Motion for a resolution - B8-0999/2015Motion for a resolution

MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION on the death penalty

5.10.2015 - (2015/2879(RSP))

further to Question for Oral Answer B8‑0761/2015
pursuant to Rule 128(5) of the Rules of Procedure

Charles Tannock, Bernd Lucke, Ulrike Trebesius, Bernd Kölmel, Hans-Olaf Henkel, Joachim Starbatty, Jana Žitňanská, Ruža Tomašić, Beatrix von Storch on behalf of the ECR Group

See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B8-0998/2015

Procedure : 2015/2879(RSP)
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European Parliament resolution on the death penalty


The European Parliament,

–       having regard to its previous resolutions on the abolition of the death penalty,

–       having regard to the European Union Strategic Framework and Action Plan on Human Rights and Democracy,

–       having regard to Article 6 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR),

–       having regard to the United Nations safeguards guaranteeing protection of the rights of those facing the death penalty,

–       having regard to the European Convention on Human Rights, and specifically to Protocols 6 and 13 thereto,

–       having regard to Article 2 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union,

–       having regard to the EU Guidelines on the Death Penalty,

–       having regard to the United Nations General Assembly resolutions on the death penalty, including that of 18 December 2014 (A/RES/69/186),

–       having regard to the question to the Council on the death penalty (O-000103/2015 – B8‑0761/2015),

–       having regard to Rules 128(5) and 123(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.     whereas abolition of the death penalty worldwide is one of the main objectives of the EU’s human rights policy;

B.     whereas abolition of the death penalty is a precondition for membership of the European Union;

C.     whereas 101 countries have abolished the death penalty for all crimes, and the number of countries which have abolished the death penalty in law or in practice has increased significantly since 1977;

D.     whereas the 13th World Day Against the Death Penalty on 10 October 2015 focuses specifically on raising awareness of the application of the death penalty for drug‑related offences;

E.     whereas there has been a global increase in the use of the death penalty for drug-related crimes in the last 12 months; whereas this has included countries that have ended long‑standing moratoriums on the death penalty;

F.     whereas a number of citizens of EU Member States have either been executed or are awaiting execution in third countries for drug-related crimes;

1.      Recognises the growing international momentum towards abolition of the death penalty; notes further that over the last 20 years there has been a significant increase in the number of countries abolishing the death penalty or imposing a moratorium on its use;

2.      Notes that while the death penalty is not outlawed under international law, there is considerable international pressure for its abolition;

3.      Notes that in 2014 almost 20 000 people were believed to have been under sentence of death globally, of whom 2 466 received their sentence that year;

4.      Notes that in 2014 at least 607 executions were carried out worldwide, a decrease of 22 % from the previous year; further notes that these figures do not include the number of people believed to have been executed in China, which continued to execute more people than the rest of the world combined, while sentencing thousands more to death;

5.      Condemns the use of the death sentence to suppress opposition, or on grounds of religious belief, homosexuality or adultery, or on other grounds which would either be considered trivial or not regarded as crimes at all;

6.      Supports efforts to ensure that minimum European Union and other international standards are met in those countries that retain the death penalty;

7.      Encourages bilateral and multilateral initiatives between Member States, the EU, the UN, third countries and other regional organisations on issues relating to the death penalty;

8.      Supports global efforts to restrict the application of the death penalty in those countries that retain capital punishment, and thereby to reduce the number of executions;

9.      Demands that defendants facing trial for crimes which carry the death penalty be afforded full access to legal representation and a fair trial in accordance with accepted international standards;

10.    Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the EEAS, the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the parliaments and governments of the Member States, and the Secretary-General of the United Nations.