Tag Archives: reform

EU restates support to Zimbabwe

The Council today adopted conclusions on Zimbabwe restating the EU’s continued support for economic and political reforms in the country, as well as for the formal political dialogue which was resumed in 2019, as a step towards a more constructive EU-Zimbabwe relationship.

https://twitter.com/eucouncilpress/status/1229347384884371456?s=21

The conclusions note the ongoing acute humanitarian crisis in the country, and renew the EU’s support for the people of Zimbabwe in various sectors, such as economic development, primary health care, resilience building, as well as through humanitarian assistance.

Taking into account the situation in Zimbabwe, including the yet to be investigated alleged role of the armed and security forces in human rights abuses, the Council today agreed to renew its arms embargo and targeted assets freeze against one company, Zimbabwe Defence Industries, for one year until 20 February 2021. The existing restrictive measures against four individuals are suspended.
The arms embargo, as well as the asset freeze against Zimbabwe Defence Industries, do not affect the Zimbabwean economy, foreign direct investment, or trade.

The decision will be published in the Official Journal of the EU on 18 February 2020.

Restrictive measures were initially introduced in February 2002, when the Council expressed grave concern at the situation in Zimbabwe, in particular with regard to serious human rights violations by the country’s government at the time.

The Council conclusions highlight that the EU stands ready to review the whole range of its policies at any time, when justified, based on developments in the country.

EU-Sudan dialogue depends on reforms progress

On 19 November 2018, the Council adopted conclusions on Sudan, which remains crucial for the peace and stability of the wider Horn of Africa. The Council reaffirms the EU’s readiness to engage in an evolving dialogue and cooperation with Khartoum, depending on progress shown by Sudan in committing to internal reforms, including human rights and good governance, facilitation of humanitarian assistance, sustainable peace and a constructive role in the region.

The Council urges the Sudanese authorities to fully respect the right to freedom of expression, press, access to information, association and peaceful assembly, in compliance with international human rights law. The Council underlines that the run-up to 2020 elections should be an opportunity for Sudan to demonstrate its commitment to reforms by allowing the full participation of all its citizens in an inclusive political process and without restrictions to individual rights.

In this regard, the Council expresses its deep concern with the shrinking space for the civil society and the persecutions against human rights defenders, students, political activists, journalists, and other media workers, as well as with the situation for women and girls.

Despite Sudan’s non-ratification of the revised Cotonou Agreement, the EU remains committed to the people of Sudan, and since 2010 has made €196 million available from the European Development Fund to address the needs of people living in conflict-affected areas. As part of this overall support, in March 2016 the EU approved a Special Measure of €100 million, which is channelled through the EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa. The Special Measure will be implemented in Darfur, the Eastern States of Red Sea, Kassala and Gedaref (and, to the extent that access and security conditions allow, in the Southern border areas). It will focus on the provision of basic needs in education and health, livelihoods and food security, and the strengthening of civil society, local governance and peacebuilding. Major beneficiaries of EU support will be vulnerable populations; in particular refugees, internally displaced persons, returnees and the local communities hosting them.