18/12/2020 – HR/VP Blog – Tensions in the Eastern Mediterranean and relations with Turkey have been one of the greatest EU challenges in 2020 and this will likely remain the case for 2021. It is not surprising that the last European Council of the year, held last week, has had this as one of its main foreign policy issues for discussion.
17/12/2020 – HR/VP Blog – Upholding European values and interests in the cyberspace is crucial for our democracies, our economies and our societies. This is what the new EU Cybersecurity Strategy adopted yesterday is all about.
A meeting of the Joint Commission of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) took place virtually on Wednesday, 16 December. Under the terms of the JCPOA, the Joint Commission is responsible for overseeing the implementation of the agreement. The Joint Commission was chaired, on behalf of EU High Representative Josep Borrell, by the EEAS Secretary General Helga-Maria Schmid and was attended by representatives of China, France, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom and Iran at the level of Political Directors/Deputy Foreign Ministers.
10/12/2020 – HR/VP Blog – At Monday’s Foreign Affairs Council, member states agreed to launch a new EU Global Human Rights Sanctions Regime to strengthen our collective action in this field. Taking action on human rights is not only the right thing to do. It is also in our interest: more human rights means more freedom, prosperity and peace, for us all.
This year we mark Human Rights Day while the whole world is tackling an unprecedented challenge: the COVID-19 pandemic. Far from being outdated, the fundamental rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights signed in 1948 are more relevant than ever: the universality and indivisibility of human rights is critical in addressing this crisis and in shaping the post-COVID-19 world. “Today it is more important than ever to recall that human rights are universal and indivisible, and that our efforts to defend them can never stop”, said the High Representative Josep Borrell in a declaration on behalf of the European Union.
On 10 December, we celebrate Human Rights Day. This day deserves our attention as it marks the signing of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948. Today it is more important than ever to recall that human rights are universal and indivisible, and that our efforts to defend them can never stop.
75 years ago, major leaders of the Nazi regime were prosecuted for crimes against humanity and war crimes during the Nuremberg trials. This paved the way to the adoption of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide on 9 December 1948, punishing genocide as a crime and setting out the legal basis for action by States to prevent such atrocities.
The legacy of Nuremberg lives on. Since 2002, the International Criminal Court stands as the world’s only permanent, independent court for the investigation and prosecution of the most heinous crimes.
The co-chairs of the EU-UK Joint Committee – European Commission Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič and the UK Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, the Rt Hon Michael Gove – yesterday held a political meeting to address the outstanding issues related to the implementation of the Withdrawal Agreement. Ensuring that the Withdrawal Agreement, in particular the Protocol on Ireland and Northern Ireland, is fully operational at the end of the transition period, i.e. as of 1 January 2021, is essential. The Protocol protects the Good Friday (Belfast) Agreement in all its dimensions, maintaining peace, stability and prosperity on the island of Ireland.