Restrictive Measures

Explaining EU restrictive measures- updated on 18 February 2013

-On 18 February 2002, the Council of the European Union decided to take "appropriate measures" against Zimbabwe following the conclusion of the consultations held under Article 96 of the ACP-EC Partnership Agreement.

-These measures included the suspension of financing of budgetary support and support for projects, as well as the suspension of the signature of the 9th EDF National Indicative Programme, but explicitly did not affect the contributions to operations of a humanitarian nature and projects in direct support to the population, in particular those in social sectors, democratisation, respect for human rights and the rule of law. They also included the suspension of Article 12 of Annex 2 to the ACP-EU Partnership Agreement, concerning current payments and capital movements, in so far as required for the application of further restrictive measures, and in particular the freezing of funds.

-The stated reason for introducing these measures was the serious violations of human rights and of the freedom of opinion, of association and of peaceful assembly. A more immediate reason was the attempts by the Zimbabwean government to prevent free and fair elections, notably by refusing access for international election observers and for the media.

-According to Article 2 (3) of the Decision of 18 February 2002, the measures shall apply for a period of twelve months. According to the same provision, the measures will be revoked once conditions prevail which ensure respect for human rights, democratic principles and the rule of law.

-The measures were reviewed annually.

-On 17 February 2012 the EU decided to remove 51 individuals and 20 entities from the visa ban and the asset freeze list in recognition of the implementation of the Global Political Agreement (GPA) which allowed the creation of the Government of National Unity (GNU) and  progress made towards the creation of a conducive environment for the holding of free, fair, peaceful and transparent elections through the development of the Road Map sponsored by SADC as well as to encourage further progress in the implementation of the GPA.

-112 individuals and 11 entities who were still considered to be involved in or associated with policies and activities that undermine human rights, democracy and the rule of law remained on the list.

-The EU also decided to extend the restrictions on development assistance for only six months with a view to begin preparing for enhanced cooperation as and when these measures can be lifted.

-In order to engage in a serious political dialogue with Zimbabwe the EU also suspended travel restrictions on the two ZANU-PF members of the Zimbabwean Ministerial Re-engagement Team so    that the full team could travel to Brussels for high-level consultations.

-On 23 July 2012 the EU, further encouraged by the progress made in implementing the Global Political Agreement (GPA) by the Government of National Unity (GNU), suspended the measures applied under Article 96 of the Cotonou Agreement to allow the EU to work directly with the GNU to develop new assistance programmes for the benefit of the people of Zimbabwe that would come on stream under the next European Development Fund (EDF).

-On 18 February, 2013 the EU, further encouraged by the the political parties' agreement on the draft constitution and the announcement of a referendum, suspended travel bans imposed on 6 members of the Government of Zimbabwe. It also delisted 21 persons and one entity subejct to restrictive measures.

-On 25 March, 2013 following the peaceful, successful and credible constitutional referendum the EU suspended the application of the restrictive measures against 81 individuals and 8 entities. 

-The EU remains committed to political dialogue with the Government of National Unity and stands ready to further adjust its policy to recognise the progress as it is made by the Zimbabwean parties. 

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