Catherine Ashton: Europe needs to fork over Tunisia and Egipet

Catherine Ashton, the supreme representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, said that the European Union has to offer Tunisia and Egypt, emergency financial assistance, if he wants to, these countries embarked on the path of democracy. Her article on the subject in today's edition of the Financial Times called "European deposit on the Arab democracy." We offer you the translation of fragments of this article.

(…) Our history teaches us that the victory of people's power — it's just the beginning. It takes time, money and care for laying the foundations of a strong, deep democracy, not only independent of political parties and fair elections, but also a transparent administration, impartial judiciary, freedom of speech, legislative support of property rights and free trade unions. Political and economic reforms must go hand in hand. Together, they are complementary; separately, they are likely doomed to failure.

Having learned from the experience of their own continent, the EU is ready to help Egypt and Tunisia to lay these foundations. After years of stagnation, we need to offer new opportunities for a large number of young people in the region. This task poses no fewer challenges for the EU than for those countries that are now live on the road to democracy. All of our neighborhood policy requires basic review, and we're already starting the process.

As a first deposit on reform, I have already entered into negotiations with the European Investment Bank, the financial institutions of the EU, on the ability to mobilize one billion euros This year,, aimed primarily at Tunis, where I'm at this week meet with the new government. Two weeks ago, the Tunisian Ministry of Foreign Affairs visited Brussels to my invitation. We discussed a joint program to strengthen civil society through the help in the fight against corruption, a transparent local administration and the justice system is completely independent.

This must only the beginning. I now ask of the EU member states and the European Parliament have one billion euro loan for our southern neighbors by the European Investment Bank, including and Egypt in the coming years to support democratic reforms. (…)

But we also must it is clear that we can do and what we can not and should not even try to do. We can help new democracies to decide how to choose their leaders, but we must not influence who they choose. (…)

Some are afraid that our strategy — a risky, if Tunisia and Egipet become democratic, people can choose their leaders, who will turn against the West, and — in the case of Egypt — will blow up any prospects for lasting peace in the Middle East. Therefore, productive talks between Israel and the Palestinians are now more important than ever before, if we want a democratic ally Egipet remained in the pursuit of this world. (…)


egipet, Tunisia

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