This website is an archive of the work of Marietje Schaake in the European Parliament between 2009 and 2019. Marietje can be reached at

ALDE puts Syria on agenda September plenary: meeting with opposition, debate with Ashton and a strong resolution.

On the initiative of the Alliance for Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE) the European Parliament focussed on the ongoing crisis in Syria during its first plenary session in Strasbourg after the summer reces. On Tuesday 11 September two Syrian eyewitnesses shared their stories and thoughts in an open ALDE group meeting in the European Parliament. Mr Rami Al Jarrah and Mr Deiaa Aldeen were joined by Ahmad El- Harriri, Leader of the political party "future of Lebanon". The discussion touched on the reported increasing number of extremists joining the opposition forces and how the lack of a united international effort to end the violence is forcing Syrians to accept the rise of extremism, on the need for a more united Syrian opposition and how money that is promised and required to fasten that proces is not yet flowing in, on the support to the Assad regime by external actors like Iran and Hezbollah, and finally on the inaction of the EU. On Wednesday 12 September the European Parliament debated the EU's response and actions fo far with High Representative Catherine Ashton. Marietje, as ALDE spokesperson on Syria, focussed on the need for action and urged Ashton to, at least, ensure the full implementation of EU sanctions against Syria, in particular the weapon embargo and ban on the export of surveillance technologies and services to Syria. You can watch Marietje's speech below. Marietje also answered a question by MEP Rui Tavares on Russian arms reaching Syria after the ship had been searched and docked in a Cypriot port. Cyprus is currently part of the EU presidency. On Thursday 13 september the European Parliament adopted its first resolution on the situation in Syria since February 2012. The Parliament urges Ashton to work relentlessly on breaking the stalemate in the United Nations Security Council, i.a. by exerting strong diplomatic pressure on Russia and China, and to work on a UNSC resolution that enables forced compliance by the Syrian authorities and opposition groups to implement UNSC resolution 2042 and 2043. The Parliament also calls on the EU to stand ready and explore all options in the UNSC within the framework of Responsibility to Protect, in close cooperation with the US, Turkey and the League of Arab States, in order to assist the Syrian people and to halt the bloodshed. The Parliament also supports calls by several opposition groups and the Turkish Government to establish safe havens along the Turkish-Syrian border, and possibly within Syria, as well as the creation of humanitarian corridors by the international community. It calls on the EU to consider broadening the scope of its restrictive measures to external entities or groups that undisputedly provide or facilitate crucial financial and operational support to the Syrian authorities. The adopted resolution can be found below: [embed]/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/SyriaRes-september.pdf[/embed]