The situation in Egypt is becoming more dangerous and less democratic every day following last week's presidential decree from Mohammed Morsi assuming full powers. The president has called for a referendum on December 15th on a hurriedly completed draft constitution that endangers basic freedoms and that does not have the support of the opposition parties or the judges.
The reaction so far from the EU’s High Representative remains non-committal and is discrediting the EU by limiting the response to "following with concern the events in Egypt” and that “all relevant parties should urgently engage in an inclusive dialogue based on consensus and joint ownership”.
Guy Verhofstadt is calling for a clearer statement of action and not just one of concern:
“A constitutional process can never be hijacked by a temporary majority. President Morsi is proving more and more that he is not the president of all Egyptians. On the contrary, he is now deliberately acting against the other half of the political spectrum. This is not only a dictatorship on paper; it becomes a dictatorship in reality. Sending troops to scare, injure and even kill people is more than one bridge too far and repeats the errors of the past. We must firmly stand on the side of those genuinely fighting for freedom and democracy."
Marietje Schaake (D66,Netherlands) added: “I am shocked by the lack of condemnation by the EU. The strategy “more for more” also implies “less for less” when commitments are not fulfilled. The EU must show it means business by freezing the 5 billion euro it promised three weeks ago in the EU-Egypt taskforce. We are not going to give loans to a government that ignores basic democratic values. Intentions are not good enough. It is time to see action."
Edward McMillan-Scott (UK, Lib Dem) and Vice President of Parliament for Democracy and Human Rights said: "During the Egyptian revolution the EU waited far too long to react and support those people who were fighting for dignity, freedom and democracy. The EU missed the opportunity to be on the right side of history. It is very cynical to see the EU making exactly the same mistakes now. President Morsi must come with a proposal to get Egypt out of the current dangerous impasse. If he doesn't there will be more deaths and misery. It is up to the EU to pressure him to do that and do it fast."