On the occasion of the Day of International Criminal Justice the EU reaffirms its commitment to the fight against impunity for the most serious crimes and violations of international humanitarian law.
International criminal justice is not only a powerful deterrent against future abuses of international humanitarian and human rights law, but it is, most of all, instrumental in achieving accountability and sustainable peace. Injustice and impunity have proven in the past to be the main obstacles to healing the deep wounds in societies caused by the most serious crimes and to create fertile ground for the recurrence of conflict. International criminal justice not only contributes to ending impunity but also to fostering broader societal trust and reconciliation.
Pursuing international criminal justice remains essential in providing recognition and redress to victims. International justice mechanisms bring a measure of justice to thousands of children, women and men, who have been the victims of serious crimes.
17 July 2018 is a seminal day for international criminal justice, as we mark the 20th anniversary of the adoption of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC) and the activation of the Court’s jurisdiction over the crime of aggression. The Rome Statute's preamble states that "the most serious crimes of concern to the international community as a whole must not go unpunished". This is a core principle for the EU. Perpetrators of atrocities need to be brought to justice and held to account. To mark this historic occasion and to reconfirm the European Union's unwavering support to the ICC and its commitment to renew its efforts to promote the universality and preserve the integrity of the Rome Statute, the Council adopts today Council conclusions on the International Criminal Court.
The European Union will continue to support the promotion of international criminal justice through a combination of policy tools and financial assistance.
Since 2000, the EU has contributed over €40 million to support the ICC, through direct funding to ICC outreach activities, global civil society campaigns, projects to promote the ratification of the Rome Statute, as well as through programmes aimed at improving national justice systems through training and capacity building.
The European Union pays tribute to all those working to promote international criminal justice and to protect the rights of victims.