EU downgrades relations, suspends cooperation with Thailand

Statement issued by Foreign Affairss Council in Luxembourg on 23 June 2014

“1.The European Union and Thailand are bound together by strong and longstanding ties, ranging from trade, tourism, investments and culture, to people to people contacts. euthai

2. It was therefore with extreme concern that the Council has followed recent developments in Thailand. It called on the military leadership to restore, as a matter of urgency, the legitimate democratic process and the Constitution, through credible and inclusive elections. The Council also called on all parties to exercise the utmost restraint. Respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms must be upheld. Furthermore the Council urged military authorities to free all political detainees, to refrain from any further arrests for political reasons and to remove censorship.

3. The military leadership’s recent announcement falls short of the credible roadmap for a return to constitutional rule which the situation requires. Fully functioning democratic institutions must be brought back to ensure the protection and welfare of all citizens.

4. Against this background, the EU is forced to reconsider its engagement. Official visits to and from Thailand have been suspended; the EU and its Member States will not sign the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement with Thailand, until a democratically elected government is in place. Other agreements will, as appropriate, be affected. EU Member States have already begun to review their military cooperation with Thailand.

5. Only an early and credible roadmap for a return to constitutional rule and the holding of credible and inclusive elections will allow for the EU’s continued support. The Council decided that the EU will keep its relations with Thailand under review and will consider further possible measures, depending on circumstances.”

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