EU hesitating to support Egypt financially

Dr. Hans Pöttering, the Former President of the European Parliament, discussing the issue of NGO problem that happened in Cairo

 

Although EU funds Egypt, the situation may differ after the NGO, Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (KAS) organization’s conflict.

 

According to Dr. Hans-Gert Pöttering MEP of the EPP Group, and the Former President of the European Parliament, the security forces invaded Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (KAS) organization, NGO, and took all the computers, servers, and documents with them. They, then, asked two German representatives to be questioned from a legal side, as a form of interrogation, lasting for five hours and half.

“The money we have is all money from German budget. It is not money from industry, or economy. We see the reaction in Egypt that we can’t continue our work.” Pöttering said.

 

The security forces promised them that they would give them back the computer and documents within two days, and they didn’t. Finally, an accusation got that the two representatives were accused of illegal funds.

 

However, Pöttering is convinced that the EU has to receive the answer “yes” first from Egypt, as he thinks the money should be spent if the EU makes sure it will be used in the right way.

“ We want to be helpful and we like the development which goes into the direction of democracy, liberty, and legal order. We want as EU to support people who want to build a real legal order. This is our ambition.”

 

The EU wants a dialogue with countries which are not member of EU. But, the question is “whether Egypt, for example, want this, or not. Some may call this “interference”. Instead, it is a support of human being of dignity of EU, democracy, and human rights.

 

“My feeling is that many people, who I met on Ta7rir square in March 2011, belong to those who really want to live in a democratic society, and build a real legal order,” he added.

 

“We have repeatedly called on the Egyptian authorities to respect due process. A fully-functioning civil society is a vital part of any democracy.” Michael Mann, the Chief Spokesperson to HRVP Catherine Ashton in the European Commission, said.

NGOs are allowed to operate and that the rules governing them are in line with international standards. Clearly, there is a rapid transfer to civilian rule.

 

Based on the neighbourhood policy, EU is planning to fund Egypt for the three-year period 2011-2013 is €449 million.

Pia AHRENKILDE HANSEN, Spokeswoman of the Commission while her argument of the neighbourhood,and development policy

 

 

“We have a large support allocated to our neighbouring regions. It is in the interest of EU to have stability in its own neighbourhood, to have good relations to develop close trading, and political relations,” Spokeswoman of the Commission, Pia AHRENKILDE HANSEN said.

According to her, it is a fact that solidarity goes through neighbourhood policy and development policy. EU can benefit from enlarging the stability and prosperity in the world.

 

On the other hand, resources are limited; there shouldn’t be a comparison between development policy and neighbourhood policy. There are historical reasons behind development policy.

 

“The identity is part of who we want to be as the EU. Despite the pressures that we are under, it is still very much part of what the EU stands for,” AHRENKILDE HANSEN stated.

 

Apart from her opinion, Søren Bo SØNDERGAARD who is a member of European Parliament, Budgetary Control, from the Confederal Group of the European United Left, believed that €449 million has nothing to do within developing Egypt.

 

“This amount of money would be in the benefit of the military, because in Egypt, behind the scene, the military is controlling everything. EU shouldn’t give this amount of money to the regime, but to the people, instead,” SØNDERGAARD stated.

 

Mr Jakob Erle, the Director of the Danish Egyptian Dialogue Institute, agreed that the money is insufficient for Egyptian needs, similar to SØNDERGAARD’s opinion.

However, “Certainly, it should be the government the one to receive the money” Jakob said, with a contradiction with SØNDERGAARD’s point of view towards the source receiving the financial Fund in Egypt.

“I hope this conflict concerning the NGO in Cairo wouldn’t affect EU funds to Egypt.” Erle added.

 


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