European Parliament Delegation in Egypt to reinforce cooperation

November 3, 2016
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 Six members of the European Parliament’s Delegation for Relations with the Mashreq Countries conducted a working visit to Cairo, Egypt, from 30 October to 3 November 2016 in the framework of the 11th inter-parliamentary meeting between the European Parliament and the Egyptian Parliament.

The objectives of the visit were mainly three-fold: observing the state of democratic transition in Egypt, identifying Egypt’s needs in terms of cooperation with the EU, and Egypt’s role in increasing stability and resolving crises such as those in Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Libya and Palestine.
Talks focussed on EU-Egyptian relations and aimed to strengthen the development of balanced political, economic and social relations between the parties through dialogue and cooperation. The delegation also addressed the migration and refugee crises that have greatly affected Syria’s direct neighbours and, to a certain extent, Egypt also.
The Delegation was particularly concerned about the acute security risks posed to Egypt by the expansion of the Islamic State Group, Ansar al Sharia, Jabhat Fatah al Sham and other terrorist groups, and the spill-over effects of the Syrian war. The delegation expressed its appreciation for Egypt’s efforts in countering international terrorism.
The Delegation stressed that a strong civil society is the backbone of a pluralistic and democratic system. Domestic and international Non-Governmental Organisations should be seen as partners in governance. Egyptian authorities informed the Delegation that an NGO draft law is being prepared to be discussed in Parliament. 
The Delegation, headed by Marisa Matias (GUE/NGL), held meetings with Speaker of the Egyptian Parliament H.E. Dr. Aly Abdel Aal and several Members of the Egyptian Parliament, including the heads of parliamentary committees on human rights, on foreign relations and on social affairs, with a view to strengthening inter-parliamentary cooperation after a six year vacuum.
The Delegation also took the opportunity to meet with key interlocutors: President Abdel Fattah El-Sissi, Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shoukry, Minister of Migration and Egyptians Abroad Nabila Makram, Minister of International Cooperation Saher El Nasr, and Minister of Social Solidarity Ghada Wally, as well as with Grand Iman of Al Azhar Ahmed Al Tayeb, Pope Tawadros II of the Coptic Orthodox Church and representatives from civil society organisations.(EU Neighbourhood Info)
Read more
European Parliament – website and Facebook page
EU Neighbourhood Info Centre – Egypt
EU Delegation to Egypt – website

Countries covered:

  • Egypt