The European Union (EU) has lifted financial restrictions which were imposed against Burundi in 2016. The decision to lift restrictions resulted from the peaceful political process that started with the general elections in May 2020, opening a new window of hope for the population of Burundi.
“The Council decided today to repeal its decision taken in 2016, which imposed the suspension of direct financial assistance to the Burundian administration or institutions. With the repeal, the EU will therefore be able to resume this kind of cooperation with the Burundian administration,” EU said.
Since the 2020 elections, the EU has acknowledged the progress made by the Burundian government with respect to human rights, good governance and the rule of law, as well as commitments taken in its roadmap towards further improvements in those areas. Additionally, large numbers of refugees have voluntarily returned to Burundi, and cooperation with the international community and with neighbouring countries has been revitalised.
According to EU, Persisting challenges remain in the areas of human rights, good governance, reconciliation and the rule of law. Further progress would be beneficial for all Burundians, including through the implementation of the roadmap, in the framework of the ongoing EU-Burundi political dialogue.
The EU, together with other international partners, said they are ready to support the ongoing efforts of the Burundian authorities to stabilise and consolidate democratic institutions, promote human rights, good governance and the rule of law, and to implement commitments taken in the roadmap towards further improvements in those areas.
Following the deterioration of the situation in Burundi in the run-up to the legislative and presidential elections in June and July 2015, the EU considered that the Republic of Burundi was not in compliance with essential elements set out in Article 9 of the ACP-EU Partnership Agreement in relation to human rights, democracy and the rule of law.
Therefore on 13 November 2015, the Council initiated the procedure that led to the adoption in 2016 of Decision 2016/394 and appropriate measures under Article 96(2) (c) of the ACP-EU Partnership Agreement.