The European Union is pleased to note that the elections in Bolivia have been conducted in a free and fair manner and applauds the people of Bolivia for this achievement. The EU congratulates Evo Morales on the preliminary results, which indicate a decisive victory.

The EU expresses its confidence that the election results will provide an opportunity for a new understanding amongst Bolivian political and social actors, thus establishing the required consensus to carry out the reform that Bolivia needs. As it made clear in its statement of 12 December, the European Union is resolute in its determination to support efforts to strengthen democratic institutions and to alleviate poverty, inequality and social exclusion in Bolivia.

The Acceding Countries Bulgaria and Romania, the Candidate Countries Turkey, Croatia* and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia*, the Countries of the Stabilisation and Association Process and potential candidates Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia and Montenegro, and the EFTA countries Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway, members of the European Economic Area, as well as Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova align themselves with this declaration.

* Croatia and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia continue to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process.

Ref: 16046/05 (Presse 370)