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Egypt. Cautious Europeans. Bildt wants to go further (Shift)

(BRUSSELS2) The African Union has suspended Egypt from its seat in the African Union. This deserves reflection, said Carl Bildt, the Swedish Minister of Foreign Affairs in a tweet published on Sunday. “ The European Union cannot feel less concerned with democracy than the African Union.” And he adds in a second tweet. “I have spoken with a number of colleagues, including the Prime Minister of Italy and Turkey, about the broad implication of the events in Egypt. There is the risk of creating a precedent.”

TweetCarlBildtEgyptThis contrasts with the opinion commonly accepted by Europeans where we seem to trust the military to support the democratic process (read: Egypt. The EU asks for a quick return to the democratic process)

A failure of the democratic transition

• In France, President Hollande, traveling to Tunis on July 4, spoke of an admission of failure of the democratic transition. “ It is a failure when a President, democratically elected, is deposed by the army. It is a failure when millions of Egyptians also want, after a year, to express their aspiration to freedom. » But he refused to condemn it, believing that the Egyptian lesson was rather to show “ how fragile democratic transition processes are ". The important thing now is “to organize elections as quickly as possible” while respecting certain principles “ democracy, freedom, pluralism”.It's up to the new government to prove itself

• In Belgium, the Minister of Foreign Affairs Didier Reynders took “act” on July 4 of “ the announcement of the suspension of the Egyptian Constitution, and the transfer of executive power to the President of the Constitutional Court, as well as the establishment of a roadmap providing for the formation of a technocratic government, the organization of new elections and the drafting of a new Constitution”. He called "  dialogue between all parties " in order to ensure a " inclusive democratic transition responding to the democratic aspirations of all components of Egyptian society ". He hopes that " the new government will be able to lead the country in compliance with the rule of law and by guaranteeing the fundamental rights and freedoms of all Egyptians, and will work on the economic recovery of the country. »

When civilians surround soldiers, it is not a Coup d'Etat

• In Lithuania, the country which holds the presidency of the European Union, President Grybauskaite was keen to mark her “ concern » in relation to the events. But not more. And on the side of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, whom I questioned, we also want to recall that when General Abdelfattah Al Sissi intervened, he was surrounded by people from civil society (religious and secular). It is not a military “Coup” in the strict sense, we emphasize in Vilnius.

Continued support for Egyptians

This cautious position is shared by United States. For Secretary of State John Kerry who spoke on Saturday (July 6) condemned the “violence wherever it comes from“. He also stressed that the “Only solution” to break the deadlock was for “all parties to work together peacefully“, before recalling the “continued” commitment of the United States “in favor of “democratic process“. But he also emphasizes “the great importance” of the partnership and friendship between the USA and Egypt and the assurance that “we will continue to support the Egyptian people for the success of the transition to democracy” (*).

(*) “The United States strongly condemns the violence by all parties and urges calm (…) The only solution to the current impasse is for all parties to work together peacefully to address the many legitimate concerns and needs of the people and to ensure Egypt has a government that is responsive to the aspirations of the millions of Egyptians who have taken to the streets to demand a better future. (…) The United States has always been and remains committed to the democratic process, not to any party or personality. We want Egyptians to make their democracy work for the good of all Egyptians (…) The longstanding partnership and friendship between the United States and Egypt is of great importance to the United States, and we will continue to support the Egyptian people to ensure that Egypt's transition to democracy succeeds”.

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).