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13.12.2012

EU human rights policy

MEPs call for greater coherence and consistency

The European Parliament today adopted a report by Greens/EFA MEP Rui Tavares on the EU human rights action plan and strategic framework. Speaking after the vote, Rui Tavares (MEP, Portugal) said:

"MEPs have today made a clear call for a more coherent and consistent EU approach to human rights. The strong support for this report is welcome and should be a signal to the other EU institutions to take note.

"The report makes strategic recommendations for an EU human rights policy which takes into account the effects of the current economic crisis and its influence on the perceived political clout of the EU in the world. It also critically comments on the lack of cooperation and integration between the services of the main EU institutions in the human rights area, setting out proposals to address this, as well as for stepping up cooperation with the Council of Europe. Importantly, the report calls for the adoption of a set of minimum human rights criteria to be raised with third countries and for enforceable human rights clauses to be included in all agreements concluded by the EU.

"There is a need for civil society to be represented in formulating human rights strategies and MEPs have today called for this to be taken into account. This should go hand-hand with greater transparency.

"The report also calls on the Commission to come forward with legislation requiring EU companies to ensure their purchases do not support perpetrators of conflicts or human rights violations."