Dr Franziska Brantner is Member of the German Bundestag from Heidelberg. Until recently she was a Member of the European Parliament and spokesperson for foreign affairs of the Greens/EFA group in the European Parliament. More about Franziska

Egypt: German Federal Government must condemn arbitrariness of justice

Press release | Published: 8. April 2014

In face of the sentences of three of the leading activists of the 2011 revolution, MP Franziska Brantner states:

The sentences of Ahmed Maher, Ahmed Douma and Mohamed Adel reject again all hopes for rule of law and democracy in Egypt. As founding members of the 6 April movement, Ahmed Maher and Mohamed Adel have been fighting to empower democracy. Three years after the revolution that raised hope for a demoratic development, the military regime under el-Sisi is turning on liberal democracy movements. Their actions are a fatal sign for the upcoming elections. The convictions furthermore proof again the consolidation of the old security apparatus under Mobarak: Through persecution and repression of muslimbrothers, liberal democracy movements, NGOs and human rights groups the military regime is securing its power. That sort of behaviour should no longer be tolerated by the international community.  The German Federal Government finally needs to reveal its strategy on egypt. We expect Secretary of State Steinmeier, who is working on a realignment of the german foreign policy, to condemn clearly these arbitrary verdicts.

Conflilct in Syria: EU must involve UN General Assembly and push for peace talks

Press release | Published: 29. August 2013

Commenting on the debate on possible responses following the use of chemical weapons near Damascus and the search for possible solutions to the Syria conflict, Green foreign policy co-spokespersons Franziska Brantner and Ulrike Lunacek stated:

“The use of chemical weapons represents a shocking breach of international law that must not go unanswered. While urgent action is now required by the international community, no decision should be made before the findings of the UN expert mission are available.

“Any international response must take place within the multilateral framework. Last night’s meeting of the UN Security Council suggests it will not fulfil its mandate of maintaining world peace, notably due to Russia’s obstructionism. Against this background, the EU should push for the United Nations General Assembly to address the conflict as a matter of urgency. The General Assembly should consider and decide on possible international reactions to the use of chemical weapons, as well as possible ways out of this brutal war, which has already claimed more than 100,000 lives. more

Egypt: EU must be consistent to remain credible

Press release | Published: 16. August 2013

Commenting on the regime’s violent clearing of the protestors’ camps and the consequent bloodshed and lethal clashes in the Egyptian streets, Franziska Brantner, foreign affairs spokesperson of the Greens/EFA in the European Parliament, said:

“Despite considerable mediation efforts and repeated warnings by the EU and the US, addressing the current Egyptian regime to refrain from a violent clampdown on the Muslimbrotherhood’s protest camps, the regime cleared the camps by force leading to bloodshed and a deep crisis. Now, the EU must act more

Egypt: EU must seize momentum for a sustainable reconciliation

Press release | Published: 30. July 2013

Following the meetings of High Representative Ashton in Egypt and amid continued danger of escalation in the streets of Egypt, Franziska Brantner, foreign affairs spokesperson of the Greens/EFA in the European Parliament, said:

“I welcome Ms Ashton’s initiative, which has raised hopes in Egypt. The EU must now maintain the momentum through a series of intensive and prolonged meetings at different levels and with mediation experts. more

Egypt: Between Military Coup and a Second Revolution? Lunch Event on the New Wave of Protests and the Road Ahead

Published: 19. July 2013

On July 10th Franziska Brantner hosted a video-conference together with MEP Ana Gomes (S&D) and the Cairo based Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI), titled “Egypt: Between Military Coup and a Second Revolution? The New Wave of Protests and the Road Ahead”. The event was organised to shed some light on the dramatic events that have been unfolding in Egypt since the 30th of June.

Among the speakers were Gamal Eid, the Director of ANHRI; Hossam Hendi, one of the founders of the Tamarod (Rebel) Movement, which organised the 30th of June Protests; Ziad Elelaimy, MP for the Egyptian Social Democratic Party in the last Egyptian Parliament before it got dissolved; Priyanka Motaparthy, Cairo-based researcher for Human Rights Watch; and Ziad Abdel Tawab, Deputy Director of the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies. In Brussels Dr Nawal Saadawy, a well known Egyptian feminist and activist, also joined the event. more

Call for a UN peace conference for Egypt to prevent bloodshed and guarantee an inclusive transition process

Press release | Published: 3. July 2013

Commenting on the continued mass protests and escalating violence in Egypt, MEP Franziska Brantner, foreign affairs spokesperson for the Greens/EFA group stated:

“I am deeply concerned about the current developments and increased violence in Egypt and believe the international community should do more than stand by and watch. The EU and USA must send a strong message to the Egyptian army that they will not support it following a military coup. At the same time, the EU and USA must urge President Morsi to both find a peaceful solution to the crisis and call for early elections, failing which it will stop any financial support. more

Review of the External Action Service: Ashton needs to tackle shortcomings in the EU’s diplomatic service

Press release | Published: 13. June 2013

Today the European Parliament adopted its recommendations for reforming the European External Action Service. When the service was founded in December 2010, EU High Representative and foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton was tasked to review the functioning of the service within three years’ time. She is expected to release a report to that effect in the coming weeks. With its critical and constructive recommendations, the European Parliament is contributing to the ongoing debate. After today’s votes, Franziska Brantner, Spokesperson for Foreign Affairs of the Greens/EFA group, said:

“Although nobody should expect miracles after only three years, some important structural short-comings have emerged in the External Action Service’s operation. Catherine Ashton should quickly address these issues. The service is marred by three key problems: It is too top-heavy, too inflexible, and its structures are not conducive to forging a comprehensive policy approach.  more

Continued impunity: torture and abuse by military and police in Egypt

Published: 5. June 2013

On June 4th Franziska Brantner hosted a discussion together with Amnesty International and the Cairo based Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) on “Torture and Abuse by Military and Police in Egypt: Continued Impunity?”. The event took place simultaneously in Brussels and Cairo, the speakers joining the Brussels audience via video-conferencing. Among the speakers were Gamal Eid, the Executive Director of the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information, Dr Raghda Abdul Hameed Sleit, psychiatrist at the Nadeem Centre for the Rehabilitation of Torture Victims, Mohsen Bahnasy, human rights lawyer and member of the Commission of Inquiry into military abuses during the revolution, and Hossam Bahgat, the Director of the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights and initiator of “A Police for Egypt”, an initiative for Egyptian police reform. In Brussels Dr Nicolas Berger, the Director of Amnesty International’s European Institutions Office, co-moderated the event. more

Franziska Brantner initiates Europe-wide debate on peace mediation and a European Institute of Peace

Published: 26. May 2013

Franziska Brantner has initiated a Europe-wide discussion on the European Union’s role in peace mediation. After preparatory workshops in Paris, Berlin and Sofia, policy makers and experts from Europe and beyond will gather at the European Parliament on May 28th for one of the largest conferences ever on this issue. The initiative to create a European Institute of Peace, promoted by Franziska Brantner and others, will feature prominently in the debate on the EU’s mediation capacities.The conference will be live-streamed and a video recording will be available online.

The promotion of peace and the prevention of conflict have been key drivers in the development of the European Union, as recognised by the 2012 Nobel Peace Prize. The creation of the European External Action Service, with its global network of EU Delegations and a dedicated mediation support team, has enhanced the EU’s capacity for peace mediation over the last couple of years. more

A story of broken promises: Franziska Brantner discusses recent wave of arrests in Egypt

Published: 8. May 2013

On Tuesday, 7 May 2013 Franziska Brantner hosted a Lunch Event together with the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Network (EMHRN) and the Cairo based Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) entitled “ Civil Society Under Fire: The Recent Wave of Arrests in Egypt”. The event took place simultaneously in Brussels and Cairo, the speakers joining the Brussels audience via video-conferencing. Among the speakers were two activists currently facing trial as well as representatives of human rights organizations based in the region. Just as the international focus is shifting away from Egypt, events like this are more than needed to hear from the people on the ground. The picture the panellists were painting today is rather worrying: there is clear evidence that the space for civil society is shrinking and the judiciary is being used to silence critics. For a full report of the event click here: more

Lunch Event: “Civil Society Under Fire: Recent Wave of Arrests in Egypt”

Published: 3. May 2013

Franziska Brantner and The Arabis Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) invite to the Lunch Event: “Civil Society Under Fire: Recent Wave of Arrests in Egypt”, 7 May 2013, from 12:30-14:30 in the European Parliament in Brusseks. This event forms part of a speakers series on the current situation in Egypt, integrating civil society representatives, activists and experts from Kairo in the debate via video-conferencing. Follow-us via web-stream or twitter (#EgyptVoices). more

Feasibility studies: European Institute of Peace would enhance Europe’s conflict prevention and peace-building capacities

Published: 1. May 2013

A European Institute of Peace for mediation and dialogue would add value to Europe’s conflict prevention and peace-building toolbox and justify its costs, two recently published studies concluded. On Franziska Brantner’s initiative, the European Parliament commissioned two independent studies on the creation of a European Institute of Peace. The first study examined whether there was a need to create such a institute for peace mediation and dialogue, and which options for implementing the proposal exist. The Parliament subsequently commissioned a follow-up study in order to estimate the financial implications of setting up and running a European Institute of Peace. The studies, carried out by independent consultants, concluded that there is a need in Europe for a peace institute and that its benefits would outweigh its costs. more

Youth activists from across Europe act against austerity

Published: 23. April 2013

Youth in Crisis was a full day conference of the Greens/EFA Group in the European Parliament and the Federation of Young European Greens. Around 200 young people (young activists, students, unionist, green activists and other partners from youth movements and civil society) from all Europe discussed the future of youth in Europe and what policy instruments can be used to counter the various crises of our time.

Find the video here.

Find more information here.

Two years after the revolution: Franziska Brantner’s second visit to Egypt

Published: 22. April 2013

In early April Franziska Brantner travelled to Egypt for the second time, to get a personal impression of the situation on the ground. She met with different members of civil society, politicians as well representatives of human rights organizations. The focus of her trip was the current human rights situation and how it has developed since the revolution, in particular the status of women. Furthermore, Franziska Brantner wanted to find out what kind of EU support would be effective in supporting the difficult current transition process. more

EU enlargement: Serbia risks derailing its own accession process over Kosovo

Press release | Published: 18. April 2013

The European Parliament today adopted its annual report on the accession progress of Serbia. Commenting on the report and the ongoing talks on a normalisation of relations between Serbia and Kosovo, Green foreign affairs spokesperson Franziska Brantner said:

“Today’s vote is clearly overshadowed by last night’s regrettable breakdown in the talks between Serbia and Kosovo on a normalisation of relations. Serbia risks derailing its own accession progress with its intransigence in the talks. Hopefully Belgrade will show the flexibility necessary for a breakthrough in the coming days. It would be a shame to simply abandon the hard work and negotiations of the last few years. more

Responsibility to protect: EU Parliament calls for ‘European Consensus’

Press release | Published: 18. April 2013

The European Parliament today adopted a recommendation to the Council on the UN principle of ‘Responsibility to Protect’ (R2P). Speaking after the vote, EP draftsperson/rapporteur and Green foreign affairs spokesperson Franziska Brantner said:

“The EP has today sent a strong message to EU governments and the foreign policy high representative to adopt a ‘European Consensus’ on the ‘Responsibility to Protect’, with a view to clarifying what the principle means for EU foreign policy and the EU’s role in its implementation. The cacophony of European responses to the upheavals of the Arab Spring and the mass atrocities and violations that followed clearly underlined the need for a common EU approach. more

Enraging findings of Franziska Brantner’s trip to Egypt

Published: 11. April 2013

In early April, Franziska Brantner went to Cairo, where she met numerous civil society members, human rights activists and representatives from the political parties to assess on the ground the situation of women and the general climate of respect for human rights. On that occasion, she had to learn the shocking case of Ahmad Abdallah, a leading member of the pro-democracy movement “6th April”. Ahmad had participated as a civil society representative in a consultative conference of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) in London on 21 – 22 March 2013. Upon return to Cairo, he got arrested for an old case which had previously been dropped. As a first reaction, Franziska Brantner sent a letter to the President of the EBRD in which she asks to follow-up with the case. more

Opportunity for compromise between Serbia and Kosovo must not be wasted

Press release | Published: 9. April 2013

Commenting on Serbia’s rejection of an EU-brokered compromise on normalising relations with Kosovo, Green MEP and EP draftsperson/rapporteur on Kosovo Ulrike Lunacek and Green foreign affairs spokesperson Franziska Brantner stated:

“While yesterday’s announcement that Serbia was rejecting the deal is clearly a blow, the hard work and negotiations of the last few years should not simply be abandoned. The opportunity for compromise remains within the Kosovo-Serbia dialogue. Clearly, agreement on normalising relations is a pre-requisite for EU accession talks with Serbia to be opened but while the window of opportunity remains, the door must be left open. more