Letter to VP/HR Mogherini on Syria

Marietje

In Syria, fighting continues between a wide variety of parties, and Syrian and Russian forces continue their relentless bombardments. Large parts of the Syrian population still lack essential food and medical supplies as a direct result of Assad’s refusal to allow in (EU funded) international organizations and NGO’s carrying essential humanitarian supplies.

This week, on April 5th, the EU hosts a conference on the future of Syria and the region. At the same time, Russia, Turkey and Iran are dictating the terms on the ground and the United States seems increasingly focused on a military victory over the so-called Islamic State.

The EU is the largest humanitarian donor for Syria but has become marginalized in political negotiations. By initiating a conference on Syria, the EU illustrates its readiness to take up a significant part of Syria’s reconstruction. Yet it has to thread carefully. Jumpstarting a large-scale reconstruction program without a mutually consented political solution under UN auspices, could become an implicit endorsement of Assad’s control over Syria and hence a betrayal to the aspirations of large parts of Syria’s civil society.

The EU should now leverage its role as the largest financial donor, to demand a say in any negotiations on the political transition and future of Syria. Eagerly giving financial support to a Syria in which Putin and Assad dictate the political terms would undermine the EU’s credibility.

Under any development or political agreement, chances of a strong central government returning to Syria are small and the various parts and regions of Syria are likely to claim or receive a certain degree of self-autonomy. Syrian civil society should therefore be closely involved in any endeavours for the future of Syria. Only by empowering the Syrian population can the political trust and stability Syria so desperately needs be created.

Marietje Schaake MEP, Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe group (ALDE)

Arnaud Danjean MEP, European People’s Party group (EPP)

Urmas Paet MEP, ALDE

Petras Austrevicius, MEP, ALDE

Alyn Smith MEP, Greens/European Free Alliance

Jacek Saryusz-Wolski MEP

Tunne Kelam, MEP, EPP

Jordi Solé i Ferrando MEP, Socialists and Democrats group (S&D)

Bart Staes MEP, Greens/European Free Alliance

Eugen Freund MEP, S&D

Csaba Sogor MEP, EPP

Hilde Vautmans MEP, ALDE

Charles Goerens MEP, ALDE

Ana Gomes MEP, S&D

Gerard Deprez MEP, ALDE

Matthijs van Miltenburg MEP, ALDE

Sophie in t Veld MEP, ALDE

Gerben-Jan Gerbrandy MEP, ALDE

Hans van Baalen MEP, ALDE

Beatriz Becerra MEP, ALDE

Maite Pagazaurtundúa MEP, ALDE

Pier Antonio Panzeri MEP, S&D

Edouard Martin MEP, S&D

Izaskun Bilbao Barandica MEP, ALDE

Nessa Childers MEP, S&D

Kaja Kallas MEP, ALDE

Nathalie Griesbeck MEP, ALDE

Terese Gimenez Barbat, MEP, ALDE

Lieve Wierinck MEP, ALDE

Kati Piri MEP, S&D

Neena Gill MEP, Greens/European Free Alliance

Pavel Telicka MEP, ALDE

Pascal Durand MEP, Greens/European Free Alliance

Reform party 30 member party faction in the Estonian parliament

Sjoerd Sjoerdsma Member of the Dutch parliament, D66

Tom Brake MP, Liberal Democrats

Baroness Lindsay Northover MP, Liberal Democrats

Juan Carlos Girauta Member of the Spanish parliament, Ciudadanos

Melisa Rodriguez Member of the Spanish parliament, Ciudadanos

Fernando Maura Member of the Spanish parliament, Ciudadanos

Simonas Gentvila Member of the Spanish parliament, Ciudadanos

Gintaras Vaičekauskas Member of the Lithuanian parliament, Liberal Movement

Vitalijus Gailius Member of the Lithuanian parliament, Liberal Movement

Christophe Premat Member of the Assemblée Nationale, France, Parti Socialiste

Omid Nouripour Member of the Bundestag, Alliance ’90/Greens

Franziska Brantner Member of the Bundestag, Germany, Alliance ’90/Greens

Roderich Kiesewetter Member of the Bundestag, CDU/CSU

Christoph Strässer Member of the Bundestag, SPD

Stefan Wallin Member of the Finnish parliament, Swedish People’s Party, former defence minister of Finland

Eva Biaudet Member of the Finnish parliament, Swedish People’s Party

Mats Nylund Member of the Finnish parliament, Swedish People’s Party

Anders Adlercreutz Member of the Finnish parliament, Swedish People’s Party

Anna-Maja Henriksson Member of the Finnish parliament, Swedish People’s Party

Veronica Rehn-Kivi Member of the Finnish parliament, Swedish People’s Party

Mats Löfström, Member of the Finnish Parliament, Åland Centre Party

Thomas Blomqvist Member of the Finnish parliament, Swedish People’s Party

André Bauler Member of the Luxembourg parliament, Demokratesch Partei

Gusty Graas Member of the Luxembourg parliament, Demokratesch Partei

Monika Rosa Member of the Sejm, Poland, Nowoczesna

Joanna Scheuring-Wielgus Member of the Sejm, Poland, Nowoczesna

Katarzyna Lubnauer Member of the Sejm, Poland, Nowoczesna

Paulina Hennig-Kloska Member of the Sejm, Poland, Nowoczesna

Adam Szłapka Member of the Sejm, Poland, Nowoczesna