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U-turn on North African dictators reveals incoherencies of neighbourhood policy; human rights must come first


17 Feb 2011


Global Europe

Addressing the European Parliament today on the situation in Egypt Spanish GUE/NGL MEP Willy Meyer slammed recent EU flip-flopping on its attitude to dictators in North Africa.


"The EU has a very serious problem with its neighbourhood policy" he explained, criticising an overnight u-turn "from a relationship of cooperation and collaboration with the dictatorships of Mubarak and Ben Ali, to denouncing the regimes and seeking to control the revolutionary processes".


"The EU can not move from daily collaboration with dictatorships, to condemning those regimes and advocating constitutional reforms in Egypt and Tunisia. Article 2 of the Association Agreements makes those agreements subject to compliance with human rights. This item has never been applied to Tunisia, Egypt, Morocco or Israel. All countries with which the EU has signed agreements should meet International Law standards - human rights must outweigh trade interests."

"What both revolutionary movements in Tunisia and Egypt have in common is the fact that they were instigated by young people in a context of weak political organization and strong trade unions. The demand is for rule of law and a social state and has nothing to do with religion" Meyer added.

David Lundy + 32 485 50 58 12
Gianfranco Battistini + 32 475 64 66 28
Gay Kavanagh +32 473 84 23 20
Inga Keilmann (DE) +32 493 60 10 23
European United Left/Nordic Green Left
European Parliamentary Group