έχουν αναφερθεί για τη διαχείριση των προβλημάτων, να δράσει ταχύτατα και να λάβει άμεσα μέτρα σε ό,τι αφορά τις πιθανές νέες μεταναστευτικές ροές και ροές προσφύγων, προκειμένου να προλάβει το πρόβλημα και όχι να κληθεί να το αντιμετωπίσει στη συνέχεια, αντίστοιχα με ένα πλαίσιο συνεργασιών, όπως με αυτό που προσπαθεί να κάνει με τις χώρες της Βορείου Αφρικής.

 
  
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  Ria Oomen-Ruijten (PPE). - Voorzitter, geachte mevrouw Ashton, mijnheer Füle, de hele regio staat vandaag op onze agenda, maar de grootste zorg die we vandaag hebben, is Syrië. Er blijven slachtoffers vallen en de Syrische autoriteiten zitten eigenlijk aan de grond. Ze hebben hervormingen aangekondigd maar die worden gewoon niet uitgevoerd. Dialoog is onmogelijk. Wij hebben slechts één instrument als Europese Unie en dat zijn sancties. Maar dat is niet voldoende om de schendingen van rechten van mensen, om het doden van mensen, echt aan te pakken.

Mevrouw Ashton, u heeft net gezegd dat onze ambassade in Damascus er nog is. Wat kunnen ze doen? Kunt u ons dat vertellen? Wat kunnen we nog meer doen als Europese Unie? Wat kunnen we internationaal doen? Wat kunnen we doen met de Veiligheidsraad? En wat als de Veiligheidsraad doorverwijst naar het Strafhof in Den Haag?

Dan aandacht voor de kwestie in het Midden-Oosten. Wat zal het standpunt zijn bij de Algemene Vergadering in september?

 
  
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  Seán Kelly (PPE). - Madam President, firstly thank you for giving me time to speak. I was somewhat disappointed that I did not get speaking time for my group as I was a co-signatory to this resolution, and particularly instrumental in Amendments 17 and 18. They refer to the situation in Bahrain.

Coming from Ireland, we have a particular affinity with the medical staff there because many of them were trained in our country. Now we find that, when they are carrying out their duty and trying to attend to the sick and the injured in the protests, they themselves have been arrested, subjected to military trials and in some cases subjected to torture to get various confessions out of them. This is contrary to all normal standards in war or peace, and certainly contrary to the Geneva Convention. We call today for an end to this practice and for the release of all medical staff who have been impounded since the start of the protests.

Finally, I just want to thank the Polish Presidency for their free gifts of strawberries – which were scrumptious.

 
  
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  Corina Creţu (S&D). - Eşecul spre care se îndreaptă operaţiunile NATO în Libia şi incapacitatea Uniunii Europene de a determina o încetare a represaliilor sângeroase din Siria şi Bahrain şi de a stopa degenerarea situaţiei din Yemen într-un conflict civil demonstrează marja redusă de acţiune şi influenţă a Uniunii Europene şi a NATO într-o regiune zguduită de conflicte cu implicaţii majore asupra Europei.

Consider că este nevoie de o rezoluţie ONU referitoare la situaţia ce se agravează accelerat în Siria şi de o înăsprire a sancţiunilor europene faţă de regimul Assad, aflat, la rândul său, pe picior de război cu propriul popor.

Cred că, fără o eficientizare a implicării europene în regiune, riscăm distrugerea credibilităţii NATO şi a Uniunii Europene, pe fondul deteriorării situaţiei civililor, atât în Siria şi Yemen, cât şi în Libia, unde se pierd zilnic vieţi omeneşti, iar civilii nu sunt protejaţi în faţa atacurilor regimului Gaddafi.

 
  
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  Antonyia Parvanova (ALDE). - Madam President, let me start by thanking Lady Ashton for her written answer to a question on the Gaza blockade that I raised during a previous debate in plenary. It is always appreciated to have a proper follow-up and exchange based on the debates we have here in the plenary.

In your answer, Lady Ashton, you stated that the EU continues to request Israel to lift the blockade on Gaza, including the naval blockade. I would be grateful if you could further explain your statement and especially how, in concrete terms, you envisaged this lifting would happen, knowing that the smuggling not only of goods but also of weapons is ongoing through the tunnels going to Gaza. This was recently expressed as a serious worry by President Buzek after visiting Gaza.

If the EU is calling for the lifting of the blockade, how does it plan to ensure security in the region – notably the security of Israel – and through which specific measures? You also mentioned in your written answer the improvement in access of goods through authorised channels. Could you elaborate on the progress made in that regard, and will you also take into account the changes that have occurred when further defining the EU position on the blockade?

 
  
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  Marian Harkin (ALDE). - Madam President, first of all I want to thank the High Representative for her work in the Arab world, as we describe it, but in particular for her interventions in Bahrain on behalf of those whose human rights have been violated and who have been subjected to inhumane treatment and torture. I welcome her statement today on the disgraceful treatment of doctors and medics in Bahrain.

I think the total disregard for medical neutrality is just staggering. So many NGOs – such as Human Rights Watch, Doctors Without Borders or Physicians for Human Rights – have documented numerous cases of torture in hospitals and medical centres in Bahrain. It is unacceptable anywhere but I think it is doubly so in a medical facility.

We have the national dialogue, but that is doomed to failure because the composition of the group that is conducting this dialogue. But the recent initiative by King Hamad on the independent and investigative commission might offer some possibilities. But, as the High Representative said earlier, we need to continue to call on the Bahraini Government to end unlawful detention and ensure the human rights of all their citizens.

 
  
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  João Ferreira (GUE/NGL). - Falamos, neste debate, de uma região martirizada, ao longo dos anos, por sucessivas agressões, ocupações estrangeiras e manobras de ingerência de grandes potências. Uma região à qual a guerra, desgraçadamente, volta a trazer a destruição e a fazer vítimas entre as populações. Por isso, aqui denunciamos, uma vez mais, a intolerável agressão à Líbia e ao seu povo. Os repugnantes crimes que estão a ser cometidos neste país, porque disso se trata efectivamente, por mais que se evoque o cínico pretexto da protecção dos civis.

Reiteramos aqui o nosso compromisso de sempre com a defesa da liberdade e da democracia. Um compromisso também pela defesa da solução pacífica dos conflitos e pelo princípio da não ingerência, pelo respeito da soberania dos povos e da independência territorial dos Estados. Um compromisso que reclama a retirada imediata de todas as tropas estrangeiras estacionadas na região do Norte de África e do Médio Oriente, o fim imediato dos bombardeamentos à Líbia, bem como de todas as acções militares da NATO e seu aliados.

Quero também aqui reiterar a nossa solidariedade com o povo palestiniano e a sua luta pela construção de um estado independente e soberano, com capital em Jerusalém Leste.

 
  
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  Jaroslav Paška (EFD). - Aj keď demokratizačné zmeny v arabskom svete prišli náhle a nečakane, dokázali nám, že aj pre občanov arabských štátov je demokratické spravovanie krajín príťažlivým modelom. Otázkou je, ako našim arabským priateľom pomôcť dosiahnuť tento cieľ tak, aby pri ich ceste za slobodou netieklo veľa krvi. Najmä súčasný vodcovia Lýbie a Sýrie zjavne nechcú o politických zmenách vo svojich krajinách veľmi diskutovať.

Napriek tomu som presvedčený, že musíme hľadať cestu k zmenám predovšetkým mierovými nástrojmi: rokovaniami, medzinárodným politickým či hospodárskym tlakom. Nechať bojovať slabo vyzbrojených a neorganizovaných civilistov proti regulárnej, dobre cvičenej armáde nie je totiž prezieravým riešením. A zasahovať vojensky zvonku bez súhlasu Bezpečnostnej rady OSN je tiež neprípustné.

Preto je potrebné podľa môjho názoru využiť všetky účinné diplomatické prostriedky, aby sme v spolupráci aj s ďalšími svetovými mocnosťami, Spojenými štátmi americkými, Ruskom, Čínou, doviedli znepriatelené strany k dialógu o budúcom usporiadaní ich krajín. A potom im pomáhať, aby v záujme pokojného života v ich krajinách v takomto spôsobe dialógu vydržali.

 
  
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  Mariya Nedelcheva (PPE). - Madame la Présidente, Madame Ashton, Monsieur le Commissaire, ce qui se passe aujourd'hui au sud de la Méditerranée est préoccupant. Je ne vais pas revenir sur ce sujet, mes collègues l'ont très bien abordé.

Je voudrais simplement soulever deux points. Tout d'abord, la situation en Libye est très grave. Les États membres de l'Union qui sont actuellement présents sur son territoire soutiennent financièrement et matériellement un camp contre un autre. Je ne soutiens pas le régime de Kadhafi, loin de moi cette idée. Ce qui m'inquiète, c'est que l'on connaît très bien les conséquences à long terme d'une telle politique binaire: on crée des antagonismes, on renforce les dissensions au sein d'un pays, et c'est la catastrophe assurée pour des décennies.

Ensuite, je ne suis pas sûre que nous ayons bien tiré les leçons de nos erreurs. Concernant l'intervention en Libye, toutes les décisions ont été prises en dehors du cadre de l'Union. Certes, il s'agit d'une opération militaire qui se déroule sous le commandement de l'OTAN, mais reconnaissons que les États membres n'ont rien fait – même pas en apparence – pour qu'il y ait ne serait-ce qu'un minimum de coordination entre eux. Le résultat est que l'Union européenne reste une naine à l'échelle internationale.

Madame Ashton, je salue les efforts que vous avez déployés pour condamner les répressions et les violations des droits de l'homme dans le monde arabe. Mais que comptez-vous faire pour que la réponse de l'Union face à ce genre de crise mette davantage en avant une position unie, forte et audible?

 
  
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  Catherine Ashton, Vice-President of the Commission/High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. − Madam President, can I first of all thank everyone who has contributed to what has been a long but truly important debate. When we began, I think it was Mr Salafranca Sánchez-Neyra who said that we had to make sure we met people’s expectations – those of our people and those of the people of the region we are seeking to support. In a sense, that idea frames all of the contributions that honourable Members have made in the course of the debate this afternoon.

I have been struck by many of the different elements of those contributions. I was particularly struck that the word ‘dignity’ – one I did not use in my initial contribution – was used by so many honourable Members as a way of describing what we are seeking to develop as we support the people of the region in their future quest for democracy and human rights. I think dignity is exactly the right word.

Not surprisingly, many contributions have focused on Syria. Of all the countries and all the issues we are dealing with, Syria perhaps provides the greatest challenge. Honourable Members have come up with important new ways in which we could support the people of Syria and extend our action. Extending sanctions is something we have done twice already, and we will continue to look at that option. Mr Verhofstadt described the idea of some 200 families being included in this respect, and we will certainly take that idea forward.

I know that the desire to see safety provided for the people on the ground leads us to wonder how best we can achieve that – beyond the exhortations, the words and the pressure at the Security Council, and collaboration with our neighbours – and several speakers mentioned the idea of a safe zone. However, it is important to understand that providing some kind of safe zone for people on the ground would require a Security Council resolution: otherwise it would be illegal under international law. Many of the roles and ideas that honourable Members have suggested are already being worked on, in one way or another, in our work in New York.

It is interesting too that next week there will be a debate at the UN on the whole question of responsibility to protect, and it will be interesting to see what emerges there as a result of these issues, not least in Syria.

Honourable Members asked too whether we can do more with diplomats. We keep a delegation on the ground because their job is to continue talking to the people of Syria, and that is what they do. We have a head of delegation. We have removed people whom we have been able to move out of the country to safety, but we have a head of delegation and a very small team, and I really do pay tribute to the people who remain through all this turmoil and continue to support the work of the European Union. The work of the head of delegation is very much about day-to-day contacts with civil society and groups of intellectuals, talking to people about what is happening, and also continuing to make approaches to, and put pressure on, the Government on our behalf.

I hear what people say about asking Member States to remove ambassadors, and that is a tool we could look at. I could recommend it, though I cannot enforce it, but I am also very keen to do as we have done in the case of Libya, which is to keep talking to ambassadors about what they believe is happening in their respective countries. You will know that many ambassadors to Libya have ended up deciding that their future does not lie there. However, this is an issue we will continue to consider.

I think the message about the children who are in prison is a significant one and I absolutely agree with it. It is essential that we continue the pressure to have all children taken out of prison. We will do all that we can within the operational framework we have, and we will continue to work with our partners, not least with Turkey, which many have mentioned as a key partner here. I have already indicated that we are in touch with Turkey, that I am in touch with Foreign Minister Davutoglu, and that we are supporting Turkish efforts not only in relation to the work with refugees – and we have met refugees in Turkey – but also as Turkey continues to make its own representations in Syria.

There was a concern, which I described, about the echoes from Syria that go across to Lebanon, and about the question of Hezbollah. It is true that the Mikati Government is supported by Hezbollah, but Mr Mikati is not a man of Hezbollah. I think we need to try and give this government a chance to succeed. Our resources are directed at civil society and the development of the economy and an independent judiciary, and of course we fund the special tribunal. The amount of assistance is EUR 50 million, not the figure of EUR 200 million which was mentioned by one honourable Member.

Honourable Members have also worried about Iran. Of course we have enormous concern about what is happening in terms of the development of their nuclear weapons programme. As you know, I have worked very hard to try and get the talks moving. We have had two rounds. I have just written to Dr Saeed Jalili in response to his letter to me, saying once again that what we have put on the table remains there, and that we are open to ideas they might put forward for taking us into a new round of talks – but with the purpose of finding a solution.

We are also continuing our pressure on them for human rights violations. I said earlier that I have issued a statement today on what has been happening to women in Iran, but we have also taken action and sanctions against those who prevent people from having their human rights fully and properly recognised.

In addition, we discussed a number of what I would call rather more internal issues, so let me deal with those briefly. When we decide to have an EU Special Representative, we look for the person whom we believe can best do the job in hand. Stefan Füle and I and the 27 Foreign Ministers and other Commissioners spend a lot of our time in our neighbourhood and our region. We are your political eyes and ears. We are the people who perform that political function. Sometimes a Special Representative who has ministerial experience is incredibly valuable, and sometimes we are looking for different skills. In the case of the Special Representative for the Southern Mediterranean, I looked for somebody who had strong and long diplomatic experience, especially in that neighbourhood, to back up what Stefan Füle and I do – not to replace it but to back it up – by being able to bring together at a different level the type of people we bring together at a ministerial level.

In relation to the task-force idea, a lot of work goes on internally. Stefan Füle particularly is tireless in bringing various people together, but what I was looking for was a response to those who say ‘You need to engage the international financial institutions and countries that wish to support the neighbourhood but to do it collaboratively with the EU’. At that level it would be ministerial, and Stefan and I would be there, but the question is about how we bring in extra resources, through the EU Special Representatives, to do particular jobs. I know that Bernardino León – whose reputation goes before him, not just in Europe – will do a superb job on behalf of us all.

I do not rule out involving ministers. I know Miguel Moratinos well. To the Brazilians who were here I extend my congratulations on their countryman’s appointment to the director-generalship of the FAO, but you will understand too that I may have supported my dear friend Miguel for that role. I hope we will see him engaged again in European issues, alongside many others whom honourable Members may propose.

I agree, too, about the involvement of local people in our planning. ‘Planning for Real’ was something in which I was engaged for many years, and it is about local people having the opportunity to work together to decide what their local communities will be. It is of absolutely core importance to having the sort of communities that are sustainable and can be developed for the future.

Ms Lunacek, specifically in response to your point about money: the figures are EUR 750 million of new money, and EUR 490 million either in programmes that are under-spent or in money we have recycled in other ways. So the total figure is much higher than you had feared. All of the indicative programmes are now being reviewed to make sure that they fit, and all of the instruments will be revised in order to make sure that they fit with the new strategy and, just as importantly, that they are tailored to be able to respond to the needs of each country. We are doing this as swiftly as we can because one of the challenges, as honourable Members have rightly pointed out, is to ensure we respond in good time to needs which are already very obvious.

Similar considerations apply in relation to mobility. We have proposed working with each country to establish mobility partnerships, visa facilitation agreements and visa liberalisation arrangements. We agree that mobility is really important, as is trade. I agree completely with those who argue that, by supporting engagement with the markets in these countries, and particularly with small businesses, which are the backbone of all economies, we will gain because we will be creating new markets for ourselves. And we know the consequences of not doing that.

It is true that we want to build the Union for the Mediterranean secretariat to take forward the six regional projects, and we are working on that right now.

I will finish with a couple of key points. First of all, in relation to the Middle East peace process, what I commit to is to do my best. We have worked very hard. I have spent more time, since I took office, on the Middle East peace process than on any other issue. We work tirelessly and we work with all parties, across the region and internationally, in trying to achieve what we all know is the right answer: two countries, side by side, living in peace and security for generations to come.

The challenge for us is how to try, now even harder than ever, to make that scenario a reality on the ground. More than anything else, for the Palestinian people, the issue that is going to be of enormous significance in the coming weeks and months is that of getting a country that is sustainable – a state that is theirs. More than anything else, for the people of Israel, achieving that with the security of Israel at the heart of the arrangements is going to be what matters. From my point of view, this is not about being pro one side or the other. The desired solution is for both of them, and I want to see both of them achieving that as quickly as possible.

More than ever – with the changing neighbourhood and the challenges economically and politically – the time to do this is absolutely now. I will say that on Monday, and I will do my best to get us to the point that I know we have to be at. I am prepared to fail, by being prepared to be as strong as I possibly can be.

I agree on many of the things about which people feel passionately in relation to Gaza. I really understand that. Going into Gaza to see the circumstances there, particularly for children and young people, is really tough. It is really tough to see kids in schools that are running double shifts –children who want what our kids want, what all kids in Europe want, the same kind of lives – and knowing what the difficulties are. We have to find ways to alleviate the problems of Gaza and to deliver for the people I have met there who want everything that I want: economic security, a good education for their children, somewhere to live, to feel safe and to have a future. That is what we have to deliver and we have to deliver it in the best possible way. I think this is about getting the crossings open and finding a solution for the people of Gaza that brings them peace and security.

However, I have also seen the rockets that have been launched into Israel. I went and saw racks and racks of them, and I saw that children had to play underground because of fear of the rocket attacks. Again, we have to do what we are doing for both sides. We have to understand that the solution must give both communities the future and the security that people want, and we will do everything we can to that end.

Honourable Members, there are many points we could have discussed which I did not raise now because we have discussed them before. Camp Ashraf, I know, is really important. I get more letters from you on that than on any other matter, and you know that I am working with Foreign Ministers and internationally to try to find a suitable solution. Finding our way through that issue is very complicated and difficult, but we are engaged with it.

On the issues concerning religious groups, Coptic Christians and others, again this is something I raise with all of the countries concerned and something about which we have not forgotten.

My final point concerns South Sudan. When I leave tonight I will head back to Brussels and then out to Juba to represent the European Union at the birth of a new country. I met with the Foreign Minister from the north this week and I made it very clear to him that we expect them to do what they need to do to prevent the fighting that is going on in South Kordofan, and to make sure that we do not have spillover violence in Blue Nile. I am really alarmed about what is happening at the borders there and I am alarmed at the prospects for this new country, in terms of what is needed to enable them to cope. But we will be with them, and my purpose in being there as they raise their flag is to convey that the European Union will be there, not just on the day the country comes into being but also in the long term, to build the deep democracy and the strong economy that we know the people want and deserve.

(Applause)

 
  
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  Presidente. − Comunico di aver ricevuto sette proposte di risoluzione(1) conformemente all'articolo 110, paragrafo 2, del regolamento.

La discussione è chiusa.

La votazione si svolgerà giovedì 7 luglio 2011.

Dichiarazioni scritte (articolo 149)

 
  
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  Tokia Saïfi (PPE), par écrit. – La Tunisie, l'Egypte, sont porteurs d'espoir pour toute la région. Ils montrent qu'une issue positive est possible, que les efforts de leurs peuples ne sont pas vains. Nous devons continuer de les accompagner, les écouter et leur offrir une assistance conforme à leurs attentes et à leurs besoins. Mais ces progrès, ces espoirs, ne doivent pas nous détourner des difficultés d'autres pays de la région.

Aujourd'hui, la priorité absolue est d'arrêter l'escalade de la violence en Syrie, en Libye. Je me félicite que l'Union européenne prenne enfin conscience du rôle qu'elle doit jouer dans la région. Je salue l'initiative de la haute représentante de créer le poste de représentant spécial de l'Union pour la Méditerranée du Sud. Mais il ne faut pas oublier de s'appuyer sur les institutions en place, qui bénéficient déjà d'un réseau et d'un poids dans la région.

Je pense en particulier à l'Union pour la Méditerranée, dont un nouveau secrétaire général vient d'être nommé. L'UPM sort d'une période de remise en question interne. Elle est prête à aider les pays de la région à relever les défis auxquels ils sont confrontés et parfaitement armée pour le faire. Il faut lui donner toute la place qu'elle mérite.

 
  
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  Adrian Severin (NI), written. – After months of intervention and non-action, wishful thinking and short-sightedness, strategic confusion and tactical opportunism, an assessment of the spring 2011 developments in the Arab world and North Africa shows the following: 1. The events are a replica of the geostrategic quake which took place in Eastern and Central Europe in 1989; 2. Notwithstanding the specificity of each country concerned, the general refusal of the people to accept authority (in whatever form) any longer constitutes the common triggering factor; 3. Similarly to 1989, the transformation was not prepared or initiated by the Euro-Atlantic democracies; 4. The Euro-Atlantic players are trying, again as with 1989, to become protagonists by exporting their democratic model post-factum; 5. As usual, the Euro-Atlantic players, desirous to externalise their internal crises or to fulfil their national geopolitical ambitions, apply multiple standards, thus undermining the coherence of any future regional policy; 6. External military intervention can only undermine the equilibrium and complicate the situation.

Against this background, one can understand why, after unwisely trying to behave like an international cop, the EU, too divided to be strong and too nervous to be prudent, has no perspective; but one can only hope that things will eventually end well. Unfortunately, hope is not a policy!

 
  

(1)Vedasi processo verbale

Ultimo aggiornamento: 17 novembre 2011Avviso legale