For the first time since 2015, the European Parliament today debates the state of play of EU-Egypt relations. Member of the European Parliament Marietje Schaake (ALDE/D66) has consistently called for a critical EU response to ongoing human rights violations in Egypt. Schaake: "For almost three years now, the EPP and S&D group in the Parliament, the European Commission as well as of leaders of almost all member states have consistently chosen to only look at Egypt in terms of migration and security. As a result, Egypt is able to get away with flagrant human rights violations in plain sight and Europe's silence has become deafening.”
The two main parliamentary groups have prevented the Parliament from adopting a resolution this week. Schaake: "This sends completely the wrong signal, the number of issues in Egypt that urgently need to be addressed are endless. A resolution would have at least condemned the enforced disappearances, extra-judicial executions, cases of torture and prosecutions of the LGBTI community. It would have called for the immediate release of journalists, opposition members and human rights activists and it would have urged Egyptian authorities to repeal its NGO law and to unblock the hundreds of independent online media outlets.”
Silent no more
The EU and Egypt enhanced their relationship by adopting partnership priorities this summer. Schaake: "Egypt has committed itself to promoting democracy, fundamental freedoms and human rights. Yet reality clearly shows this commitment to be a dead letter. It is now up to High Commissioner Mogherini to hold Egypt to its promise. If it does not, she should not hesitate to suspend the EU's partnership with Egypt. That includes an immediate ban on all arms exported to the country.”
Schaake will participate in the debate with High Representative Mogherini about the situation in Egypt this afternoon. You can follow the debate live here.