Motion for a resolution - B9-0325/2021Motion for a resolution

MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION on the situation in Afghanistan

7.6.2021 - (2021/2712(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 132(2) of the Rules of Procedure

Erik Marquardt, Alviina Alametsä, Bronis Ropė, Hannah Neumann, Ignazio Corrao, Mounir Satouri, Tineke Strik, Francisco Guerreiro
on behalf of the Verts/ALE Group

See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B9-0324/2021

Procedure : 2021/2712(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
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European Parliament resolution on the situation in Afghanistan


The European Parliament,

 having regard to its previous resolutions on Afghanistan,

 having regard to the Council conclusions on Afghanistan of 29 May 2020,

 having regard to the Joint Declaration on Migration Cooperation (JDMC) between Afghanistan and the EU of 26 April 2021,

 having regard to the statement by the EU Special Envoy for Afghanistan, Mr Tomas Niklasson, of 4 June 2021, entitled ‘Violence must stop and peace talks move from procedures to substantial negotiations’,

 having regard to the joint statement by the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy (VP/HR), Josep Borrell, and the External Affairs Minister of India, Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, of 4 May 2021 on Afghanistan,

 having regard to the joint declaration between the EU and Pakistan of 4 November 2020 on Afghanistan,

 having regard to the statement of 12 September 2020 by the VP/HR Josep Borrell on the start of the intra-Afghan negotiations,

 having regard to its resolution of 19 May 2021 on human rights protection and the EU external migration policy[1],

 having regard to the 2020 Afghanistan Conference in Geneva,

 having regard to the UN Security Council resolutions on Afghanistan,

 having regard to the UN Human Rights Council resolutions on Afghanistan,

 having regard to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 10 December 1948,

 having regard to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights of 1966,

 having regard to Rule 132(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

A. whereas peace talks between the Afghan Government and the Taliban are currently stalled, but are soon set to resume in Doha;

B. whereas at least 85 people were killed and 147 wounded, most of them schoolgirls, in the attack in front of the Sayed al-Shuhada school in Kabul on 8 May 2021;

C. whereas on 2 March 2021 three women media workers were killed in Jalalabad;

D. whereas at least 13 civilians, including 2 infants, were killed and at least 15 wounded in an attack on the maternity ward of the Médecins Sans Frontières-run Dasht-e-Barchi hospital in Kabul;

E. whereas violence and killings in Afghanistan have increased dramatically in recent months;

F. whereas there is an extremely worrying increase in violent attacks, threats, harassment, intimidation and killings of human rights defenders in Afghanistan;

G. whereas there is a widespread absence of accountability for attacks and killings in Afghanistan;

H. whereas on 12 March 2021 members of the UN Security Council condemned the alarming number of attacks deliberately targeting civilians in Afghanistan;

I. whereas the USA and NATO have announced the withdrawal of their troops from Afghanistan at the latest by 11 September 2021;

1. Calls on the Afghan Government, the Taliban and all other relevant actors to advance the peace process with a view to reaching a ceasefire and a peace agreement outlining a political process for the establishment of effective institutions, serving the needs of all Afghan people and ensuring their human rights; calls on the European External Action Service (EEAS) and the Commission to actively support Afghan-led and Afghan-owned negotiations; encourages the EEAS and the Commission to assume a stronger role in urging both sides of the peace negotiations to the negotiating table, to offer facilitation and mediation support, to increase their regional outreach and to make use of the entire EU toolbox for peace enforcement;

2. Strongly condemns all kinds of violence, especially the recent increase in killings of, inter alia, women, girls, media workers and human rights defenders; urges the Taliban, the Islamic State group, the Afghan authorities and all other actors to immediately stop all acts of violence;

3. Expresses deep concern about the increasing likelihood of a multi-faceted humanitarian crisis exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, climate and environmental degradation, an expected drought and possible food shortages, as well as economic contraction; urges all donors to sustain or increase their humanitarian aid, especially their support for the Afghan health system and the promotion of access to healthcare by Afghan women and girls;

4. Urges the Afghan authorities, the Taliban and all other relevant actors to ensure the safety of local and international civil society organisations, NGOs and humanitarian organisations and their access to all parts of the country in order to reach those most in need;

5. Calls on the Afghan Government to promote reconciliation at all levels; calls, furthermore, on the government to end impunity in Afghanistan and to pursue genuine accountability for and investigations into attacks and killings; believes that the inclusion of civilian victims in peace negotiations can lead to more sustainable peace;

6. Urges the Afghan Government to actively involve the Afghan Parliament in all relevant processes, to end all measures that prevent effective cooperation between the government and parliament, and to improve parliamentary scrutiny rights; points out that the parliament should represent the diverse Afghan population; stresses the need to continue holding free and fair elections and improving transparency in government expenditure in order for the Government of Afghanistan to be fully accountable to its citizens;

7. Welcomes the progress that has been achieved by the Afghan Government on women’s and girls’ rights, women’s empowerment and the education of girls, although a lot remains to be done as regards reaching gender equality and equal chances; stresses that gender equality should be a fundamental principle in any political solution; calls on the Afghan Government and the Taliban to ensure the representation of women at all levels of negotiation, allowing for a way forward that further empowers women; calls on the EEAS, the Commission and the Member States to further support the empowerment of women, minorities and marginalised groups in Afghanistan, as well as their representation in democratic institutions, and to make women’s and children’s rights a key condition for continuous financial support to the country;

8. Is concerned that less EU engagement in Afghanistan would result in democratic backtracking and increased violence, as well as in enhanced efforts by China, Russia and other actors to influence the fragile situation in the country, with possible negative consequences for the desired rights-based, inclusive and sustainable political solution for Afghanistan and its people;

9. Calls on the EEAS and the Member States to intensify their dialogue with Afghanistan’s neighbouring states in an effort to accelerate and foster their engagement in seeking political solutions within Afghanistan; applauds past initiatives taken in this regard;

10. Stresses the relevance of promoting Afghanistan’s regional integration with a view to enhancing regional connectivity; highlights that the EU’s support for economic development in Afghanistan should focus on sustainable development and job creation;

11. Emphasises that the engagement and empowerment of civil society, as well as its protection, are fundamental for long-term peace and rights-based political solutions in Afghanistan; calls on the EEAS and the Commission to support efforts to increase access to justice in Afghanistan and to promote the security of vulnerable communities;

12. Calls for the EU to stand by its 2020 Afghanistan Conference commitments; stresses the need for maximum flexibility in EU assistance to Afghanistan; asks the Commission and the EEAS to regularly review EU support, with the possibility of refocusing or suspending activities if necessary; calls on the Commission and the EEAS to ensure that humanitarian aid and development cooperation meet the current challenges in Afghanistan and reach those in need;

13. Strongly emphasises that it does not consider Afghanistan a safe country for migrants to return to as long as minimum standards cannot be guaranteed upon return; calls on the Commission to urge the Member States to suspend returns and to offer protection to Afghan asylum seekers; calls for the close monitoring of Afghan nationals, in particular minors, who have already been returned; asks the European Asylum Support Office to update its country report on Afghanistan;

14. Believes that the recently signed Joint Declaration on Migration Cooperation (JDMC) between the EU and Afghanistan, as well as the EU’s general push for refugees to return to Afghanistan and its efforts to fund reintegration programmes, fail to take account of the country’s ongoing instability; calls on the Commission to carry out a human rights impact assessment on the JDMC and to ensure that the funding of the return and reintegration programmes under the declaration will not affect funds intended for development assistance or human rights;

15. Calls on the EEAS, the Commission and the Member States to urge the UN Human Rights Council and other UN institutions to establish a commission of inquiry, a fact-finding mission and other mechanisms for Afghanistan; asks the EEAS, the Commission and the Member States, in this regard, to closely cooperate with the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission and the human rights community in Afghanistan;

16. Calls on the EU Delegation to Afghanistan and the Member States’ representations to increase their support to civil society, especially human rights defenders and media workers, to facilitate the issuance of emergency visas, and to provide temporary shelter in Member States, including for Afghan nationals who have been employed by Member States’ representations or the EU Delegation;

17. Calls on the EEAS, the Commission and the Member States to ensure the security of European forces and staff in Afghanistan, as well as that of local staff working or having worked for Member States’ representations or the EU Delegation in the country; asks the EEAS and the Commission to contribute funding for an enhanced security zone to ensure a diplomatic presence after the withdrawal of troops;

18. Calls on the EEAS and the Commission to present to Parliament, by September 2021, an EU strategy for Afghanistan, taking into account the aspects raised in this resolution and possible changes within the country in light of the withdrawal of troops and the ongoing peace talks;

19. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the European External Action Service, 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 UN Human Rights Council and the Government and Parliament of Afghanistan.

Last updated: 8 June 2021
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