Burundi: EU lifts existing restrictions under Article 96 of the ACP-EU Partnership Agreement

(Source: Council of the EU and European Council)

The Council decided today to repeal its decision taken in 2016, which imposed on Burundi measures such as the suspension of financial support and disbursements of funds directly to the Burundian administration or institutions. The 2016 measures included budgetary support. With the repeal, the EU will therefore be able to restart this kind of cooperation with Burundi.

Today’s decision to lift restrictions is a result of the peaceful political process that started with the general elections of May 2020 and which has opened a new window of hope for the population of Burundi.

Since the 2020 elections, the EU has acknowledged the progress made by the Burundian government with respect to human rights, good governance and the rule of law, as well as commitments taken in its roadmap (‘feuille de route’) towards further improvements in those areas. Additionally, large numbers of refugees have voluntarily returned to Burundi, and cooperation with the international community and with neighbouring countries has been revitalised.

Persisting challenges remain in the areas of human rights, good governance, reconciliation and the rule of law. Further progress would be beneficial for all Burundians, including through the implementation of the roadmap, in the framework of the ongoing EU-Burundi political dialogue.

The EU, together with other international partners, is ready to support the ongoing efforts of the Burundian authorities to stabilise and consolidate democratic institutions, promote human rights, good governance and the rule of law, and to implement commitments taken in the roadmap towards further improvements in those areas.

Background and next steps

Following the deterioration of the situation in Burundi in the run-up to the legislative and presidential elections in June and July 2015, the EU considered that the Republic of Burundi was not in compliance with essential elements set out in Article 9 of the ACP-EU Partnership Agreement in relation to human rights, democracy and the rule of law.

Therefore on 13 November 2015, the Council initiated the procedure that led to the adoption in 2016 of Decision 2016/394 and appropriate measures under Article 96(2)(c) of the ACP-EU Partnership Agreement.

Burundi: EU closes consultations under Article 96 of the Cotonou agreement, press release March 2016

EU delegation to Burundi

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