EU can do better on human rights

A letter to the High Representative Catherine Ashton:[:]

Dear Baroness Ashton,
I was very pleased to receive the news of the human rights structure at the European External Action Service just before the end of last year. The two units under a distinct Human Rights and Democracy Directorate will offer EU top class tools to regain the lead in global human rights arena. Many thanks will go personally to you and your team in realising this historic achievement.

To cement this success, I would like to take this opportunity recall some other equally important recommendations that I and the European Parliament resolution of 16 December 2010, the Annual Report on Human Rights in the World 2009 and the European Union’s policy on the matter have made in this regard. These recommendations concern the establishment of permanent, Brussels-based COHOM and creation of thematic EU Special Representatives on Human Rights, International Justice and International Humanitarian Law, women’s rights, Human Rights Defenders and Children’s Rights.

I would furthermore use this occasion to emphasise that the person appointed as Managing Director of the Global and Multilateral Issues DG, who will oversee the human rights and democracy directorate, must be a person with proven expertise in international law and human rights. Only by ensuring this will we be able to ensure that the Human Rights and Democracy Directorate become truly effective.

I would like to take this opportunity to express once again my appreciation over your work concerning the emerging human rights structure of the EU and look forward to continuing our fruitful dialogue on the matter.


Chairwoman of European Parliament Subcommittee on Human Rights