Near and Middle East


War in Syria: Humanitarian aid alone is not enough – My OpEd on euobserver

The frustration is great in and with Brussels. Syria lies in the neighbourhood of the European Union. From Larnaca in Cyprus it is 200 kilometres to the Syrian coast. The impact of the conflict on the civilian population and the region is hard to put into words. But the EU’s influence has been close to zero in recent years. Figuratively speaking, it stands on the sidelines. This is because up to now it has been those who have been militarily engaged – first and foremost Russia, Iran and most recently Turkey.

The EU is now the largest donor of humanitarian aid. Today the fourth Syria Donors’ Conference is taking place – but money alone is not enough: EU aid has so far been granted largely without conditions. Why and how the EU has to change its strategy in Syria, I have explained in eubobserver.

What it needs now:

"We will have to ask ourselves: Under what conditions should the EU engage? What influence do we want to secure? With whom are we prepared to cooperate? And above all: how do we deal with those who have committed atrocious human rights crimes? It goes without saying that Bashar al-Assad must be brought before the International Criminal Court."

My entire opinion piece on the euobserver

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