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Arab world: EPP Group supports democracy and good governance and looks forward to a peaceful, stable and democratic neigbourhood. Joseph Daul MEP, Chairman of the EPP Group, and Ioannis Kasoulides MEP


31 Jan 2011


Global Europe

"The EPP Group in the European Parliament is following the developments in the countries of Northern Africa with great attention as the Arab world is considered as a partner within the context of the Union of the Mediterranean, and looks forward to a peaceful, stable and democratic neighbourhood," said Joseph Daul MEP, Chairman of the EPP Group, and Ioannis Kasoulides MEP, Vice-Chairman of the EPP Group responsible for Foreign Affairs, in a joint statement today.

"The international economic crisis has brought hardship, unemployment and frustration to many people around the world. The rise and speculation in essential commodities prices complicates the situation even further. When the people, however resilient they may be, witness unprecedented corruption by their leadership and bad governance contributing to their extreme poverty, they need space, made available by traditional democratic means, in order to protest and express their anger and demand for change. Oppression, the police state, torture and lack of democracy and human rights lead to revolt as in the case of Tunisia.

The EPP Group, in its endeavour to establish working relationships with the Arab world, has always advanced the necessity for true democracy, human rights, good governance and independent judiciary with the governments and existing political parties of our partners. This, in a spirit of dialogue on an equal footing and accepting the principle that reforms are a matter to be achieved from within and not imposed from outside.

The Tunisian people have demonstrated their capability to impose pluralistic democracy and freedom from within and we call upon the Tunisian authorities to respect the will of the people and allow them to express themselves freely and openly during demonstrations and through the ballot box with free and fair elections.

Let this be an example to other Arab regimes who must allow free and unopposed demonstrations that should not be oppressed by the police state and violence. We call upon all partners in the Union for the Mediterranean to proceed rapidly to measures of true democratic and pluralistic reforms, full freedom of expression of the media and individuals, in public gatherings and elsewhere, full access to all sources of information, to fight corruption at all levels of government, urgently introduce tangible measures of good governance and listen to the wisdom of their people.

The EU stands ready to assist with determination and with technical assistance and expertise to achieve these goals", they concluded.

For further information:
Joseph DAUL MEP, Chairman of the EPP Group, Tel: +32-2-2847525
Ioannis KASOULIDES MEP, Tel: +32-2-2845155
Antoine Ripoll, Chairman's Spokesman, Tel: +32-475-856290
Peter Adler, EPP Group Press & Communications Service, Tel: +32-474-203005

Notes to Editors:
The EPP Group is by far the largest political group in the European Parliament with 265 Members.