Subcommittee on Human Rights held on 14 of March an Exchange of views on the Human Rights situation in Ethiopia and the exposed misuse of EU development aid. [:]The hearing stemmed from the Human Rights Watch Report which was published in October 2010 and exposed how the EU aid in Ethiopia is being used by the regime for their repressive policies.
Chairwoman Hautala took note of the fact that the EU Commission had provided some answers and comments on allegations contained in the Human Rights Watch report but maintained that since there were still many questions to answer, holding a dedicated hearing was still very much necessary.
Indeed, issues such as reported lack of access to development aid remain largely unresolved. It would appear that access to development aid remains subject to conditions that do not match basic standards such as right to food of the Ethiopian population.
At the hearing it was stressed that it is most necessary for Ethiopia to revise legislation limiting freedom of association and freedom of expression while giving access to international media and independent international NGOs to freely contact the Ethiopian population. Commission was also encouraged to conduct independent control of aid programmes and to inform the European Parliament on progress made in the human rights situation, as discussed in the context of the Article 8 dialogue within the Cotonou Agreement.