The EU's human rights strategy
When Catherine Ashton took office as the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, one of her first tasks was to take a tougher stance on human rights policy in the Union's foreign relations.
For although respecting human rights is a core EU value, in practice there is still room to improve the EU's defence of human rights, as evidenced in the Union's dealings with authoritarian regimes in the Maghreb region prior to the Arab spring.
What was the Greens' position?
The Greens are convinced of the need to improve cooperation on human rights between the EU institutions.
Indeed, all these institutions must ensure coherence between the EUÂ’s internal and external policies.
Closer involvement of civil society and greater transparency in this domain are crucial.
Human rights impact assessments (HRIAs) must be performed before the Union develops any agreements with third countries.
The EU also needs to define human rights benchmarks and indicators to assess the impact of the Union's policies and ensure corporate accountability for human rights violations abroad.
We support the establishment of both a Euro-Arab Youth Convention focussed especially on human rights and a Euro-Arab Women's Parliamentary Forum.
In addition, we called on the Commission to compile a list of EU companies that have been directly complicit in human rights violations.
Did other MEPs accept the Greens' position?
The Greens' proposals gained a broad consensus, with all groups in Parliament voting to adopt the report, which included a wide range of critical comments and practical recommendations on the EUÂ’s human rights policy.
Our key priorities were supported by the majority and given extensive coverage in the text.
Which points did the Greens lose?
Lead MEP:Rui Tavares (GREENS/EFA)
Green MEP responsible:Rui Tavares
Staff contact:Raphael Fisera (Email)