The European Union views positively the lifting of the state of emergency in the Republic of Fiji Islands. This represents an important step on the road back to democracy and towards implementation of the commitments agreed by the Interim Government during the consultations that took place on 18 April 2007 between the European Union and Fiji under Article 96 of the Cotonou Agreement.
The European Union reiterates that the military takeover, which took place in Fiji on 5 December 2006, constitutes a breach of the essential elements of Article 9 of the Cotonou Agreement: human rights, democratic principles and the rule of law.
On 18 April, Fiji and the EU agreed on commitments aimed at redressing the situation. The EU will continue the dialogue with the Interim Government in the spirit of the Cotonou partnership in order to support and ensure the implementation of all the commitments agreed on 18 April, notably those relating to the adoption of a roadmap for democratic elections.
The EU is following this issue closely, and welcomes the progress made in the dialogue in the Pacific Islands Forum on this subject and the completion of the work of the independent election experts. The EU reiterates that it stands ready to support key commitments both financially and through provision of expertise.
The EU underlines that the cooperation of the Fijian Interim Government is essential for the EU to be able to continue to assist Fiji in its development. Taking into account the positive outcome of the consultations, based on the commitments undertaken by the Republic of Fiji Islands, the implementation of same and the continued dialogue, the EU will shortly consider appropriate measures, as foreseen in the Cotonou Agreement.
The Candidate Countries Turkey, Croatia* and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia*, the Countries of the Stabilisation and Association Process and potential candidates Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Serbia, and the EFTA countries Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway, members of the European Economic Area, as well as Ukraine, the Republic of Moldova, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia align themselves with this declaration.
* Croatia and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia continue to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process.