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Anjum Shabbir
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25th March 2020
Human Rights

Human Rights and Democracy: Joint Communication and EU Action Plan

A Joint Communication to the European Parliament and Council, and an EU Action Plan have been published, setting out the agenda on Human Rights and Democracy for the years 2020 to 2024, accompanied by the remarks of High Representative of Foreign Affairs Josep Borrell’s comments that:

Crisis situations, as the one we are living with the Coronavirus’ pandemic, pose particular challenges to the effective exercise and protection of human rights, and put the functioning of our democracies to the test. This is an opportunity for Europe to stand up for its values and interests. We need the courage and ambition to tackle challenges together. Today, we propose an ambitious plan to defend human rights and democracy all over the world by using all our resources faster and more effectively”.

The Action Plan considers a new geopolitical agenda in this field, giving the EU a stronger global voice, and takes into account the digital age and climate change. It has five lines of action on the basis of which operational measures will be taken:

  • Protecting and empowering individuals;
  • Building resilient, inclusive and democratic societies;
  • Promoting a global system for Human Rights and Democracy;
  • Harnessing opportunities and addressing challenges posed by the use of new technologies;
  • Delivering by working together.

The European Commission and the High Representative have also put forward a joint proposal to the Council to act by qualified majority voting on issues falling under the Action Plan, reflecting its strategic importance and the desired objective of faster and more efficient decision-making in this area.

The Joint Communication, the EU Action Plan, and its accompanying Joint Proposal will be sent to the Council of the European Union and the European Parliament, to make a decision on the adoption of the Plan, and proposing to the European Council that it adopts it as an EU policy of strategic interest.

Read the press release for more information and access to the documents here.

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