European Union External Action

Towards an even stronger EU role in Syria crisis

14/03/2017 - 18:23

The European Union will continue its intensive support for the UN political process in Syria and work to strengthen the Syrian political opposition and civil society, while remaining the world's leading donor to the Syrian crisis.

The proposals come in a joint communication on a new forward-looking strategy for Syria, tabled today by High Representative Federica Mogherini and the European Commission at the college. It comes as Syria suffers its 6th year of conflict and following the resumption of the UN-led talks in Geneva, supported by a ceasefire mechanism established as a result of the Astana talks.

"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," Mogherini said.

"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."

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.

It proposes clear lines of action to implement these objectives, in close coordination with regional partners and international organisations. The EU'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 EU has mobilised more than €9.4 billion in aid since the outbreak of the conflict, providing life-saving humanitarian assistance and resilience support to the Syrian people and neighbouring countries hosting Syrian refugees.

The High Representative 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