EU Must Develop Effective Policy to Assist EU Nationals on Death Row

Subcommittee on Human Rights held a hearing on 14th of October to discuss how the EU could assist more European nationals on death row around the world. [:]

Mr Clive Stafford Smith introduced his initiative proposal on how EU could offer legal and practical assistance to victims and their families facing the death penalty outside Europe. Central focus of the discussion was to determine how the EU can provide direct assistance to prisoners who are facing the death penalty, thereby raising the profile of injustice in a way that will accelerate the goal of abolition.

On 7th of October the European Parliament adopted a resolution where the new European External Action Service (EEAS) was called to provide guidance for a comprehensive and effective European death penalty policy with regard to dozens of confirmed European nationals facing execution in third countries. The resolution stated that this policy shall include strong and reinforced mechanisms in terms of the identification system, the delivery of legal assistance, EU legal interventions and diplomatic representation.

“Vigorous involvement by European governments, and by the EU itself, can directly save lives,” Mr Stafford-Smith underlined and added, “there are many ways in which we can help broaden the coalition against the death penalty. Laying out an effective European approach is an important step in moving down the path to abolition.”

It was decided to remain seized on the matter and monitor closely the implementation of the resolution, and its call for enhanced assistance policy, by the EU Member states.

Please see the resolution here:

Please watch the hearing behind this link:

Please see press conference with Mr Stafford-Smith and MEPs Heidi Hautala, Ana Gomes and Sarah Ludford: