The EU needs to be more active in Syria, the European Parliament said in a resolution, supported by the five biggest political groups.
Parliamentarians from a wide political spectrum from the Greens on the left to the conservatives on the right, insist the EU must build on the big financial contribution it plans to bring post-conflict so that it can have a prime position in the negotiations conducted as part of the UN, and so that it can ensure a political transition by working on a specific line of action aiming to bring the parties closer together.
In the European parliamentarians’ opinion, the EU must redouble its efforts in areas where its actions can have added value.
Expecting greater European involvement, Parliament hailed the EU’s strategy on Syria, but said Brussels should also have focused on aspects concerning the fight against so-called Islamic State and other terrorist organisations listed by the UN. Parliament also believes that means should have been set out for contributing to the preservation of the multi-ethnic, multi-religious and multi-faith character of Syrian society.
Parliament urges the High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini to draft a concrete plan on the EU’s participation in the reconstruction of Syria, and to commit to a common and participative effort with the big international and financial organisations as well as regional and local actors.
I strongly believe that the fact that we are not military player in the Syrian crisis makes us stronger in the political context of trying to solve the problem and the crisis there,
She praised the diplomatic efforts of Astana process and the UN lead talks in Geneva but tamed Parliament’s impatience by saying:
All different initiatives now have the big responsibility to converge towards Geneva, to help the Syrians build peace and find their own path towards national reconciliation. And there are no shortcuts for that.
Mogherini added the international efforts led by the EU and the talks among the Syrian different parties “must remain the only way to transition”.
However, the sense of timelessness and urgency is pressuring Brussels. In the seventh year of the war in Syria and without any hope of settlement in the foreseeable future, the EU is showing signs it is starting to lose heart.
Syria was not the main topic of the discussion on humanitarian crisis during the EU development ministers regular spring meeting on 19 May.
Syria is constantly in our minds but it has been discussed in various events, including the Brussels conference. There are other crisis that need to take the same extension of public interest,
an EU official dealing with humanitarian aid policy said.
He underlined the situation in Nigeria, South Sudan, Sudan and Yemen needs same attention and generosity.
We need to manage to deal with multiple crises with same powers and resources, he said.
The EU is the biggest humanitarian donor to Syria. Together with the member states it already provided more than € 9,4 million of assistance. Further €3,7 billion has been pledged for 2017 at the Brussels ministerial conference in April.