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The Delegation represents the European Union in all matters, informing on all activities of the Union and keeping its headquarters in Brussels abreast of significant local developments. It works closely with the EU Member States in Zimbabwe, and in particular, the country representing the EU Presidency. It also co-operates and co-ordinates activities with representatives of non-EU Member States and multilateral organisations.
One of the Delegation's main activities is to ensure the effective implementation of EU development assistance to Zimbabwe. Most programmes are financed under the European Development Fund (EDF), the main instrument for providing EU assistance to countries in Africa, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP), under the Cotonou Agreement.
Welcome to the website of the European Union Delegation to Zimbabwe, where I have been the Head of Delegation since September 2014.
I have been fortunate to represent the European Union (EU) during important decisions and developments for Zimbabwe during my term of office so far. One highlight was certainly the official re-launch of development cooperation between the EU and Government, marked by the signing of the National Indicative Programme (NIP) in February 2015. In the framework of the NIP, which was developed jointly with Government, the EU provides €234 million from the 11th European Development Fund (EDF) for agriculture, health and governance/institution building for the period covering 2014 to 2020. In addition to the EDF funding, the EU continues to provide humanitarian aid when necessary and support to civil society to enable organisations to fulfil their mandate. All the combined support is in line with the EU’s commitment to the strengthening of democracy, protection of human rights and the rule of law for everyone, as well as the aspiration to equal economic chances for all.
Since 2015, we have also re-engaged in political dialogue with the Zimbabwean authorities after a period of frosty relations on this front. We look forward to a further normalisation of our relations in 2018. As reminded by the Council of the EU on 22 January 2018, the conduct of peaceful, inclusive, credible and transparent harmonised elections in July or August 2018 will be an essential step in this normalisation process. As EU, we have assisted the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission with capacity building to fully fulfil its constitutional mandate and engaged with civil society to increase electoral awareness and create an environment in which Zimbabweans can fearlessly decide whom they want to govern them.
Trade between the EU and Zimbabwe has been sound since the establishment of relations shortly after Zimbabwe’s independence in 1980. In this regard, we are excited that the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) between Zimbabwe and the EU (ratified in 2012) is being implemented on schedule and allows Zimbabwe to export to the EU duty-free and quota-free. I hope that the economic reforms announced by the authorities will effectively be implemented and unlock the huge economic potentials of Zimbabwe so that our trade and investment relations can take off after a difficult period of economic stagnation. All our efforts are geared towards bringing Zimbabwe on a socially and environmentally sustainable economic growth and development path.
For me, 2018 will be the year of farewell, as my terms of office comes to an end. I will try – as I have done many times over the past years – to discover and enjoy a bit more of this beautiful, promising country and its people during visits to our various projects all over Zimbabwe.
Please do enjoy our website, and do not hesitate to send us feedback to Delegation-Zimbabwe-HOD@eeas.europa.eu
Ambassador Philippe Van Damme