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ALDE calls on EU High Representative to provide substantial assistance to Egypt


18 Feb 2011


Global Europe

Today in Strasbourg, the European Parliament adopted a resolution on Egypt with broad consensus across politician lines.  Guy Verhofstadt, ALDE President, gave his robust support for the masses in Egypt but also asked for action on the part of the High Representative , Baroness Ashton, on specific issues.

He stated, "I have asked Lady Ashton to follow up three fundamental concerns, which are vital  to building a real democratic society in Egypt  in the near future.  The Commission has to come forward with a credible and comprehensive plan for Egypt, tackle corruption, strengthen civil society , build democratic institutions, create an independent justice system and foster economic development. 

He continued "Secular democratic political parties are not involved at the moment in the debate on the change to the Constitution in Egypt, this must be rectified immediately. Although we wish to see swift progress towards democracy, holding parliamentary elections in Egypt in just two months time is totally  unrealistic and would prejudice opposition parties who do not yet possess well organised party structures or lists of candidates. The question of  proportional representation system should also be addressed in the electoral preparations.  Lady Ashton should raise these points during her visit to the region.  She can count on our support in this regard".

Marielle de Sarnez, (MoDem, France), ALDE shadow rapporteur for this resolution, outlined the role of the European Parliament in supporting Egypt moving forward.

"I think history will not forgive us so if we do not rise to the events that have just occurred and will continue to occur.   We must support full transition to democracy both in Tunisia and Egypt.   Let us review completely our Neighbourhood Policy."

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