The reform of a Constitution is a transformative process engaging all interests in society, which adjusts norms and rules with the aim of strengthening and adapting institutions to meet contemporary challenges. It is a legitimate expectation of a country to revise its governance.
However, the adoption of provisions that can apply only to one individual weakens the credibility of the constitutional reform process as it undermines the principle of democratic change of government enshrined in Article 23 of the African Charter of Democracy, Elections and Governance. The amendments to the Rwandan constitution recently approved by Parliament - if confirmed by referendum - would give rise to this situation.
The EU strongly supports the principle of democratic transitions, based on transparent, inclusive and accountable processes as laid down in the African Charter. In countries that have consistently respected term limits and allowed for change, societies have become more resilient and institutions more credible. There are many examples for that on the continent.
In this regard, the EU will remain engaged in support of peace and prosperity in the Great Lakes region and looks forward to its continued dialogue with Rwandan authorities.
The Candidate Countries Turkey, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia*, Montenegro*, Serbia* and Albania*, the country of the Stabilisation and Association Process and potential candidate Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the EFTA countries Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway, members of the European Economic Area, as well as the Republic of Moldova align themselves with this declaration.
*The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Albania continue to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process.