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Motion for a resolution - B7-0358/2013Motion for a resolution

MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION on the situation of civil society in Egypt

3.7.2013 - (2013/2692(RSP))

with request for inclusion in the agenda for a debate on cases of breaches of human rights, democracy and the rule of law
pursuant to Rule 122 of the Rules of Procedure

Cristian Dan Preda, Bernd Posselt, Filip Kaczmarek, Tunne Kelam, Roberta Angelilli, Eija-Riitta Korhola, Elena Băsescu, Monica Luisa Macovei, Philippe Boulland, Jean Roatta, Mariya Gabriel, Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris, Giovanni La Via, Eduard Kukan, Sari Essayah, Petri Sarvamaa, Jarosław Leszek Wałęsa, Anne Delvaux, Lena Kolarska-Bobińska, Laima Liucija Andrikienė, Tokia Saïfi on behalf of the PPE Group


European Parliament resolution on the situation of civil society in Egypt


The European Parliament,

- Having regard to its previous resolutions on Egypt,


- Having regard to the joint statement by High Representative Catherine Ashton and Commissioner Stefan Füle of 5 June 2013 on the Egyptian NGO trial verdicts,


- Having regard to the statements by High Representative Catherine Ashton of 2 June 2013 on the new NGO law in Egypt, of 20 June 2012 on the political situation in Egypt, of 13 September 2012 on the launching of a new EU-Egypt Task Force, of 5 December 2012 calling for a national political dialogue and of 25 December 2012 on the referendum on the draft Constitution and to the statement of the High Representative's spokesperson of 25 January 2013 on the killings in Port Said, Egypt,


- Having regard to the Foreign Affairs Council Conclusions on Egypt of 27 February and 25 June 2012, 31 January and 8 February 2013,


- Having regard to the EU-Egypt Association Agreement of 2001 (entering into force in 2004), strengthened by the Action Plan and the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) agreed in 2007,


- Having regard to the European Council Conclusions of 8 February 2013 on the Arab Spring,

- Having regard to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948,


- Having regard to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights of 1966 to which Egypt is a party,


- Having regard to Rule 122 of its Rules of Procedure,


A. Whereas on 4 June 2013, an Egyptian court sentenced 43 civil society workers of international non-governmental organizations (NGO) including Freedom House, the International Republican Institute, the National Democratic Institute, the International Centre for Journalists, and Konrad Adenauer Foundation, to jail, between one and five years, referred to trial in December 2011,


B. Whereas the NGO draft law must fulfill international human rights standards and respond to the aspirations of the Egyptian people,


C. Whereas the draft law on international non-governmental organizations (NGO) imposes significant government controls and restrictions on the activities and funding of civic groups, which is contrary to the democratic transition and to the right of freedom of association enshrined in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Egypt is a party,


D. Whereas Civil society has a crucial role to play in all the democratic transition and it must be allowed to operate freely,


E. Whereas there are growing concerns about restrictions being placed on freedoms of belief and religion as well as relating to the activities of journalists and bloggers, against the right of freedom of belief and expression,


F. Whereas the EU has been working actively with Egyptian civil society and has developed several significant projects which promote peace, democracy and universal human rights,


1. Calls on the Egyptian government to respect and fulfil its international obligations, to guarantee universal human rights and fundamental freedoms, and protect the rights to freedom of association and expression, including for international NGO-s;


2. Urges the draft law on associations to respect and protect the rights to freedom of association and expression, legitimates the role of civil society in the country, and responds to the Egyptian peoples aspirations for democracy enshrined specifically in Egypts new constitution, and calls for dedicated efforts to secure their full enjoyment;


3. Calls on the Egyptian government to respect and guarantee the role of civil society in all the process of the democratic transition;


4. Calls on the Egyptian government to demonstrate its commitment to democratic reform by replacing the current draft law with one that promotes the right to freedom of association and expression;


5. Underlines the important and high quality work carried out by these international non-governmental organizations in order to promote peace, democracy and human rights in the country;


6. Reiterates its solidarity with the Egyptian people in this important period of transition and underlines that the process of democratic change demands and requires sustained efforts and commitments; stresses again its full support for the continuation of Egypt's democratic transition;


7. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy / Vice-President of the European Commission, the Governments and Parliaments of the Member States and the Government of the Arab Republic of Egypt.