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Summary: 29 March 2010, Brussels – The Council of the European Union prolongs appropriate measures for Fiji Islands
The Council today extended by six months appropriate measure towards the Fiji Islands in order to facilitate its return to democracy, respect of human rights and the rule of law (6984/10). This decision follows the delay in implementing commitments the Fiji authorities made to the EU, notably concerning the abrogation of the constitution, human rights violations and the postponement of parliamentary elections.
The EU considers the extension of the measures as an opportunity for new discussions with the government of Fiji. A credible and inclusive process which would result in progress in the interim government's reform programme and early restoration of democracy would prepare the ground for new consultations.
The measures prolonged today were first taken on 1 October 2007 in the wake of the military takeover on 5 December 2006, which the EU considered a violation of democracy and the rule of law, both essential elements of the Cotonou Agreement. They have been extended twice since then and will now apply until 1 October 2010.
The appropriate measures are designed to assist the Fiji Islands in the transition. The EU will maintain humanitarian operations and direct support to civil society and democracy building. Development projects that were already initiated in 2007 are to be executed as planned. But as long as the commitments on human rights and the rule of law are not fulfilled, no new support from the European Development Fund will be assigned. Fiji's sugar allocation for 2010 also depends on the democratic process whereas sugar allocations for the years 2007 to 2009 were cancelled.
The EU will continue to closely monitor the political situation in Fiji.