Motion for a resolution - B8-1001/2015Motion 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

Cristian Dan Preda, Therese Comodini Cachia, Andrej Plenković, László Tőkés, Davor Ivo Stier, Miroslav Mikolášik, David McAllister, Dubravka Šuica, Michael Gahler, Patricija Šulin, Luděk Niedermayer, Adam Szejnfeld, Tomáš Zdechovský, Pavel Svoboda, Ivana Maletić, Jaromír Štětina, Roberta Metsola, Michaela Šojdrová, Anna Maria Corazza Bildt, Milan Zver, Francisco José Millán Mon, Jiří Pospíšil, Ramón Luis Valcárcel Siso, Lara Comi on behalf of the PPE 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, in particular that of 7 October 2010 on the World Day Against the Death Penalty[1],

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

–       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 International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the Second Optional Protocol thereto,

–       having regard to the final declaration adopted by the 5th World Congress Against the Death Penalty held in Madrid on 12-15 June 2013,

–       having regard to the Study on the impact of the world drug problem on the enjoyment of human rights, issued by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in September 2015,

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

A.     whereas the death penalty is the ultimate cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment, which violates the right to life, as enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and an act of torture unacceptable to states respecting human rights;

B.     whereas the European Union has a strong and principled position against the death penalty, which establishes a universal moratorium with a view to the global abolition of capital punishment as a key objective of the Union’s human rights policy;

C.     whereas the focus of the World Day Against the Death Penalty on 10 October 2015 is ‘raising awareness around the application of the death penalty for drug-related offences’;

D.     whereas the death penalty has no effect on deterring crime or drug trafficking; whereas the vast majority of individuals sentenced to death in relation to drug offences are at the bottom of the drug trafficking hierarchy;

E.     whereas according to the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights more than 160 UN member states, with a variety of legal systems, traditions, cultures and religious backgrounds, have either abolished the death penalty or do not practise it;

F.     whereas the latest figures show that at least 2 466 people in 55 countries are known to have been sentenced to death in 2014 – an increase of almost 23 % on 2013; whereas 33 states apply the death penalty for drug-related offences, resulting in approximately 1 000 executions annually; whereas death sentences and executions are continuing at an alarming rate in 2015;

G.     whereas there are dozens of European nationals facing execution in third countries, many of them on drug-related offences;

1.      Reiterates its condemnation of the use of the death penalty and strongly supports the introduction of a moratorium on the death penalty, as a step towards abolition; emphasises once again that the abolition of the death penalty contributes to the enhancement of human dignity; states its profound conviction that the abolition of capital punishment represents an established ethical standard;

2.      Condemns all executions wherever they take place; continues to be deeply concerned regarding the imposition of the death penalty on minors and on persons with mental or intellectual disability, and calls for an immediate and definitive end to such practices, which violate international human rights standards; expresses its grave concern at the recent mass trials which have led to a vast number of death sentences;

3.      Remains fully convinced that death sentences fail to prevent individuals from committing a crime or falling victim to drug abuse; calls on retentionist countries to introduce alternatives to the death penalty for drug offences which focus notably on drug prevention programmes;

4.      Urges the European External Action Service (EEAS) and the Member States to continue fighting against the use of the death penalty and to strongly urge countries still carrying out capital punishment to comply with international minimum standards and reduce the scope and use of the death penalty; urges the EEAS to remain vigilant with regard to developments in all countries and to use all means of influence at its disposal;

5.      Reiterates its recommendation to the Commission and the Member States that the abolition of the death penalty for drug-related offences should be made a precondition for drug enforcement policy;

6.      Supports all UN agencies, intergovernmental regional bodies and NGOs in their continued efforts to encourage states to abolish the death penalty; calls on the Commission to continue funding projects in this field via the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights;

7.      Welcomes the recent ratifications of the Second Optional Protocol to the ICCPR aiming at the abolition of the death penalty, which have increased the number of states parties to 81, and calls for all states which are not parties to the Protocol to ratify it immediately;

8.      Invites the Commission to give particular attention, as regards aid and political support, to countries that make progress in abolishing the death penalty or which encourage a universal moratorium on capital punishment;

9.      Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the Council, the Commission, the governments and parliaments of the Member States, the UN Secretary-General, the President of the UN General Assembly and the governments of the UN member states.