Human Rights Mainstreaming in EU’s External Relations

11-09-2009

This study investigates the current status of human rights mainstreaming in EU external relations. It tracks the evolution of the concept of human rights mainstreaming taking into account similarities and differences between the UN and the EU, and reviews the relevant policy commitments and potential tools for human rights mainstreaming that have been put in place by the EU since 2001. The current status and impact of human rights mainstreaming is then examined with reference to three specific external relations policy areas, i.e. the CFSP/ESDP, development cooperation and trade, and migration and asylum policy. Two cases – one thematic related to human rights defenders and one regional concerning human rights policy vis-à-vis the Western Balkans – are focused upon in order to analyse the intersection of different sectors and policy areas. The study argues in favour of a stronger centralised structure to ensure effective human rights mainstreaming; including the possibility of establishing the position of an EU Human Rights Commissioner. The authors also urge the European Union to re-design the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights for a better mainstreaming effect and to promote human rights based approaches to programming in the other financial instruments (most importantly regarding neighbourhood and development instruments).

This study investigates the current status of human rights mainstreaming in EU external relations. It tracks the evolution of the concept of human rights mainstreaming taking into account similarities and differences between the UN and the EU, and reviews the relevant policy commitments and potential tools for human rights mainstreaming that have been put in place by the EU since 2001. The current status and impact of human rights mainstreaming is then examined with reference to three specific external relations policy areas, i.e. the CFSP/ESDP, development cooperation and trade, and migration and asylum policy. Two cases – one thematic related to human rights defenders and one regional concerning human rights policy vis-à-vis the Western Balkans – are focused upon in order to analyse the intersection of different sectors and policy areas. The study argues in favour of a stronger centralised structure to ensure effective human rights mainstreaming; including the possibility of establishing the position of an EU Human Rights Commissioner. The authors also urge the European Union to re-design the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights for a better mainstreaming effect and to promote human rights based approaches to programming in the other financial instruments (most importantly regarding neighbourhood and development instruments).

Εξωτερικός συντάκτης

Florence Benoit-Rohmer (EIUC, Project Team Leader), Horst Fischer (EIUC ; International Humanitarian Law, Ruhr-University Bochum) and George Ulrich (EIUC). With primary contributions from : Wolfgang Benedek (European Training Center for Human Rights and Democracy ; International Law, University of Graz), Carmen Marquez Carrasco (International Public Law and International Relations, University of Seville), Zdzislaw Kedzia (Constitutional Law, Adam Mickiewicz University of Poznan), Michele Grigolo (European University Institute, Florence), Gerd Oberleitner (Institute of International Law and International Relations, University of Graz), Christian Pippan (Institute of International Law and International Relations, University of Graz), Chadi Sidhom (Euromediterranean Human Rights Network - EMHRN), Matthias C. Kettemann (University of Graz) and Markus Möstl (University of Graz)