EU Human Rights Policy towards Russia

25-03-2011

In assessing the state of play in EU efforts to advance human rights and political reform in Russia based on extensive consultations with Russian civil society groups. The authors found a broad consensus that EU-Russia human rights consultation have been ineffective and have indeed coincided with a period of worsening political conditions in Russia. Moreover, human rights consultations have lacked concrete review and benchmarking mechanisms, which has compounded their weaknesses. The basic modalities of these consultations need to be resolved and this can only happen through higher level political pressure and engagement. However, there was no consensus among Russian civil society actors on the most difficult question of whether EU-Russia human rights consultations should be discontinued, absent more cooperation from the Russian government. In terms of EU's human rights aid policy, the authors argue that smaller tranches of funding should be available to a larger number of modestly-sized organisations and funding rules should be simplified. Institutional long term support rather than short-term and project based grants should be prioritised.

In assessing the state of play in EU efforts to advance human rights and political reform in Russia based on extensive consultations with Russian civil society groups. The authors found a broad consensus that EU-Russia human rights consultation have been ineffective and have indeed coincided with a period of worsening political conditions in Russia. Moreover, human rights consultations have lacked concrete review and benchmarking mechanisms, which has compounded their weaknesses. The basic modalities of these consultations need to be resolved and this can only happen through higher level political pressure and engagement. However, there was no consensus among Russian civil society actors on the most difficult question of whether EU-Russia human rights consultations should be discontinued, absent more cooperation from the Russian government. In terms of EU's human rights aid policy, the authors argue that smaller tranches of funding should be available to a larger number of modestly-sized organisations and funding rules should be simplified. Institutional long term support rather than short-term and project based grants should be prioritised.

Údar seachtarach

Richard YOUNGS, (FRIDE - Fundación para las Relaciones Internacionales y el Diálogo Exterior, Spain) and Natalia SHAPOVALOVA (FRIDE - Fundación para las Relaciones Internacionales y el Diálogo Exterior, Spain)