European Foreign Affairs Review

Volume 18 (2013)

Volume 18 (2013) / Issue 4/1

Martijn C. Vlaskamp, 'Balancing Fundamental Rights Protection and Effective Multilateralism: The EU and Zimbabwe’s Marange Diamonds' (2013) 18 European Foreign Affairs Review, Issue 4/1, pp. 529–546


This article analyses the role of the EU in the negotiations of the Kimberley Process (KP) regarding the Marange diamonds from Zimbabwe. As these gems did not comply with the requirements of the KP, they were banned from trading in 2009. The subsequent discussions between proponents of a hard line towards Zimbabwe and advocates of a rapid readmission of these diamonds brought the KP on the brink of collapse and it was not before the end of 2011 that an EU-brokered compromise ended this crisis. At the same time these diamonds remained on the EU-sanctions list until 2013.The article explains how the EU tried to find a balance between its normative policies regarding human rights violations and being a 'force for good', and aimed to preserve the KP as a tool of 'effective multilateralism'. It argues that these two objectives are sometimes hard to reconcile in a multipolar world.

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ISSN: 1384-6299
ID: EERR2013039