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Parliamentary questions
16 May 2018
E-000661/2018
Answer given by Vice-President Mogherini on behalf of the Commission

In its Conclusions of 26 February 2018(1), the Foreign Affairs Council welcomed ‘the decision of the Commission to put on hold the European Union (EU)'s financial assistance to the National Election Committee (NEC)’. Furthermore, the Council invited the Commission and the High Representative/Vice-President to closely monitor the situation and to continue a ‘comprehensive assessment of development cooperation programmes with a view to ensure the strengthening of democratic principles, respect for human rights and the rule of law.’

The Council also recalled that respect of human rights and fundamental freedoms, including labour rights ‘underpins the granting of EU trade preferences.’ In this context, the Foreign Affairs Council invited the Commission ‘to enhance the monitoring of the situation and to step up the engagement with Cambodia in light of the provisions of Regulation (EU) No 978/2012.’

Finally, the Council emphasised that, in view of recent developments, it ‘may consider specific targeted measures if the situation does not improve’.

The EU has repeatedly raised with the Cambodian government the situation of Mr Kem Sokha. Apart from asking for its release, the EU has called for an improvement of his detention conditions, including medical care, access to visitors and privacy. EU Delegation members tried to attend Kem Sokha's bail hearing but, like other organisations and members of the public, were denied access to the Court. Once the investigation is concluded and Mr Kem Sokha's trial is announced, the EU Delegation will seek to observe it in accordance with its policy.

(1)http://www.consilium.europa.eu/media/32966/st06541-en18-v3.pdf

Last updated: 17 May 2018Legal notice