Answer given by Vice-President Mogherini on behalf of the Commission
On July 23 2014, the EU and its Member States abstained on the UNHRC resolution S-21/1 establishing a UN Independent Commission on Inquiry (CoI) and outlined its reservations in an Explanation of Vote.
Once the CoI was established, its Commissioners made it clear that ‘they interpret this mandate to include investigations of the activities of Palestinian armed groups in Gaza, including attacks on Israel, as well as the Israeli military operation in the Gaza Strip and Israeli actions in the West Bank including East Jerusalem.’
During the 28th session of the Human Rights Council (HRC), the Chairperson of the CoI, provided an oral update of its work and confirmed that it was looking at a broad range of alleged violations by all sides. In an Explanation of Vote delivered at the time of adoption of a separate resolution during the 28th session of the HRC, the EU urged ‘all sides to cooperate with the Commission of Inquiry and allow it access so that it can listen to all duty bearers, as well as civil society organisations and victims from all sides’. There has so far been no progress on access. The EU will examine the report, expected to be presented at the 29th session of the HRC, once it is released.
The EU funds projects submitted by NGOs, in line with EU’s fundamental principles and values, but not NGO themselves. The EU has been advocating for accountability for international human rights law and international humanitarian law violations, as well as abuses by institutional bodies and non-state actors and will continue to promote and support projects aiming at this goal.