European Union External Action

Joining European Convention of Human Rights priority for EU

05/07/2017 - 19:09

"When rules are agreed together, we believe they do not represent a constraint, but a guarantee for all." For this reason, the European Union wants to join the European Convention of Human Rights (ECHR) and strengthen the European Court of Human Rights, EU High Representative Federica Mogherini said today.

Addressing the Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers in Strasbourg this morning, Mogherini said the European Union was reflecting on the opinion delivered by the European Court of Justice in 2014 which ruled that the draft agreement on its accession to the ECHR was not compatible with EU law. "We are moving forward when the time is right, relying on the support of all the Council of Europe Member States," she said.

In this meantime, the EU continues to work closely with the Council of Europe, and to ensure the European Court of Human Rights, which enforces the Convention, has the political backing and financial resources to deliver on its mandate.

"The Court today needs our common support. And we, as the European Union, are willing to show our support to secure the functioning of the Court," Mogherini stated.

When it comes to human rights, "no country can claim to be perfect" said the High Representative, but the critical thing is to ensure we have "instruments to face these challenges". "Politically, there is a duty to always respect [the Court's] decisions, even when some of us do not agree with them. This is the very essence of the rule of law."


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