Answer to Written Question: Rebuilding Syria
(Source: European Parliament)
Answer given by Mr Várhelyi
on behalf of the European Commission
The elections that took place in Syria on 26 May 2021 met none of the criteria of a genuinely democratic vote and do not contribute to the settlement of the conflict. Elections in Syria should take place only within the framework of a genuine political process, in line with United Nations (UN) Security Council Resolution 2254. They can only be credible if all Syrians, including internally displaced people, refugees and members of the diaspora, are able to participate in a safe and neutral environment without threat of intimidation and in a free and fair political competition.
The EU considers that the elections on 26 May 2021 undermine efforts to find a sustainable solution to the Syrian conflict and that they cannot lead to any measure of international normalisation with the Syrian regime. Consequently, the EU strategy on Syria, adopted by the Council on 3 April 2017, still applies. “The EU will be ready to assist in the reconstruction of Syria only when a comprehensive, genuine and inclusive political transition, negotiated by the Syrian parties in the conflict on the basis of UN Security Council Resolution 2254 (2015) and the 2012 Geneva Communiqué, is firmly under way”. In the meantime, as long as the repression continues and the Syrian regime refuses to negotiate a lasting political settlement of the Syrian crisis, targeted sanctions will continue to apply. The EU moreover continues to provide humanitarian assistance to save lives and address the needs of the most vulnerable all across Syria. The EU also provides resilience support to address the needs of the population all across Syria, and is supporting measures aimed at preventing violent extremism and sectarianism.