The European Parliament asks for a “mechanism for democracy, rule of law and fundemental rights”

Publié le 3 Nov, 2016


The draft resolution for the creation of a “European Union mechanism for democracy, rule of law and fundamental rights” was adopted on October 25th by the European Parliament.

It was the Dutch MEP Sophia In’t Veld who started this controversial report, asking the Commission to put in place new mechanisms to look over the state of democracy and the respect of the fundamental rights of the European Union Member States: “The European Union has been given tools to insure that all the other fields of politics are respected –competition, police and judicial cooperation, foreign policies (…)- but our fundamental values are not protected by strong enough tools to ensure their respect in the whole of the European Union”.

 The draft resolution was adopted by 405 votes in favour, 171 against, and 39 abstentions.

This initiative was met by an opposition campaign, and in particular a petition that collected over 85 0000 signatures. People are indeed afraid that this “mechanism” will be used by the European Union to impose its “values” which are not shared by every Member States. Among these “values”, there is abortion, which is still restrained in certain European countries such as Poland.

In Europe, the only international authority that has any power in terms of rights of men is the Council of Europe, backed by the European Court on Human Rights. The MEPs that voted the report In’t Veld are denouncing the fact that the European Union turns to the Council of Europe when it comes to human rights but makes the call itself to establish a tool enabling it to compel national policies. They are expecting the European Commission to present a proposal before September 2017 for a pact of the Union in favour of democracy, right of law and fundamental rights. 

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