Amnesty International EU Office Press Release
Amnesty International’s recommendations to the EU during the Belgian presidency
Amnesty International is today launching its Recommendations to the European Union during the Belgian Presidency. The document includes concrete recommendations as well as benchmarks on human rights issues that the Belgian Presidency can implement during the next six months.
Alongside the recommendations, Amnesty International is also presenting 10 individual cases of people throughout the world, on whose behalf the Belgian presidency should intervene, to send a strong signal of the credibility of the EU’s commitment to speak out for human rights.
“Belgium can use its presidency to put human rights at the core of every EU action both internally and abroad. The focus should be on those people who are the most voiceless, poor, excluded, and discriminated against,” says Nicolas Beger, the director of Amnesty International’s EU office.
There is an urgent need for the EU to deal with its inability to address human rights violations within its own member states. One recommendation is to stand up and ensure the adoption of the Anti-Discrimination Directive during next the six months – a feat that has eluded the two previous presidencies. The organization also calls on the Belgian Presidency to force progress on the asylum directives which are currently blocked. The EU must further look into the human rights violations committed by member states in their counter-terror policies, including collusion in CIA renditions and attempts to circumvent their obligations on the absolute ban on torture through diplomatic assurances.
In the EU’s foreign policy, after months of inaction, one of the most important developments during the Belgian Presidency will be the creation of the European External Action Service (EEAS). A strong human rights directorate within the EEAS and human rights expertise in EU delegations abroad is crucial in ensuring coherence and impact on human rights.
“During the Belgian Presidency it will be time to make real progress on a number of crucial human rights issues both internally and externally, such as a proper investigation of human rights violations on European soil in the context of counter terror operations, and the establishment of a strong human rights mandate within the EEAS” concludes Beger.