Saturday, February 18, 2012

Burma: Council of the EU eases restrictive measures on Burma

European Union

Summary: 17 February 2012, Brussels - Council of the European Union eases restrictive measures on Burma/Myanmar. Given the remarkable programme of political reform undertaken by Burma/Myanmar, the Council of the EU today lifted certain restrictive measures against that country. This marks a first step in the EU's response to developments in Burma/Myanmar.

The Council of the EU suspended admission restrictions concerning 87 persons, comprised of the president, the vice presidents, cabinet members and the speakers of the two houses of parliament and their family members. Those individuals remain subject to a freeze of their assets within the EU.

"We have seen historic changes in Burma/Myanmar and we strongly encourage the authorities to continue this process. I have launched a full review of our policy towards Burma/Myanmar, and today's decision to suspend certain restrictive measures is a reaction to the positive signs coming from the country. I will visit Burma/Myanmar in April after the by-elections, by which time I hope we will have had the chance to complete the review and to have made decisions at an EU level to respond to what I hope will be continued progress," said Catherine Ashton, European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.

Today's decision gives legal effect to the Council of the EU conclusions of 23 January and does not alter the remainder of the EU's restrictive measures.

A review of all EU restrictive measures on Burma is ongoing, given that they are due to expire on 30 April 2012.