About our office

Who we are

Amnesty International’s European Institutions Office (EIO) in Brussels coordinates and promotes our advocacy and campaigning directed at decision-makers in the European Union (EU) and Council of Europe (CoE). We seek to ensure that the EU integrates human rights into its internal and external policies and that the CoE and its member states take tangible action to promote and protect human rights nationally and regionally.  

The office lies at the heart of an extensive advocacy and campaigning network which includes national Amnesty International operations in numerous European countries.

Our organisational development programme helps our European offices to grow through professional support to develop their skills and reach.  

To ensure its independence, Amnesty International does not seek or accept money from governments or political parties for its advocacy and campaigning work.

What do we do?

We investigate and expose the facts, whenever and wherever abuses happen.

We lobby governments, and other powerful groups such as companies, making sure they keep their promises and respect international law. 

By telling the powerful stories of the people we work with, we mobilise millions of supporters around the world to campaign for change and to stand in defence of activists on the frontline. 

We support people to claim their rights through education and training.

The European Institutions Office covers diverse EU policies and Council of Europe- related human rights issues including:

  • Human rights in CoE member states and accession countries
  • Reform of the European Court of Human Rights and EU’s accession to the European Convention on Human Rights
  • Human rights in EU foreign policy
  • Security and human rights
  • Refugee and migrant protection
  • Judicial and police co-operation
  • Economic, social and cultural rights
  • Arms Trade Treaty (ATT)
  • Corporate accountability
  • Counter terrorism
  • Death penalty
  • Equality and non-discrimination (targeting discrimination against Roma, Muslim and LGBTI people, migrants)
  • Ending violence against women and female genital mutilation
  • Ensuring consultation of civil society organizations and transparency in decision-making on human rights
  • EU asylum law
  • Human rights defenders
  • Migration control policy
  • Torture

How do we work?

We advocate to the EU and CoE policy-makers to influence how they set standards on human rights-related issues, to encourage them to change policies where necessary and react to unfolding human rights crises.

We work with the European Commission, European Council, European External Action Service, national diplomatic missions to the EU and Members of the European Parliament. We also work with various institutions and human rights monitoring bodies of the Council of Europe.

Working with Amnesty International’s national teams throughout Europe, who advocate to their own governments on human rights issues, we talk to national representatives, including the rotating (six-month) EU presidencies, to press for a strong focus on human rights in EU and Council of Europe policy-making.

We work in partnership with other NGOs, as part of formal coalitions and informal partnerships, to advocate for change.

We also have an active media programme, providing the Brussels-based press corps with our expertise and briefings and ensuring that the human rights implications of EU action are considered.

We issue Amnesty International research and other publications with an EU focus. We routinely send our documents to officials in all decision-making institutions.