The Irish and EU policy positions regarding the political situations in Venezuela and Haiti are set out in the following declarations. Declaration by the Presidency, on behalf of the European Union, on the CNE announcement of 2 March 2004 regarding the process of verification of signatures in Venezuela:
Date: 4 Mar 2004
The European Union has taken good note of the publication on 2 March 2004 by the National Electoral Council (CNE) of the preliminary official results of the process of verification of signatures and of the CNE's decision to organise an appeals process in relation to those signatures which were provisionally rejected, in the framework of the petition for a Recall Referendum concerning the mandate of the President of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.
The European Union recalls the contents of its previous declaration, dated 23 February, 2004, and reiterates its full support for the important statement made by the OAS and Carter Center Missions to Venezuela in their joint declaration of 2 March, 2004.
The European Union shares the concern of the OAS with regard to the application by the CNE of specific verification criteria and their possible impact on the outcome of the process. No effort should be spared, however, to enable the country to find a constitutional, democratic, peaceful and electoral solution to its crisis. The European Union encourages all parties involved to negotiate constructively towards feasible, fair and transparent formulas for an appeals process which will respect the constitutional rights, the sovereign will and the good faith of Venezuelan citizens.
The European Union deeply regrets the development of a climate of violence, which has led to human casualties, and calls on all parties to continue to strive for the implementation of the agreement of 29 May 2003 in a climate of mutual respect, tolerance and restraint, and to fully abide by the Declaration against Violence and for Peace and Democracy of 18 February 2003, within the framework of the rule of law and democratic principles.
The acceding countries Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, the Slovak Republic and Slovenia align themselves with this declaration.
Declaration by the Presidency on behalf of the European Union concerning the formation of a new government in Haiti:
Date: 19 Mar 2004
The European Union welcomes the formation of a new Government in Haiti. This now gives reason to hope for substantial progress in establishing democracy and the rule of law, so that the country can break out of the political deadlock experienced in recent years and regain the stability for which it yearns.
The European Union stands ready to support the new government and assist in establishing the rule of law in the country. Being concerned at the serious deterioration in social and economic conditions in Haiti, the European Union is prepared to help relieve the Haitian people's suffering by means of prompt humanitarian aid in keeping with the circumstances.
The European Union welcomes Prime Minister Gérard Latortue's statement concerning the importance of national reconciliation and his willingness to administer a government of national unity. The EU holds reconciliation and co-operation among all Haitians to be prerequisites for Haiti's sustainable development and for an improvement in the standard of living of all its citizens.
The European Union is pleased at the United Nations Security Council's unanimous decision to dispatch a Multinational Interim Force. It welcomes all international efforts to bring security and stability to the country.
The European Union is disturbed at the persistent deterioration in security in Haiti and calls on all Haitians, without exception, to refrain from any kind of violent behaviour.
The European Union pays tribute to the considerable efforts made by the OAS and CARICOM to help bring peace and stability to Haiti. It hopes to see those efforts continue, in close co-ordination with Haiti's new government, the United Nations and the Multinational Interim Force.
The acceding countries Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, the Slovak Republic and Slovenia, the Candidate Countries Bulgaria, Romania and Turkey, the Countries of the Stabilisation and Association Process and potential candidates Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Serbia and Montenegro, and the EFTA countries Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway, members of the European Economic Area, align themselves with this declaration.