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[Luxembourg 2005 Presidency of the Council of the European Union]
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CFSP Statement
Declaration by the Presidency on behalf of the European Union on the extension of the transition in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

Date of release : 24-06-2005

Policy area : General Affairs and External Relations

The European Union has taken note of the decision of the two chambers of the Parliament of the Democratic Republic of the Congo to extend the transition period for six months as from 1 July 2005, and of the request by the International Committee for support to the transition (CIAT) that this extension should go hand in hand with greater effectiveness and promptness on the part of the transitional institutions.

The European Union calls upon all the parties to comply with this decision, which is in line with the provisions of the peace agreement signed in December 2002 and should enable elections to be organised under satisfactory logistical and security conditions. The European Union urges the transitional institutions, the political parties and civil society to work together to organise a free, transparent and democratic electoral process; it also invites the political opposition to contribute to it by playing a constructive role in a climate of social calm. In this respect, the European Union recalls the Presidency's conclusions adopted by the Heads of State and of Government on 16 and 17 June 2005 in Brussels.

The European Union has taken note of the timetable that the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) has annexed to its reasoned request. The European Union supports the legitimate aspirations of the Congolese people to hold elections as soon as possible in the best possible conditions and urges the Congolese authorities and all the institutions concerned to comply strictly with the new election timetable. In this context, the European Union underlines that it is up to the Congolese authorities to step up preparations for holding the elections and for implementing the other aspects of the transition, such as security sector reform. In accordance with these arrangements, the European Union would remind all parties that 30 June 2006 is the final deadline for the end of the transition. With regard to the electoral process, the European Union welcomes the start of voters’ registration in Kinshasa and appeals to the Congolese authorities to intensify communication with the population. In this new phase of the transition, it is important that representatives of all the parties are able to express themselves in an environment free of intimidation and that the media provide impartial and pluralist information.

The European Union calls upon all the players involved to measure up to their respective responsibilities in order to intensify preparations for the elections and to work towards effective implementation of the provisions of the Comprehensive and Inclusive Agreement. It is also essential that every effort should now be made to promote the principles of good governance and transparency, which guarantee the democratic rule of law. The European Union will observe this process closely.

The European Union reiterates that its support for the transition is based on respect for the provisions of the Pretoria Agreement and on unequivocal commitment, under conditions of good governance – particularly, as regards the management of officials' and army salaries – on the part of Congolese players to the complete success of the transition. In this respect, the European Union supports the UN Secretary-General's proposal for an anti-corruption mission. The European Union is prepared to play an active role in this initiative.

The Acceding Countries Bulgaria and Romania, the Candidate Countries Turkey and Croatia*, the Countries of the Stabilisation and Association Process and potential candidates Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Serbia and Montenegro, and the EFTA countries Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway, members of the European Economic Area, as well as Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova align themselves with this declaration.

* Croatia continues to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process.

This page was last modified on : 24-06-2005

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