Source: European Parliament
For several weeks, the Lebanese people have been engaged in their own ‘Spring of Nations’. They are demanding the removal of a political class that is corrupt and riven by sectarian divisions. Afflicted by economic difficulties, regional conflicts and interference by external powers such as Iran and Saudi Arabia, they want to see a free Lebanon where affiliation to a particular religious faction is no longer the decisive factor in economic and social life, and where corruption no longer pervades all levels of government.
The response to this remarkable development has been muted: the European Union and most of its Member States have remained discreet, not to say inaudible. In practical terms, what will the VP/HR do to help the people of Lebanon? More particularly, could the VP/HR envisage supporting a process similar to that which took place in Tunisia – where the institutions were reformed thanks to the involvement of all the various interest groups in the country – a process which would protect all minorities?
How will the VP/HR contribute to efforts to tackle corruption? It is time for the EU and its Member States to investigate the diversion of public funds and international aid that has occurred in Lebanon and to take measures against those responsible in cases where the funds are being held in Europe.