EGYPT: Transferring power to elected authorities as soon as possible
5 July 2013

Brussels, 04/07/2013 (Agence Europe) – Expressing its “deep concern on the situation in Egypt following the military intervention”, the European Parliament said, on Thursday 4 July, that power should be “transferred to democratically elected civilian authorities as soon as possible”.

Adopting an oral amendment from Véronique de Keyser (S&D, Belgium), MEPs call “for a rapid return to a democratic process including the holding of free and fair democratic presidential and parliamentary elections in a fully inclusive process with the participation of all democratic actors”. They also express their “fundamental solidarity with all those Egyptians who share democratic aspirations for the country”. MEPs thus decided to adopt an oral amendment on the situation in Egypt, which is in constant evolution, rather than adopting one of the resolutions originally planned.

During a plenary debate on Wednesday, which was held before the Egyptian army seized power, Lithuania's Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister Vytautas Leskevicius and MEPs called on all parties to avoid violence and to engage in the search for a solution to the crisis and in dialogue. “It is probable that the situation of the Egyptians is worse than before 2011”, Leskevicius said, adding that “the EU didn't [have] the choice and [should] remain involved for Egypt”. We must do what we can so that the young generation in Egypt, which is turning to Europe, might benefit from a democratic outlook, said Marietje Schaake (ALDE, Netherlands). She called on the EU not to disappoint the young generation's expectations. “We must support the millions of Egyptians who have not lost their dreams of freedom, of security and of prosperity”, said Charles Tannock (ECR, UK).

In the view of José Ignacio Salafranca (EPP, Spain), “the transition process is going through a dramatic time”. “A roadmap is needed with a government of national unity, and elections in the shortest time possible”, he added. The same line was taken by de Keyser. She also wanted Catherine Ashton to use her “privileged relationship” with the Egyptian government to “play the principal mediator”. She was convinced that Ashton is capable of conduct this mission “with much competence and devotion”. “This country needs to turn to a healthy democracy, a democracy that where the president is not the one elected by the army”, said Judith Sargentini (Greens/EFA, Netherlands). Willy Meyer (GUE/NGL, Spain) called on the head of the Egyptian army to take the side of the people, “because nobody is over them”.

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