Motion for a resolution - B7-0098/2013Motion for a resolution
B7-0098/2013

MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION on the situation in Egypt

6.3.2013 - (2013/2542(RSP))

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

Willy Meyer, Marie-Christine Vergiat on behalf of the GUE/NGL Group

Procedure : 2013/2542(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected :  
B7-0098/2013
Texts tabled :
B7-0098/2013
Debates :
Texts adopted :

B7‑0098/2013

European Parliament resolution on the situation in Egypt

(2013/2542(RSP))

The European Parliament,

–   having regard to its previous resolutions on Egypt,

–   having regard to the EU-Egypt Action Plan of 2007 and the EU-Egypt Association agreement, which entered into force on 1 June 2004,

–   having regard to its previous resolution of 14 December 2011 on the European Neighbourhood Policy and on the Union for the Mediterranean[1],

–   having regard to the UN International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, ratified by Egypt in 1982,

–   having regard to Rule122 of its Rules of Procedure,

A. whereas it is now two years since Hosni Mubarak stepped down after the demonstrations in Tahrir Square and the uprisings throughout Egypt calling for fundamental reforms in the country’s political, economic and social system, for an end to corruption, for full freedom, true democracy, respect for human rights, better living conditions and a secular state;

B.  whereas demonstrators are still demanding the same goals as those of the 25 January revolution related to freedom, human dignity and social justice; whereas they are demanding an increase in wages to match the increase in prices, housing, health, job creation, withdrawal of the distorted constitution, the formation of a national salvation government, and early presidential elections;

C. whereas Egypt has been locked in political and economic crisis for months; whereas there are still waves of protests against Morsi that have repeatedly turned into deadly clashes and rioting; whereas President Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood are effectively stepping into the same role as the ousted Hosni Mubarak and failing to carry out reforms, while seeking to instil a more religiously conservative system;

D. whereas in 2012 over 3 400 protests over economic and social issues, most of them strikes and occupations, took place across Egypt; whereas this is nearly five times greater in number than in any other year of the 2000s and whereas more than two thirds of these protests occurred after Morsi’s inauguration as president on 30 June;

E.  whereas physical and legal attacks on trade union activists have increased since President Morsi’s election, whereas in September 2012 five union leaders at Alexandria Port Containers Company were sentenced to three years in prison for leading a strike of 600 workers in October 2011, and whereas there case is currently under appeal;

F.  whereas demonstrators have continued their protests against Morsi for months; whereas people have gone down onto the streets to protest as the situation in the country under the government of the Muslim Brotherhood has not improved, but deteriorated; whereas governmental repression of these demonstrations is reminiscent of the repression by Mubarak; whereas demonstrators are denouncing torture, harassment, detentions, lynching and rapes among the Egyptian population, and want those responsible to be brought to trial; whereas frustrations are growing at the slow pace of reform and ongoing abuses committed by police and other security forces, who continue to act with impunity; whereas impunity has fuelled sexual harassment and assaults on women in the vicinity on Tahrir Square in recent months;

G. whereas on 25 January and the next few days, during the 2-year commemoration of the 25 January revolution, the unnecessary use of lethal force by security forces during a weekend of clashes with demonstrators led to at least 45 deaths and 1 000 people injured;

H. whereas the new constitution drafted by Morsi´s party, the Muslim Brotherhood, opens the door to a religious state, and fails to guarantee freedom of expression, as it legalises the confiscation of newspapers and imprisonment of journalists; whereas the constitution prevents free education, permits religious discrimination, detracts from the rights of women and children, and fails to make provision for the right to health and housing, and workers’ rights; whereas this constitution places president Morsi above the law and allows military trials of civilians;

I.   whereas the Shura Council (upper house of parliament) is in the process of drafting a law restricting strikes and demonstrations, and whereas this law is based on the highly restrictive Law 14 of 1923, which stems from the British colonial repression following the 1919 uprising against British occupation,

J.    whereas Egypt has announced a new law to prohibit contact by national NGOs with foreign organisations without prior permission from security bodies; whereas current legislation already makes NGO registration and foreign funding difficult; whereas this new law severely limits the ability of NGOs to conduct fact-finding visits and other essential activities, as well as further restricting funding;

K. whereas Mubarak was sentenced to life imprisonment in June for failing to prevent the killings, but an appeal court overturned the sentences in January and ordered a retrial on 13 April next; whereas despite this no independent inquiry has yet begun;

L.  whereas the European Union, in the framework of the European Neighbourhood Policy, is to develop a special relationship with neighbouring countries, aiming to establish an area of prosperity and good neighbourliness founded on shared values among partners and characterised by close and peaceful relations based on cooperation;

M. whereas parliamentary elections in Egypt will take place on 22 April and the National Salvation Front, in opposition, has announced that it will boycott them;

N. whereas on 2 March the US Secretary of the State pressured Egypt during his visit to adopt the economic austerity reforms necessary to qualify for a USD 4.8bn International Monetary Fund loan package and also announced the US contribution of USD 190 million in budget support; whereas these austerity reforms relating to deficit control will bring worse working, social and living conditions for Egypt’s population;

1.  Reiterates is support for the Egyptian people’s demands for freedom, human dignity, social justice, full freedom, true democracy, respect for human rights, better living conditions and a secular state, in particular for their demands for an increase in wages to match the increase in prices, housing, health, job creation, withdrawal of the distorted constitution, the formation of a national salvation government, and early presidential elections;

2.  Is extremely worried about the increased repression and attacks against trade unions and trade union activists, and demands the reinstatement of workers who have been dismissed for being involved in trade union activity;

3.  Defends the right of workers to form trade unions and to engage in trade union activity without fear of repression;

4.  Calls for an independent and impartial committee of inquiry to be set up to investigate breaches of human rights committed during Mubarak´s regime, including by the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, and also during Morsi´s presidency, including the cases of extrajudicial execution and arbitrary arrest, for those responsible to be identified and where appropriate brought to justice, with compensation for the victims and their families;

5.  Is strongly opposed to the conditions attached to the IMF loan, as those conditions will contribute to a worsening of the living conditions of workers and in the most vulnerable layers of Egyptian society;

6.  Insists that the future of Egypt must rest firmly in the hands of the Egyptian people, without any external interference;

7.  Urges the Egyptian authorities to ensure that any legislation to replace the NGO law is in line with international law, respects the rights to freedom of expression and freedom of association, and is based on transparent consultations with human rights organisations and other NGOs;

8.  Asks the Egyptian authorities to put an end to impunity and to take drastic steps to end rape, sexual harassment and all types of gender-based discrimination;

9.  Reiterates that economic, political, social, cultural and any other type of relations between the EU and any ENP country must be based on equality of treatment, non-interference, solidarity, dialogue and respect for the specific asymmetries and characteristics of each country;

10. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the governments and parliaments of the Member States, the parliamentary Assembly of the Union for the Mediterranean, the African Union and the Government and Parliament of Egypt.