Today in Brussels, the European Union and Mexico held a High Level Meeting on Multilateral Affairs. This follows the visit of High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini to Mexico on 10-11 September, when it was agreed to step up EU-Mexico cooperation on multilateral issues.
This is a critical moment for Bolivia - a moment when maximum restraint and a strongest possible sense of responsibility is needed, both inside and outside the country. Delicate moments like this require firm rejection of violence at the highest level of statesmanship from all.
In light of the ongoing political, economic, social and humanitarian crisis in Venezuela with persistent actions undermining democracy, the rule of law and the respect for human rights, the Council today extended the restrictive measures against Venezuela for one year, until 14 November 2020. The measures include an embargo on arms and on equipment for internal repression as well as a travel ban and an asset freeze on 25 listed individuals in official positions who are responsible for human rights violations and/or for undermining democracy and the rule of law in Venezuela.
In view of the continuing protests in Bolivia the European Union underlines the need for the demonstrations to remain peaceful. Violence must be avoided, as it will not bring a solution to the current crisis.
Such a solution can only be achieved through peaceful negotiations, a credible electoral process that guarantees that the people’s will is respected and strong democratic institutions.
The grave deterioration of the living conditions of the Haitian population and profound worsening of the security situation together with a slowdown of economic activity and challenges the Haitians face on a daily basis have provoked serious, long-lasting and violent social unrest.
At a moment where the talks facilitated by Norway are suspended and there are no signs of a serious political process towards a peaceful and democratic way out of the crisis in Venezuela, the International Contact Group (ICG) recalls that the "status quo" is not an option. The costs for the population of the continued erosion of democracy and the rule of law, political repression, human rights violations and poor living conditions, as well as the unprecedented impact on the region are untenable.
Freedom of expression, in all its forms, is the very essence of democracy. Only with a thriving, free and independent media landscape, we can hold governments, businesses and society at large accountable. And precisely for this fundamental right, far too often, journalists and media workers are attacked, persecuted, harassed, or intimidated for carrying out their work. Most journalists are not wounded in the heat of war coverage, but suffer violence in our immediate surroundings. In 2018 alone, 94 journalists and media staff were killed in work-related incidents as reported by the International Federation of Journalists. Hundreds more have been subjected to arbitrary arrest or detention without ever having been tried in a court.