The European Commission and the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy have today adopted a Joint Communication proposing a forward-looking EU strategy for Syria.
The Joint Communication comes at a crucial moment for Syria, as we mark the 6th year of the conflict and with the resumption of the UN-led talks in Geneva, supported by a ceasefire mechanism established as a result of the Astana talks.
The High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini said: “The Joint Communication adopted today strengthens not only our current engagement and support for a political solution to the war as the only way we can bring peace back to Syria, but also what the European Union could do in a post-agreement context in which reconstruction can start. And there is much the European Union is ready to do, together with the United Nations and the rest of the international community. The Syrians want peace, they deserve it, as they want and deserve to finally have the possibility to shape the future of their country. We are at their side to support the future of Syria.”
In his 2016 State of the Union address, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said: “I call today for a European Strategy for Syria. So that Europe can help rebuild a peaceful Syrian nation and a pluralistic, tolerant civil society in Syria.”
The Joint Communication presents the current political, security and humanitarian context in Syria and the state of play of the EU’s assistance in response to the Syrian crisis. It contains an assessment of the risks and threats posed by the continuation of the war to the EU’s core interests, regional and global stability, as well as the definition of a set of clear objectives for the EU’s policy for Syria.
As a next step, the Communication proposes clear lines of action to implement these objectives, in close coordination with regional partners and international organisations.
As outlined in the Joint Communication, the European Union’s engagement in Syria goes beyond the current state of play. It is defined by a longer term perspective in support of the EU’s strategic goals on Syria.
The European Union will continue its direct support for the UN political process and ongoing work to strengthen both the Syrian political opposition and civil society organisations. It will continue to be the first and leading donor in the international response to the Syrian crisis, having mobilised over €9.4 billion since the outbreak of the conflict, providing life-saving humanitarian assistance and resilience support to the Syrian people and neighbouring countries hosting Syrian refugees.
High Representative/Vice-President Mogherini will present the Joint Communication to EU Foreign Ministers at the Foreign Affairs Council on 3 April; it will also be presented to the European Parliament. The Communication will also serve as an important input for the Brussels Conference “Supporting the Future of Syria and the Region” on 5 April 2017 that the EU will co-chair with the UN, Germany, Kuwait, Norway, Qatar and the United Kingdom.
Towards an even stronger EU role for Syria, reinforcing EU efforts to build peace (Video)