April 5, 2013

Burma Briefing No. 22

The European Union is currently reviewing its policy on Burma, including whether to continue with the suspension of EU sanctions, or to lift them altogether. A final decision will be made by the Foreign Affairs Council on 22nd April.

There is no doubt that there have been dramatic changes in Burma in the past two years, and that there is opportunity for further change which must be encouraged. However, European Union members have a tendency to highlight the positives while ignoring some important and harsh realities on the ground. A careful balance needs to be struck between encouragement and continued pressure of various kinds. The European Union is not getting that balance right.

Burma Briefing No. 22 The European Union is currently reviewing its policy on Burma, including whether to continue with the suspension of EU sanctions, or to lift them altogether. A final decision will be made by the Foreign Affairs Council on 22nd April. There is no doubt that there have been dramatic changes in Burma in the past two years, and that there is opportunity for further change which must be encouraged. However, European Union members have a tendency to highlight the positives while ignoring some important and harsh realities on the ground. A careful balance needs to be struck between encouragement and continued pressure of various kinds. The European Union is not getting that balance right.

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