Answer to Written Question: EU response to the crackdown on democracy in Cambodia

(Source: European Parliament)



Answer given by High Representative/Vice-President Borrell

on behalf of the European Commission


The EU monitors closely the situation in Cambodia and has repeatedly voiced its concerns about the continuing deterioration of democracy and the shrinking civil society space in the country.

The EU continues to engage closely with the Cambodian Government so that it delivers the progress needed under the Everything But Arms (EBA) arrangement.

The EU remains seriously concerned about the further deterioration of the situation in Cambodia, in particular the surge of arrests of human rights defenders, environmental activists, trade union leaders and political activists.  

The EU has made it clear in statements[1] and during meetings with the Government that the Cambodian authorities must respect the rule of law and due process, and ensure that the right to political participation and fundamental freedoms be fully respected, including freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly.

The EU is committed to continue working towards the improvement of the human rights situation in Cambodia and to keep under review all tools at its disposal that may contribute to that objective.

In this context, the EU has taken note of the European Parliament Resolution of 11 March 2021, in particular the Parliament’s request for restrictive measures under the EU global human rights sanctions regime against Cambodian political leaders and leaders of the security forces, and against their economic interests. Under this sanctions regime, it is for the Council to decide by unanimity.

It was agreed by the leaders at the 12th Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) that the 13th ASEM Summit would be held in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, it being the turn of the Asian side to host the event[2]. Participation at an Asia-Europe Meeting does not mean endorsement of the policies of the Chair.


[2] Chair’s Statement,

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