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House of Lords written question – answered on 15th October 2012.

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Photo of Lord Avebury Lord Avebury Liberal Democrat

To ask Her Majesty's Government by what date the referendum on the Zimbabwe constitution needs to be held under the specified criteria, in order that Zimbabwe should be treated as eligible for budgetary aid under the European Union budget for 2014.

Photo of Baroness Northover Baroness Northover Baroness in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip), Lords Spokesperson (Department for International Development)

The European Union (EU) announced on 23 July its decision to renew for 12 months the appropriate measures restricting EU development assistance but in parallel to suspend the application of those measures with immediate effect. In the same announcement the EU indicated that it would respond to a peaceful and credible constitutional referendum in Zimbabwe with a suspension of the majority of EU restrictive measures (travel bans and asset freezes) on all but a small core of individuals around President Mugabe.

The suspension of the appropriate measures was not linked to the constitutional referendum but will be separately reviewed six months after the decision, which will take place by 20 February 2013. There is therefore no link between the timing and occurrence of a constitutional referendum and eligibility for EU budgetary aid.

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