The European Union, which had expressed its concern when the accused were arrested, welcomes the acquittal and release of the public figures implicated in the preparation of a putative attempted coup in Burundi. It also welcomes the recent release of the journalists and activists from civil society. These releases contribute to a positive climate which strengthens the rule of law and democratic institutions.
The European Union hopes that these moves represent an encouraging step towards a democracy in which freedom of expression is respected.
The European Union would emphasise that respect for the democratic values which we share is the cornerstone of the relationship between the European Union and Burundi.
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 and the Republic of Moldova align themselves with this declaration.
* Croatia and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia continue to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process.