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Unit B/1 - Human Rights and Democratisation December 2008 The External Human Rights Policy of the European Union The Universal Declaration of Human Rights « All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights « (article 1) The Second World War and the post-war context
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« All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights « (article 1)
The Second World War and the post-war context
The foundation of international human rights law
The Union is founded on the principles of liberty, democracy, respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, and the rule of law, principles which are common to Member States (1993:Treaty on European Union- TEU, article 6)
Common Foreign and Security Policy objective to “develop and consolidate democracy and the rule of law, and respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms” (TEU, article 11)
Community development co-operation policy and economic, financial and technical cooperation with third countries “shall contribute to the general objective of developing and consolidating democracy and the rule of law, and to that of respecting human rights and fundamental freedoms” (TEC, articles 171 and 181).
A moral conviction
Projection of EU values and principles
Interest in promoting stability, security and prosperity
The European Parliament, the Council and the European Commission signed and solemnly proclaimed the Charter on Fundamental Rights of the European Union on 7 December 2000 in Nice
The EU Charter sets out in a single text the whole range of civil, political, economic and social rights of European citizens and all persons resident in the EU
The Reform Treaty (the Treaty of Lisbon) guarantees the freedoms and principles set out in the Charter of Fundamental Rights and gives its provisions a binding legal force in all countries except Poland and the United Kingdom
The provisions of the Charter are addressed to the institutions of the Union and apply to the Member States only when they are implementing Union law
+ International Humanitarian Law (2005)
Guidelines supplemented by Manual (2004) and Council conclusions (2006)
UN definition: “…individuals, groups and organs of society that promote and protect universally recognised human rights and fundamental freedoms”
Activities of HR defenders: documentation of violations, seeking remedies for victims of such violations, combating cultures of impunity
2008: 10th anniversary of the UN Human Rights Defenders Declaration
EU monitoring, reporting and assessment
EU embassies/delegations to support and protect HR defenders by coordinating and sharing information; maintaining contacts; providing visibility; observing trials
Statements and demarches
Support to UN special procedures; special representative on HR defenders
70 EU EOMs since 2000:
+50 Countries - Over 4000 Observers deployed
Increasing Activity :
7 EOMs in 2004
12 EOMs in 2005
14 EOMs in 2006
10 EOMs in 2007
10 EOMs in 2008
The Compendium of International Standards for Elections and the Handbook for EU Election Observation are available on the European Commission website
Standard in most agreements since 1995 (exception for trade agreements with industrialised countries)
“Respect for human rights and democratic principles as laid down in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights underpins the domestic and international policies of the Parties, and constitutes an essential element of this Agreement”
Basis for positive and negative measures
This 10th EU Annual Report on Human Rights covers the actions and policies undertaken by the European Union between
1 July 2007 and 30 June 2008 in pursuit of its goals to promote universal respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. While not an exhaustive account, it highlights human rights issues that have given cause for concern and what the EU has done to address these, both within and outside the Union.