Local EU Statement (22/01/2016)
The following Local EU STATEMENT was issued by the European Union Delegation in agreement with the EU Heads of Mission in Zambia, and reflected in several newspapers.
The year 2016 is an important year for Zambia, characterized by a number of challenges, and opportunities as well.
This is the year where, after having passed into Law the Constitutional Amendment Bill, Zambia has the opportunity to complete the Constitutional review process, and where Zambia can further consolidate its tradition and reputation for democratic elections. The year 2016 can also be the year where Zambia capitalises on its status as a regional role model for peace and stability and engages further on the regional and international scene.
The European Union and its Member States very much value the close and friendly relationship with Zambia, and we confirm our commitment to support Zambia in its endeavours to address its current challenges, such as the economic situation and the energy crisis which have hit the country. We confirm our confidence in the Electoral Commission and its capacity to successfully organise the upcoming elections on 11 August which we hope, in accordance with Zambia's tradition, will be free from violence and fully respecting fundamental democratic rights such as freedom of expression and freedom of assembly. These are fundamental principles we share and which are amongst the priorities of the European Union's foreign policy in the world. We are always interested in a level playing-field and never support any partisan position.
The European Union looks forward to continuing its strong partnership with Zambia, and to further enrich it in the fields of development cooperation, trade & investment, as well to pursue our fruitful political dialogue with all stakeholders – among them Government, opposition parties, civil society organizations in the mutual interest of Zambia and the European Union.