European Union Strategic Framework a Welcome Step on Human Rights/Democracy
Freedom House applauds the European Union for the release of its Strategic Framework and Action Plan on Human Rights and Democracy. The document reaffirms the EU’s commitment to the promotion and protection of human rights “in all areas of its external action without exception,” and establishes a specific action plan for implementation of the strategy over the next two and a half years.
“The framework places human rights and democracy where they belong -- at the center of the EU’s foreign policy priorities,” said David J. Kramer, president of Freedom House. “This represents a strong commitment to fundamental freedoms at a time when they face grave challenges around the world.”
As Freedom House has recently noted in its Nations in Transit 2012 report, there has been serious backsliding in several young democracies in Central and Eastern Europe such as Hungary and Ukraine. Elsewhere, several European Neighborhood countries such as Belarus and Azerbaijan have consolidated authoritarian regimes that consistently disregard their international and national commitments.
“The creation of an EU Human Rights Special Representative is integral to this new, forward-leaning strategy,” said Kramer. “This position requires a high-profile leader with a proven commitment to human rights and democracy and the capacity to work effectively within the EU’s institutions."
Freedom House is an independent watchdog organization that supports democratic change, monitors the status of freedom around the world, and advocates for democracy and human rights.
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