Syria needs a greater financial and political response from the EU

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This article is brought to you in association with the European Parliament.


MEPs express grave concern over the persistent political deadlock and the lack of progress in finding a solution to the conflict in Syria.

The economic collapse and the disastrous humanitarian crisis in the country is deeply worrying, with 90% of the population living under poverty line, MEPs say, in a resolution on the Syrian conflict ten years after the uprising. They call on the EU to increase its financial and political response.

A sustainable solution to the Syrian conflict cannot be achieved through military means, they stress, criticising the Syrian regime’s lack of willingness to negotiate in drafting a new Syrian Constitution, despite the Syrian opposition being ready to cooperate.

Normal diplomatic relations can resume only after substantial changes in Syria

As long as there is no fundamental progress on the ground with clear, sustained and credible engagement in an inclusive political process, MEPs oppose any normalisation of diplomatic relations with the Syrian regime. Given the current context, the upcoming 2021 Syrian Presidential elections are completely lacking in credibility in the eyes of the international community, they stress.

Parliament strongly condemns all atrocities and violations of human rights and international humanitarian law in Syria, in particular by the Assad Regime, but also by Russia, Iran and Turkey , and urge the Syrian regime to immediately release the 130 000 political prisoners unjustly detained.

Prosecute war criminals and maintain sanctions

Reaffirming that those responsible for core international crimes must be duly prosecuted, MEPs call on the European Commission to present an EU Action Plan on Impunity, with a specific chapter on Syria. This action plan should seek to better coordinate and harmonise member states’ efforts and resources to prosecute war criminals in the EU.

Calling on EU member states to maintain sanctions on individuals and entities involved in the repression in Syria, MEPs stress that it is vital to avoid inflicting any unintended negative consequences that sanctions may have on Syrian citizens by using humanitarian exemptions for principled humanitarian action.

Finally, they remind all EU member states that Syria is not a safe country to return to and believe that any return should be safe, voluntary, dignified and informed, in line with the EU’s stated position.

The resolution was adopted by 568votes for,79 against and 37 abstentions.

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