HRDN takes note of the Global Strategy presented to the Member States which recognises the importance of civil society as a partner in defending fundamental freedoms; that human rights violations as a root cause of violence and instability; and the importance of democracy for resilient societies.
We note the aspiration in the document, and look forward to the EU closing the gap between its rhetoric and reality by concretization of these intentions in practice, especially on commitments to support civil society and human rights defenders and speak out on their behalf where violations occur, in line with universally applicable human rights frameworks.
In following up on the Global Strategy, the EU must be guided by its 2012 EU Strategic Framework on Human Rights and Democracy, when setting out processes and timelines as it remains bedrock of the EU’s approach to Human Rights and Democracy. Policy coherence – championed by the Global Strategy – can only be achieved through embedding the EU’s human rights and democracy policy at the highest levels. This means democracy and human rights should be placed at the highest priority in all its policies.
We look forward to a greater concretization of actions to realise the ambition of the Strategic Framework through the meaningful implementation of its 2015 Action Plan, in consultation with civil society. We stand ready to work with the EEAS and other relevant directorates in this endeavour.
Full version of the statement: HRDN Statement on EU Global Strategy (July 2016)