European Union External Action

EU issues declaration following elections in Venezuela

03/08/2017 - 19:29

The European Union and its Member States cannot recognise the Constituent Assembly elected on 30 July and call for urgent measures and negotiations to find a solution which respects the constitutional rights and mandates of all legitimate State Institutions, EU High Representative Federica Mogherini said in a Declaration on behalf of the EU28 on 02 August. The EU and its Member States are ready to gradually step up their response in case democratic principles are further undermined and the Venezuelan Constitution is not respected.

"The election of the Constituent Assembly has durably worsened the crisis in Venezuela. It risks undermining other legitimate institutions foreseen by the Constitution such as the National Assembly. The circumstances under which the election took place raise further doubts about the ability of the Constituent Assembly to effectively represent all components of the Venezuelan population. To all those who oppose serious negotiations, it has given an excuse to further drive conflict and use power unchecked. In addition, the legal attributions of the Constituent Assembly are unclear," Mogherini declared on behalf of the EU.

Given these concerns, the EU and its Member States cannot recognise the Constituent Assembly, and call on the government of President Maduro to take "urgent measures to rectify the course of events". In particular, the effective installation of the Constituent Assembly should be suspended and the attributions of all institutions foreseen by the Constitution should be explicitly recognised. Further confidence-building measures, such as the release of all jailed political opponents, are also needed.

The EU reiterates its call for dialogue, appealing "to all those in Venezuela who have the democratic mandate to govern, to legislate and to administer law: they all need to exercise their respective responsibilities and negotiate a way forward." The EU stands ready to actively support all efforts at negotiation, and "encourages the offers of countries in the region and other international actors to accompany and facilitate such negotiations". Any solution "needs the full respect for the constitutional rights and mandates of all legitimate State institutions, especially of the National Assembly, but also the Supreme Court and the Attorney General."

The EU calls on all parties to refrain from violence, and asks the authorities to ensure full respect for all human rights.