Finnish Presidency: A Coherent and Credible Human Rights Policy is Needed

It is necessary for the Finnish Presidency to address the shortcomings of human rights protection at home, says Amnesty International, on the day it releases its ten-point programme with an open letter to the new Presidency and the Commission calling for a comprehensive human rights policy for the EU.

Both documents available, click on links below:
Open Letter
Ten-point programme
Information on Amnesty International Finland website

The human rights organization is hopeful that Finland will act upon the recognition expressed in its joint operational programme with Austria that the coherence and consistency of the EU’s global human rights policy requires that proper attention is paid to the domestic aspect.

“The exposure of European complicity in US-led renditions and the large-scale denial of refugees’ and migrants’ rights show that serious human rights violations in the EU can no longer be considered as a matter for Member States only,” said Dick Oosting, Director of Amnesty International’s EU Office at a press conference in Vienna, where the outgoing Austrian Presidency received a critical assessment.

“Austria was quite effective in pursuing human rights in the EU’s external relations, but failed to confront the main human rights problems occurring on the domestic front. The abuses committed in the name of combating terrorism and the erosion of rights in the fight against irregular immigration show that the EU is developing a serious problem of double standards”, said Oosting.

The human rights organization has presented a ten-point programme to the new Finnish Presidency, which recommends how the EU’s human rights effort can be made more effective and more credible.

Amnesty International hopes that the new Presidency will be able to bring back some of the “Tampere spirit” of 1999 which made history by giving the EU’s asylum and immigration policy a strong human rights impulse. “We look at Finland to give a new political impulse in order to restore the EU’s credibility as a champion for human rights,” said Dick Oosting.

For further comments/background information:
Amnesty International EU Office (Brussels)
Tel: +32-2-5021499
Fax: +32-2-5025686
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