The new NGO law in Egypt is bound to put additional burden on NGOs’ activities and restrict the space of debate and discussion in the country, said the spokesperson for the European External Action Service in a statement, adding that the new law risks making civil society’s contribution to political, economic and social development more difficult.
“Some provisions, such as the ones related to the registration process, the activities NGOs are allowed to perform and the procedure for receiving domestic and foreign funding, are also likely to directly affect European cooperation assistance to Egypt,” noted the European External Action Service, adding “Indeed, a large part of our cooperation relies on non-governmental organisations as important implementing partners.
According to the European External Action Service, a flourishing civil society, able to work in good conditions, is important for democratic and economic development and to help build political stability.
“We therefore expect the Egyptian government to fully implement and uphold all the guarantees stipulated in the Egyptian Constitution and in international law and standards regarding freedom of expression and association, and the Egyptian authorities to apply the new law in a way that does not intimidate, restrict or criminalize peaceful human rights civil society organizations and their members,” the European External Action Service said
“Egypt is an important partner for the EU, and we stay committed to strengthening our bilateral cooperation and pursuing a constructive dialogue in all fields of our cooperation,” the statement concluded.