In 2011, the EU responded to the unacceptable violence used by the military and security forces against peaceful protestors against the government in Syria. The EU suspended its cooperation with the Syrian Government under the European Neighbourhood Policy and gradually extended restrictive measures to pressurise the Syrian Government into ending violence, and to encourage a political solution to the conflict. From the very outset, the EU has condemned human rights violations in Syria in the strongest terms.
Our objective is to bring an end to the conflict and enable the Syrian people to live in peace in their own country. The latest EU position is stated in the Foreign Affairs Council Conclusions of 12 October 2015.
The EU is a full member and active participant in the International Syria Support Group. It fully supports the UN-led process, notably the efforts of the UN Special Envoy for Syria.
Only a Syrian-led political process leading to a peaceful and inclusive transition, based on the principles of the Geneva communiqué of 30 June 2012 and in line with relevant UN Security Council resolutions (notably 2254 (2015), will bring back stability to Syria.
In response to the continuing conflict and its consequences – both inside Syria and in neighbouring countries – the Foreign Affairs Council adopted a comprehensive EU regional strategy for Syria, Iraq and the Da'esh threat in March 2015.
The Syrian crisis has become the world's worst humanitarian disaster. The EU and its member states are leading the international response. As the largest donor, they have mobilised over €5 bn in humanitarian aid as well as stabilisation and development assistance since the conflict began, to those affected by the conflict inside Syria and refugees and host communities in neighbouring countries, especially Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan. In December 2014, the EU Regional Trust Fund in response to the Syrian crisis has been established.
The EU Delegation to Syria has scaled down its activities in the host country. The Delegation staff operates from Brussels, Beirut and Amman, visiting Damascus on a regular basis.
The EU will continue its active engagement in the Global Coalition to counter ISIL/Da’esh. The Syria and Iraq: Counter-Terrorism/Foreign Fighters Strategy endorsed in October 2014 is an integral part of the regional strategy.
On 30 October 2015, Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the EC, went to Vienna where she participated with several Ministers for Foreign Affairs in the multilateral talks on the Syrian crisis. This video shows extracts of this round table.