EU Policy on Death Penalty

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  • 22/11/2014
    Statement by High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini on the UN resolution Moratorium on the use of death penalty Statement by High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini on the UN resolution Moratorium on the use of death penalty <p>The adoption, in the UNGA 3rd Committee yesterday, of the resolution "Moratorium on the use of death penalty" is a landmark step.</p> 11/22/2014 22:23:49 11/22/2014 22:23:49 11/22/2014 22:23:49 11/10/2015 22:23:49 2014112222 090126248d78f6c2 N 090126248d78f6c2 /statements-eeas/2014/141122_01_en.htm 9635 xml Y /statements-eeas/2014/141122_01_en.htm 1 /statements-eeas/2014/141122_01_en.htm /statements-eeas/2014/141122_01_zz.htm N ID_INTERNAL N N
    Statement by High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini on the UN resolution Moratorium on the use of death penalty
  • 28/10/2014
    Declaration by the High Representative on behalf of the EU following the execution of Ms. Reyhane Jabbari in Iranpdf
  • 18/10/2014
    645 65744 1 _blank Statement by the Spokesperson on the Lahore High Court decision to uphold the conviction of Ms Asia Bibi in Pakistan Statement by the Spokesperson on the Lahore High Court decision to uphold the conviction of Ms Asia Bibi in Pakistan /statements/docs/2014/141018_01_en.pdf 10/18/2014 12:06:00 10/18/2014 12:06:00 10/18/2014 12:06:00 nulldate 2014101812 <p>European External Action Service</p> 090126248cdfac78 N 090126248cdfac78 /statements/docs/2014/141018_01_en.pdf 442128 pdf Y /statements/docs/2014/141018_01_en.pdf 2 /statements/docs/2014/141018_01_en.pdf /statements/docs/2014/141018_01_fr.pdf /statements/docs/2014/141018_01_zz.pdf N ID_INTERNAL N N
    Statement by the Spokesperson on the Lahore High Court decision to uphold the conviction of Ms Asia Bibi in Pakistan pdf - 432 KB [432 KB] français (fr)

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The European Union holds a strong and principled position against the death penalty; its abolition is a key objective for the Union’s human rights policy. Abolition is, of course, also a pre-condition for entry into the Union.

Indeed, the EU is the leading institutional actor and largest donor to the fight against the death penalty. This commitment is outlined clearly in the EU Guidelines on the death penalty, the first ever human rights guidelines adopted by Council, in 1998. The EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice President of the European Commission Catherine Ashton has also indicated that abolishing capital punishment worldwide is a ‘personal priority’.

The death penalty is cruel and inhuman, and has not been shown in any way to act as a deterrent to crime. The European Union regards abolition as essential for the protection of human dignity, as well as for the progressive development of human rights.

If necessary, the EU advocates a moratorium as a first step towards abolition. The adoption of a resolution on this issue by the UN General Assembly in 2007 was a major breakthrough, while growing support for subsequent resolutions adopted in 2008 and 2010 has served to illustrate the worldwide trend in this direction.

Where the capital punishment is still used, the EU calls for it to be progressively restricted and insists that it be carried out according to international minimum standards.

The EU intervenes both on individual cases and at a general policy level when a country's policy on the death penalty is in flux. In 2009 alone, the EU issued statements on over 30 individual cases and carried out more than 30 other actions in favour of individuals at risk of execution.

EU funding also allows non-governmental organisations to campaign for the abolition of the death penalty. Projects may range from the monitoring of the use of the death penalty to assistance to prisoners, support for constitutional reform, training, advocacy and awareness-raising campaigns.

Agenda of High Representative

  • 22/11/2014
    Statement by High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini on the UN resolution Moratorium on the use of death penalty Statement by High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini on the UN resolution Moratorium on the use of death penalty <p>The adoption, in the UNGA 3rd Committee yesterday, of the resolution "Moratorium on the use of death penalty" is a landmark step.</p> 11/22/2014 22:23:49 11/22/2014 22:23:49 11/22/2014 22:23:49 11/10/2015 22:23:49 2014112222 090126248d78f6c2 N 090126248d78f6c2 /statements-eeas/2014/141122_01_en.htm 9635 xml Y /statements-eeas/2014/141122_01_en.htm 1 /statements-eeas/2014/141122_01_en.htm /statements-eeas/2014/141122_01_zz.htm N ID_INTERNAL N N
    Statement by High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini on the UN resolution Moratorium on the use of death penalty