Motion for a resolution - B7-0024/2010Motion for a resolution

MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION on the situation in Yemen


to wind up the debate on the statement by the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy
pursuant to Rule 110(2) of the Rules of Procedure

José Ignacio Salafranca Sánchez-Neyra, Elmar Brok, Angelika Niebler, Arnaud Danjean, Ioannis Kasoulides, Hans-Gert Pöttering, Filip Kaczmarek on behalf of the PPE Group

See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B7-0021/2010

Procedure : 2009/2813(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
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European Parliament resolution on the situation in Yemen

The European Parliament,

–   having regard to the Council Conclusions of 27 October 2009 on Yemen,

–   having regard to the declaration by the Presidency on behalf of the European Union of 27 October 2009 on the deteriorating security situation in Yemen,

–   having regard to the European Community Strategy Paper for Yemen for the period 2007-2013,

–   having regard to the outcome of the visit by its Delegation for relations with the Gulf States, including Yemen, to Yemen from 22 to 25 February 2009,

–   having regard to the final report of the European Union election observation mission of 26 September 2006,

–   having regard to Rule 110(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

A. whereas the overall political, economical, social situation in Yemen is deteriorating, raising strong concerns in the international community,

B.  whereas Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the Nigerian terrorist who tried to blow up an aeroplane over Detroit on 25 December 2009, stated that he had been trained and equipped at a Yemeni al-Qa'ida camp; whereas a further deterioration in the security situation in Yemen may offer terrorist and insurgent groups in the region, particularly al-Qa'ida, a safe haven in which to plan, organise and support subsequent terrorist operations,

C. whereas the security situation is being worsened further by the civil war against Zaidi Shi’i revivalists in Sa'dah in the north of Yemen and the outbreak of violence by the secessionist movement in the south of the country,

D. whereas the local fighting in the Sa'dah region took on a regional dimension when Saudi military forces engaged the rebels following an incursion on the Saudi-Yemen border and launched raids on the rebel positions, allegedly causing casualties among the civilian population; whereas the Yemeni Government has alleged that some groups in Iran are supporting rebel movements in the north of the country,

E.  whereas Yemen is the poorest country in the Arab world; whereas the 2008 food crisis has had a huge impact on the poorer sections of the Yemeni population, whilst the global financial crisis, particularly the fall in oil revenue, has contributed to unsustainable pressure on public finances, further aggravated by the limited implementation of overdue economic and fiscal reforms,

F.  whereas Yemen’s oil reserves, the source of over 75% of its income, are close to depletion, and whereas the country has few viable options for a sustainable post-oil economy,

G, whereas another significant problem facing Yemen is the severe water shortage, which is caused by several factors, including rising domestic consumption, poor water management, corruption, a lack of resource management and wasteful irrigation techniques; whereas according to the government's estimates 99% of all water extraction is unlicensed,

H. whereas the situation created by Yemen’s lack of food and water is further complicated by the population’s dependence on qat, a quick-cash crop which requires heavy irrigation to thrive and which is grown so extensively that about 40% of Yemeni water resources are used for its cultivation; whereas the country has now become a net food importer,

I.   whereas the increase in piracy in the Gulf of Aden and continuous migratory pressure from the Horn of Africa are further factors impacting on the stability of the country,

J.   whereas since 2004 the EU has donated aid worth more than €144 million to Yemen, with the largest share going towards economic development, and has implemented bilateral assistance programmes to support the Yemeni police and coastguard,

K. whereas the parliamentary elections which were to be held in April 2009 have been postponed in order to enable the authorities to implement the essential reforms of the electoral system; whereas no concrete steps towards this goal have been taken so far,

L.  whereas serious concerns remain about developments in Yemen with regard to democracy, human rights and the independence of the judiciary; whereas there have been cases involving persecution of journalists; whereas the situation of women is especially difficult, with a continuous deterioration in all gender-gap indicators, such as equal access to education, gender-based violence and active political participation,

M. whereas six European citizens - five Germans and one Briton - are still being held hostage following their kidnapping in June 2009, whilst three other people from that group were found dead immediately after their abduction; whereas some local tribal leaders have pointed at al-Qa'ida as being responsible for the kidnappings,

1.  Expresses its deep concern at the deteriorating security, political and economic situation in Yemen; calls for considerable efforts by the international community to prevent the escalation of the current crisis and move towards the goal of a unified, stable and democratic Yemen;

2.  Supports the active cooperation between the Commission and the Yemeni Government, especially in the areas of development, police, justice, border control, anti-trafficking, maritime safety, counter-terrorism and institution-building; calls on the Council and the Commission further to strengthen bilateral relations with Yemen and to examine the most effective ways in which the EU can contribute to improving the security, political and economic situation in the country;

3.  Reaffirms its call for an immediate ceasefire in Sa’dah and in southern Yemen and expresses its view that only a comprehensive political solution can bring lasting peace; reminds all parties to the conflicts of their obligation to respect human rights and international humanitarian law; calls on the parties to allow civilians wishing to escape from the conflicts to reach places of safety, to facilitate access for the UN and NGOs to internally-displaced persons and to allow emergency medical and humanitarian relief to reach those internally displaced as a matter of urgency;

4.  Calls on the Yemeni Government to refrain from discrimination against any ethnic or religious group in the country and to take account of the common interest of all of its citizens in its policies; stresses that anti-terrorist actions and measures must not be misused for political purposes, especially against political opponents, journalists and human rights defenders;

5.  Expresses its concern at the growing presence of al-Qa'ida in Yemen and underlines that a failure to take concrete action could lead to a further erosion of central government authority and destabilisation of the region to the degree seen in Somalia or Afghanistan, which will in turn provide opportunities for extremists directed or inspired by al-Qa'ida to regroup, organise, train, and launch terrorist operations inside or outside Yemeni territory;

6.  Calls on the Yemeni authorities to implement overdue institutional, economic and fiscal reforms and to introduce the reforms needed in order to improve the human rights situation in the country, particularly by ensuring media freedom, the right to a fair trial and equal treatment for men and women;

7.  Emphasises the importance of holding elections in 2011 and encourages all political parties to implement their agreements setting out the measures required to improve the electoral system and deepen democracy, in particular taking into account the recommendations made by the EU Election Observation Mission following the democratic 2006 presidential and local elections; calls on the Commission and Council, in close cooperation with Parliament, to monitor the process of constitutional and electoral law reform which has led to the postponement of the parliamentary elections;

8.  Calls on the Council and Commission, and, after its establishment, the European External Action Service, quickly to implement a coordinated and comprehensive EU approach towards Yemen, in order to avoid duplication and overlapping among Member States' assistance and development aid programmes; points out that EU coordination is fundamental to global donor coordination in Yemen, which is severely lacking; welcomes, therefore, the international meeting on Yemen due to be held on 27 January 2010 in London;

9.  Calls on the Council and Commission to provide, in cooperation with other international actors, increased development assistance to Yemen with the aim of stabilising the political situation and improving the economic situation and the living conditions of people in the country; welcomes the readiness of the Gulf Cooperation Council to further develop its relations with Yemen; calls on the Yemeni Government to ensure, in close cooperation with the donors, enhanced aid effectiveness through appropriate coordination, distribution and implementation mechanisms;

10. Calls on the Commission and the Council to ensure that the aid supplied by the international community, and in particular from the European Union budget, is used to finance projects which directly benefit as many people as possible and whose effectiveness is evaluated on the spot; welcomes, in this regard, the establishment of a fully-fledged EU delegation in Sana'a;

11. Calls on the Commission and the Council to implement a special programme of assistance to Yemen, including out-of-country training for Yemeni civil servants (as conducted by EUJUST LEX in Iraq) and the placement of trainers in key ministries (as undertaken by the EU in Bosnia-Herzegovina);

12. Calls on the Yemeni authorities to step up their efforts to ensure the release of the six European hostages being held on its territory;

13. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the governments and parliaments of the Member States, the Secretary-General of the Gulf Cooperation Council and the Government and Parliament of the Republic of Yemen.