The European Union (EU) has long been committed to human rights, democracy and the rule of law. They are the core values on which the EU is founded and respect for human rights is a prerequisite to EU membership, a condition for the legality of its actions and a central element of its external relations.
However, the effectiveness of European policies in preventing and responding to violations and in garnering progress in this field must be questioned. Migration and asylum policies, austerity policies, security and counter-terrorism policies, economic and trade policies, corporate regulations, all remain problematic, sometimes even paving the way to serious violations of civil and political rights as well as economic and social rights. All these policies need to be thoroughly reformed in order to ensure respect and promotion of human rights and to reinforce the rule of law. Similarly, the strengthening of human rights, democracy and the rule of law must be defended at all times, in all places and under all circumstances. This priority must be upheld at every occasion and in all aspects of the EU’s relations with third countries. Yet here again, the coherency of its policies and the commitment and effectiveness of its actions must be questioned.
FIDH, through its documentation and advocacy activities before the EU institutions, mobilizes the EU to respond to these internal challenges, reform its policies, improve impact assessments, create adequate protection mechanisms and use all the levers at its disposal to promote the respect and protection of human rights on the international scene and in neighbouring and partner countries. To achieve these goals, FIDH facilitates meetings between its member leagues and the various European institutions.
Among FIDH’s thematic priorities are: