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7008: The European Council on Haiti (fwd)

From: Max Blanchet <maxblanchet@worldnet.att.net>

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Press Release:  Brussels (02-02-2001) - Press: 38 - Nr: 5699/01

Brussels, 2 February 2001

5699/01 (Presse 38)


Subject :



The European Union attaches great importance to Article 9 of the ACP-EC
Cotonou Agreement. Democratic principles and the rule of law, on which the
ACP-EU partnership is founded, are essential elements of the Agreement and
thus form the cornerstone of ACP-EU relations.

In this spirit, the Union has closely followed the electoral process in
Haiti and is concerned about the irregularities mentioned in the report of
the Organisation of American States observer mission, in particular the
non-compliance with the Electoral Law in the election of senators after the
first round.

This is why the Union expressed disquiet about the electoral process in its
declaration of 12 July 2000 and signalled to the Haitian Government that
failure to take account of its concerns might have repercussions on
cooperation with Haiti.

The Council of the European Union therefore decided on 2 August 2000 to
invite the Haitian authorities and the ACP States to enter into
consultations with a view to a thorough examination of the situation and
finding ways of remedying it.

These consultations were held in Brussels on 26 September and a number of
crucial issues were discussed. The Haitian authorities explained their
position and gave their analysis of the situation.

This exchange of views did not, however, lead to progress in finding a
satisfactory solution to the issues raised by the Union, which then drafted
provisional conclusions expressing regret that its concerns had not been
taken into account and envisaging the possibility of appropriate measures as
defined in the ACP-EC Agreement. In its conclusions the Union also signalled
its awareness of the serious social and economic situation in the country
and the importance of not penalising the Haitian people.

The Council considers that the essential elements of the ECP-EC Agreement,
referred to in Article 9, have been violated by the non-compliance with the
Electoral Law of Haiti and that respect for democratic principles has not
yet been re-established in Haiti. In the absence of acts aimed at remedying
the matters raised during consultations, it has decided, in accordance with
its provisional conclusions of 26 September, to terminate the consultations
opened under Article 96 of the ACP-EC Agreement. The Council of the European
Union has thus decided to take the following appropriate measures under
Article 96(2)(c):

(a) not making available the second PIN tranche of the 8th EDF of EUR 44,4

(b) suspension of direct budget aid. This mainly affects structural
adjustment programmes and food security;

(c) redirection of the remaining funds of the first PIN tranche of the 8th
EDF to projects that are of direct benefit to the Haitian people, to
strengthen civil society and the private sector, and are liable to support
democratisation and underpin the rule of law;

(d) preparations for 9th EDF programming by the Commission delegation in
Haiti, which will consult the Haitian government if necessary. Unless
otherwise decided by the Council of the European Union, no allocation of
resources shall be notified while this Decision is valid.

The objective of the Union remains not to penalise the Haitian people while
signalling its disapproval of the failure to comply with basic democratic
principles. It will monitor closely the situation with regard to respect of
fundamental democratic freedoms and human rights. It reiterates its
readiness to engage in an enhanced political dialogue and contribute to the
process of democratisation. To this end, it is ready to review this Decision
before 31 December 2001 if there are encouraging developments but reserves
the right to take further measures if there is no improvement.

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