Statement by the Spokesperson on the expiration of the appropriate measures under Article 96 of the Cotonou Agreement concerning Zimbabwe (31/10/2014)

"The European Union will on 1 November take a further step towards the normalisation of relations with Zimbabwe by allowing the appropriate measures under Article 96 of the Cotonou Agreement to expire.

This step was set out in the Declaration of 19 February 2014 by the High Representative on behalf of the European Union, following the review of EU-Zimbabwe relations. The Council unanimously agreed that appropriate measures would expire on 1 November provided that there is no serious deterioration in the governance and human rights situation. There has been no such deterioration since then.

The expiration of appropriate measures will enable the European Union, for the first time since 2002, to make multi-year aid commitments to Zimbabwe and to work with the Government of Zimbabwe under the framework of the Cotonou Agreement. Nevertheless, since 2002 when the measures were initiated, direct assistance by the EU and its Member States dedicated to the needs of the population of Zimbabwe has amounted to €1.5 billion, notably to support health, education as well as food security and governance.

The Government of Zimbabwe and the EU are preparing a €234 million National Indicative Programme covering the period 2014-2020, aimed at helping Zimbabwe become a more democratic and prosperous country. It will support the Government of Zimbabwe in its efforts to address the needs of the population and to implement political and economic reforms. These €234 million allocated to Zimbabwe will focus on the sectors of health, agriculturebased economic development and governance and institution building. Implementation modalities will be defined jointly with Zimbabwe and with EU member states.

The EU remains committed to further enhancing its engagement with Zimbabwe and looks forward to continuing with its efforts in order to support progress in the consolidation of democracy, respect for rule of law, and human rights. It will engage in a comprehensive and balanced political dialogue with Zimbabwe, based on article 8 of the ACP/EU Partnership, to foster mutual understanding and to facilitate the establishment of agreed priorities. The EU still maintains an arms embargo and restrictive measures – EU travel ban and asset freeze – against a limited number of persons and entities in Zimbabwe. The next regular review of these restrictive measures will take place in February 2015."