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The 27 give a mandate to Ashton to reorient EU policy towards the Arab world

Credit: Council of the EU

Faced with the Tunisian and Egyptian crisis, 27 heads of state and government have given a triple mandate to Cathy Ashton, the High Representative:

  • go to Tunisia and Egypt carrying the European message (support for the “legitimate” aspirations of the democratic, economic and social populations, for dialogue and political reform; call for respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, for free elections and equitable; availability for a “new partnership involving “more effective” support for the future of these countries to facilitate the transition process, etc.).
  • develop a package of measures to support the transformation and transition process (support for democratic institutions, promotion of social justice and democratic governance, assistance in the preparation and holding of free and fair elections).
  • “rapidly” adapt EU instruments, make humanitarian aid available and propose measures and projects to stimulate cooperation, trade and investment in the region with the aim of promoting economic and social development , notably the advanced status for Tunisia.

More particularly on Egypt, the 27 condemn “the use of violence and all those who encourage this violence,” recall the right of citizens to “demonstrate freely and peacefully”, which requires protection from law enforcement, as well as the right to information. Intimidation and attacks against journalists and human rights defenders are “unacceptable“. He also emphasizes that the transition process must begin “now".

Nicolas Gros Verheyde

Chief editor of the B2 site. Graduated in European law from the University of Paris I Pantheon Sorbonne and listener to the 65th session of the IHEDN (Institut des Hautes Etudes de la Défense Nationale. Journalist since 1989, founded B2 - Bruxelles2 in 2008. EU/NATO correspondent in Brussels for Sud-Ouest (previously West-France and France-Soir).

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