EU Press


EU Action Plan on Human Rights and Democracy: “The plan leaves many important questions open

Press release

The European Commission and the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy today adopted the priorities of an EU Action Plan for Human Rights and Democracy for the period 2020-2024. Commenting on the action plan are Margarete Bause, spokeswoman for human rights and humanitarian aid Bundestag group Bündnis 90/Die Grünen, and Hannah Neumann, spokeswoman for foreign policy of the Greens/EFA group in the European Parliament:

“In view of the increasing threat to human rights and democracy worldwide, it is good that the EU Commission is taking action and naming numerous existing deficits. For example, it is overdue to address the enormous human rights challenges related to flight and migration, the climate crisis, health, access to water and digitalization. There is also a continuing need for action on the rule of law, including within the EU.
However, the Action Plan leaves many important questions unanswered. On the issues of business and human rights, corporate due diligence, the export of weapons and surveillance technology or better protection mechanisms for human rights defenders, such as the issuing of special visas for this group of people, the Commission remains silent or lacks clear words. Moreover, too little attention is paid to the protection of international humanitarian law by the EU.

A mere listing of construction sites is not enough. The EU needs a clear framework for its projects in the field of human rights and democracy. The Federal Government, which has declared human rights to be one of the priorities of its forthcoming EU Council Presidency, has a duty here in the second half of the year: the action plan must be followed by binding targets and timetables for legislative action. In the case of issues such as corporate responsibility or the punishment of serious human rights crimes, there is no need for declarations of intent, but rather binding, strict rules”.

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