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Document selected : B7-0363/2013

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Debates :

Votes :

PV 04/07/2013 - 13.14
CRE 04/07/2013 - 13.14

Texts adopted :

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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

on the situation in Egypt (2013/2697(RSP))

Willy Meyer, Marie-Christine Vergiat, Jacky Hénin, Paul Murphy, Marisa Matias

  on behalf of the GUE/NGL Group

European Parliament resolution on the situation in Egypt (2013/2697(RSP))  

The European Parliament,

–   having regard to its previous resolutions on Egypt, in particular those of 16 February 2012(1) and 15 March 2012(2), and of 14 March 2013(3),

–   having regard to its previous resolution of 14 December 2011 on the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) and on the Union for the Mediterranean(4),

–   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 the ENP package, developed in 2004, and in particular to the Commission’s progress report on its implementation of 20 March 2013,

–   having regard to the statement of its President, Martin Schulz, on the conviction of 43 NGO workers in Egypt on 5 June 2013,

–   having regard to the statements by EU High Representative / Vice-President of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton of 1 February 2012 on the continued crackdown on civil society in Egypt; having regard to the statement of the spokesperson of the HR/VP on new NGO law of 2 June 2013; having regard to the joint statement of the HR/VP and the European Commissioner for EU Enlargement and Neighbourhood Policy, Štefan Füle, on the Egyptian NGO trial verdicts of 5 June 2013,

–   having regard to the Council conclusions of 27 February 2012, 25 June 2012, 19 November 2012 and 10 December 2012 on Egypt, of 31 January 2013 on the EU support for sustainable change in transition societies, and of 8 February 2013 on the Arab Spring,

–   having regard to the statements of the President of the European Council, Herman Van Rompuy, after his meetings with the Egyptian President, Mohamed Morsi, on 13 September 2012 and 13 January 2013,

–   having regard to the EU Task Force meetings of 13 and 14 November 2012, and to its conclusions,

–   having regard to the Commission memorandum ‘EU’s response to the Arab Spring: the state of play after two years’ of 8 February 2013,

–   having regard to the joint communication of the Commission and of the HR/VP to Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions on ‘Delivering on a new European Neighbourhood Policy’ of 15 May 2012,

–   having regard to the statement on Egypt of the spokesperson of the United Nations Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, of 5 June 2013; having regard to the statement of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, of 8 May 2013; having regard to the press briefing notes on Egypt of her spokesperson of 7 June 2013,

–   having regard to the urgent statement of the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Network (EMHRN) and the Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, a joint programme of the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) and the World Organisation against Torture (OMCT), on the situation in Egypt, and in particular on the alarming restrictions on, and criminalisation of, civil society work, of 5 June 2013,

–   having regard to the statement by 40 Egyptian civil society organisations of 30 May 2013,

–   having regard the Egyptian Constitution and in particular Article 51 thereof, which states that associations are to be formed by notification,

–   having regard to the 1966 International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Egypt agreed to be a party,

–   having regard to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948,

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

A. whereas on 30 June 2013, millions of protesters across the country called for Mohamed Morsi’s resignation in the biggest demonstration since the 2011 revolution which ousted Hosni Mubarak; whereas, despite the fact that the demonstrations were largely peaceful, at least seven people died and hundreds were injured across the country;

B.  whereas at least 16 people have been killed over the course of the protests; whereas anti‑government protesters have stormed the national headquarters of the Muslim Brotherhood in Cairo and six government ministers have resigned over the course of the massive protests against the Muslim Brotherhood government, which is an indication of the internal fragility of the Morsi government;

C. whereas the Egyptian army has announced that it will give the country’s rival parties 48 hours to resolve the crisis or it will otherwise intervene if President Morsi and his opponents fail to heed ‘the will of the people’, pointing to the prospect of a military coup in Egypt;

D. whereas the National Salvation Front (NSF) opposition released what it called ‘Revolution Statement 1’ calling on protesters across Egypt to ‘maintain their peaceful rallies in all the squares and streets and villages of the country until the last of this dictatorial regime falls’; whereas the Minister for Defence has warned that the Egyptian army might intervene if the situation becomes ungovernable;

E.  whereas the NSF is among the progressive, liberal and secular opposition groups which have endorsed a petition organised by the Tamarod (rebellion) movement, calling for new elections; whereas the opposition has declared that more than 22 million people have signed the petition; whereas Morsi was elected with 13 million votes;

F.  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, healthcare, job creation, withdrawal of the distorted constitution, the formation of a national salvation government, and early presidential elections;

G. whereas it is now two years since Hosni Mubarak stepped down following the massive 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, and for full freedom, true democracy, respect for human rights, better living conditions and a secular state;

H. whereas in November 2012 the newly elected President of Egypt, Mohamed Morsi, unilaterally decreed greater authorities for himself, giving his decisions immunity from judicial review and barring the courts from dissolving the constituent assembly and the upper house of parliament; whereas as a result of this decree, some 200 000 people rallied in Tahrir Square calling for his resignation; whereas the constituent assembly rushed to complete the draft of the constitution and Morsi set 15 December 2012 as the date for a referendum;

I.   whereas in December 2012 more than 100 000 protesters marched on the presidential palace, demanding the cancellation of the referendum and the writing of a new constitution; whereas in the two-round referendum Egyptians approved the constitution, with 63.8 % voting in favour, but with only 32.9 % of voters participating;

J.   whereas in 2012 over 3 400 protests over economic and social issues, most of them strikes and sit-ins, took place across Egypt; whereas this is nearly five times as great a number as in any other year of the 21st century; whereas more than two thirds of these protests occurred following Morsi’s inauguration as president on 30 June;

K. 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;

L.  whereas in January 2013 hundreds of thousands held protests against Morsi both in Tahrir Square and nationwide; whereas during the two-year commemoration of the revolution of 25 January 2011, 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 casualties;

M. whereas on 7 May 2013 Morsi reshuffled the cabinet, bringing in more ministers from the Muslim Brotherhood; whereas these changes might be linked to the aim of finalising long‑stalled negotiations with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in order to secure a loan of USD 4.8 billion;

N. 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;

O. whereas demonstrators have continued their protests against Morsi for months; whereas people have taken to the streets to protest as the situation in the country under the government of the Muslim Brotherhood has not improved, but deteriorated; whereas during Morsi’s mandate as President of Egypt inflation and unemployment have increased; whereas the governmental repression of demonstrations is reminiscent of the repression carried out by Mubarak; whereas demonstrators are denouncing torture, harassment, detention, lynching and rape among the Egyptian population, and want those responsible to be brought to trial; whereas frustrations are growing at the slow pace of reform and the ongoing abuse 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 of Tahrir Square;

P.  whereas the new constitution drafted by Morsi’s party, the Muslim Brotherhood, opened the door to a religious state, and fails to guarantee freedom of expression, as it legalises the confiscation of newspapers and the 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;

Q. 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 that followed the 1919 uprising against British occupation;

R.  whereas NGOs are increasingly subjected to repressive legislation in Egypt, which makes their functioning, including registration, funding and fact-finding, very difficult; whereas the Central Bank of Egypt was requested to monitor all bank transfers of NGOs, and whereas 10 offices of internationally funded NGOs were raided, investigated and subsequently banned by the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) and 43 workers were tried and found guilty by the North Cairo Criminal Court on 4 June 2013 and sentenced to between one and five years in prison on the basis of Law 84/2002, stemming from the Mubarak era;

S.  whereas Egypt is still negotiating an IMF loan of USD 4.8 billion, which would imply economic austerity; whereas these austerity reforms relating to deficit control would bring worse working, social and living conditions for Egypt’s population;

1.  Reiterates its 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.  Supports the demands of Egyptian civil society demonstrating this weekend to call for new elections in order to form a new government that will start a constituent process to rewrite a new constitution;

3.  Is of the strong opinion that the leaders and generals of the Egyptian army will offer no way forward in advancing the rightful demands of the protesters, as the army’s leadership holds powerful economic positions in Egypt and thus represents different economic and political interests from those workers, poor people and young people who demand social justice and an increase in their living standards;

4.  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;

5.  Defends workers’ rights to form trade unions and to engage in trade union activity without fear of repression;

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

7.  Is strongly opposed to the conditions attached to the IMF loan, as they would contribute to a worsening of the living conditions of workers and of the most vulnerable members of Egyptian society;

8.  Insists that the future of Egypt must rest firmly in the hands of the Egyptian people, without any external interference; is opposed to any external, imperialist interference; is convinced that neither an intervention by the Egyptian military nor a return of old elements of the Mubarak regime will represent a step towards addressing the rightful aspirations of the Egyptian masses;

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

10. Urges 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;

11. 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;

12. 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.


Texts adopted, P7_TA(2012)0064.


Texts adopted, P7_TA(2012)0092.


Texts adopted, P7_TA(2013)0095.


Texts adopted, P7_TA(2011)0576..

Last updated: 4 July 2013Legal notice