Reaction to the announcement by the DRC on the relationships with Belgium

The Belgian government takes note of the announcement by the Congolese authorities of measures concerning the Belgian development agency Enabel as well as the Schengen house in Kinshasa.

Belgium regrets this announcement which threatens to prevent the Enabel agency to operate directly and significantly in favour of the Congolese population, mostly in the sectors of agriculture, public health and education. This decision would also affect hundreds of the agency’s Congolese staff.

Belgium underlines that, through its decisions, visits and presence locally, she mostly attends to the Congolese population. This is the whole meaning of its decision of 10th January 2018 which aims to reorient a quarter of the available means for governmental cooperation towards more humanitarian aid and cooperation with Congolese civil society organisations, universities and scientific institutions.

Like her regional, European and international partners, Belgium wishes above all that the needs and the fundamental rights of the population are taken into account and that progress is made towards credible elections.

As it has done in the past, the Belgian government reiterates its attachment to a political dialogue with the DRC.

Finally, the Schengen House in Kinshasa is a joint representation which delivers visa for the Schengen area on behalf of 17 Member States of the European Union (Czech Republic, Germany, Estonia, France, Italy, Lithuania, Latvia, Luxembourg, Hungary, the Netherlands, Austria, Portugal, Finland, Sweden, Slovenia, Slovakia and Belgium) as well as for Norway. Belgium will therefore consult with its European partners, who are as much concerned by this decision which will affect the issuance of visa for Congolese citizens.