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Proċedura : 2013/2152(INI)
Ċiklu ta' ħajja waqt sessjoni
Ċiklu relatat mad-dokument : A7-0418/2013

Testi mressqa :

A7-0418/2013

Dibattiti :

PV 10/12/2013 - 19
CRE 10/12/2013 - 19

Votazzjonijiet :

PV 11/12/2013 - 4.24
CRE 11/12/2013 - 4.24

Testi adottati :

P7_TA(2013)0575

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It-Tlieta, 10 ta' Diċembru 2013 - Strasburgu Edizzjoni riveduta

19. Id-Drittijiet tal-Bniedem fid-Dinja 2012 u l-politika tal-UE dwar il-kwistjoni (dibattitu)
Vidjow tat-taħditiet
PV
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  La Présidente. - L'ordre du jour appelle le débat sur le rapport de Eduard Kukan, au nom de la commission des affaires étrangères, sur le rapport annuel sur les droits de l'homme et la démocratie dans le monde en 2012 et la politique de l'Union européenne en la matière (2013/2152(INI)).

 
  
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  Eduard Kukan, rapporteur. − Madam President, let me welcome the representative of the Council and also especially the EUʼs Special Representative for Human Rights, Mr Stavros Lambrinidis.

I am glad that our discussion is taking place today on 10 December in remembrance of the International Day of Human Rights. This year we also mark the 20th anniversary of the 1993 World Conference on Human Rights in Vienna, which led to confirmation of the universality of all human rights.

Today’s report highlights the interconnection between the universality of human rights and democracy-building. Let me outline the three major themes to which I paid considerable attention in this report: the EU policy framework on human rights, the issues of human rights in transition processes, and the EUʼs support for human rights worldwide.

The EU policy framework on human rights needs to become the backbone of our actions in this field. A year ago the EU adopted its Strategic Framework and Action Plan on Human Rights and Democracy, and appointed our first Special Representative for Human Rights. This was a right step forward by which we have opened doors for mainstreaming human rights policies in the EUʼs external relations.

On this occasion I would like to welcome the active approach of the new Special Representative who has taken over the responsibilities of coordinating and promoting the EUʼs human rights policies. I would encourage him to continue in these activities and keep in close contact with this Parliament, which has been the case so far.

Building a rights-respecting democracy in which human rights are adequately protected is not an easy task. The processes of transitions are often exhausting and lengthy; the ideals are confronted with uncertainties and unleashed power can strike the most vulnerable parts of the population. As someone who has experienced such processes and saw its risks, I dedicated a part of the report to these problems.

The EU has the potential and the responsibility to support these processes. We need to pay more attention to the problems and challenges of the countries overthrowing authoritarian regimes, countries where democracy processes are still fragile; but also to those countries trapped in transition for a long time where the processes stopped without any clear prospects of further changes.

Justice, rule of law, building of democratic institutions, reconciliation and addressing the human rights abuses: these are only a few of the problems on the road. Even in the countries aspiring to membership of the European Union questions on the rights of minorities, civil liberties and fundamental freedoms remain open; specific challenges for the protection of human rights post-transition in post-conflict contexts. The report deals therefore with questions of transitional justice, accountability for past abuses and fighting impunity, which needs to remain an integral part of the process.

In conclusion, the EU needs to remain determined in promoting and protecting the universality of human rights, be it through our own instruments, though the UN human rights system or through support to other international organisations such as the International Criminal Court.

I would like to thank all the colleagues, the shadow rapporteurs and others who participated in preparing this report. Their contribution was very important for me and I appreciate it.

 
  
  

PRZEWODNICZY JACEK PROTASIEWICZ
Wiceprzewodniczący

 
  
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  Vytautas Leškevičius, President-in-Office of the Council, on behalf of the Vice-President of the Commission/High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. − Mr President, on behalf of the Vice-President/High Representative Catherine Ashton, I am honoured to address you today on the occasion of the presentation of the report on the Annual Report on Human Rights and Democracy.

Let me start my intervention by paying tribute to President Nelson Mandela. As Catherine Ashton said: ‘Today we grieve his death but also celebrate his life. He not only defeated apartheid in South Africa; he showed people in every continent that the moral force of democracy could overcome the barren might of tyranny’. History will remember Nelson Mandela as a freedom fighter, a fighter for freedom who not only changed his country, but he changed the hearts and minds of billions on the planet as well. ʻTo deny people their human rights is to challenge their very humanityʼ, he once said. I believe these words should serve as an inspiration to the European Union and the whole democratic community of the world in their course to protect and enshrine the ideals of freedom, democracy and human rights.

At my side sits Stavros Lambrinidis, the EU Special Representative for Human Rights, whom you know very well in this House. In the past year and a half he worked tirelessly to project in the entire world the EU engagement in favour of human rights. He put human rights on the table where it matters most, he discussed our human rights concerns with the authorities of a large number of countries; he reached out to hundreds of NGOs and human rights organisations and worked hand in hand with the EEAS across the policy spectrum.

Let me now thank Mr Kukan and all the honourable Members that have contributed to the report on human rights that we are discussing today. It is yet another important contribution from Parliament to the development of EU policy on human rights.

Parliament’s role in influencing, in advocating and promoting democracy and human rights policy is invaluable. Just a few weeks ago we celebrated the 25th anniversary of the Sakharov Prize. To mark the occasion, last week the Lithuanian Presidency together with Parliament organised a discussion in Vilnius with Sakharov Prize winners Berta Soler, Alaksandar Milinkievič, and a human rights activist and academic from Memorial, and in our conversations we heard a firm call to continue serving as a huge beacon for freedom and democracy. I would like to extend my gratitude to Ms Lochbihler for the excellent idea of organising the event and Mr Donskis for his leadership in making it happen.

We were all particularly pleased that the Sakharov award this year went to the 16-year-old Pakistani schoolgirl Malala Yousafzai. As European Parliament President Schultz said, Malala is a ‘global icon in the fight for the right for education’. Her words left an enduring mark on all of us. Our shared objective must be to enable all girls and boys to go to school regardless of where they live.

Girls and boys around the world must live and grow without fear. This is why we are laying the groundwork for a worldwide campaign against one of the most abhorrent violations of human rights: violence against children. We aim to enhance prevention, and to fund more effectively child protection systems. We want to raise greater awareness about children’s rights, including their right to freedom from violence.

Malala also reminded us that there are nearly 800 million people who still lack basic literacy skills, and almost two thirds are women. Inequality between men and women permeates all aspects of society. Girls are more likely to be kept out of school, to be forced into marriage and to be subject to violence. This is unacceptable. Leaving aside the moral principle, gender equality is also about democracy and economic development as well.

We all know about the wasted talent and the lost wisdom when a society refuses to break with inequality. This is why we are particularly proud of the successful outcome of the 57th session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women, where the EU took a particularly active stance as concerns the elimination and prevention of all forms of violence against women and girls. We are now preparing for the next session, which will take place in March 2014 and we are keen to achieve strong Agreed Conclusions.

There are estimates that every year some three million women and girls in the world face female genital mutilation. We are committed to a zero tolerance policy of this cruel practice that violates the rights of women and girls and harms them in many ways. The adoption in November, on the occasion of the International Day for Elimination of Violence against Women, of a strategy towards the elimination of female genital mutilation is a demonstration of our commitment, jointly with our international partners.

We are also taking stock of the Millennium Development Goals and recognising the need to step up joint efforts. Looking forward, the EU is convinced that gender equality and women’s empowerment should have a strong place in the post-2015 framework. We are expressing this view in the on-going discussions on the sustainable development goals.

The adoption of the EU Strategic Framework and the Action Plan on Human Rights and Democracy in 2012 was a landmark shift. For the first time, thanks to this comprehensive and systematic document endorsed by all EU actors including Parliament, the EU has delivered on its pledge to put human rights and democracy at the centre of its policy.

Our 2012 Annual Report fully reflects, for the first time, this renewed engagement, both in its structure and content. We are pleased by the encouragement you have expressed in your report. It means that we are on the right path. At the same time, we have taken careful note of your remarks, criticisms and suggestions on how to improve and make progress.

In 2013, we have continued to develop our action for the promotion of human rights and we have upgraded our own internal procedures, we have set up a network of human rights focal points in the delegations and at Headquarters we have set up a specific Brussels-based COHOM Working Group.

We have mostly focused, as a matter of priority, on the implementation of the various activities of the Action Plan, which require collective efforts from EU institutions and Member States alike. We have been working to deliver on our commitment to incorporate human rights in trade, development and other external EU policies, as your report strongly suggests. We have continued to push for implementation of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and significantly, the Commission has published human rights guidance for three business sectors.

We have a strong and principled policy on the abolition of the death penalty. We have continued to target retentionist countries and to advocate for the abolition of capital punishment, as well as for an introduction of a moratorium on executions as a first step towards abolition. In the past 18 months, at least 60 statements were issued and more than 30 démarches carried out, specifying worrying trends in executions, imposition of death sentences and breaches of moratoria. The EU attended the Madrid World Congress against the Death Penalty on 12-15 June, where Stavros Lambrinidis addressed the closing ceremony.

We have pushed ahead with our human rights country strategies. We prepared 146 strategies from all regions which were discussed by COHOM and relevant geographical working parties in 2013. We have continued to engage in a number of human rights dialogues and consultations with our partner countries, and we will strive, in line with your suggestions, Mr Kukan, to make them even more meaningful and effective in the future. And we have continued to prepare guidelines to guide and inform the EU’s policies in key human rights areas.

In June the Foreign Affairs Council adopted the Guidelines to promote and protect the enjoyment of all human rights by LGBTI persons. The Guidelines target discriminatory laws and policies, promote equality and non-discrimination, aim at combating violence against LGBTI persons and support and protect human rights defenders. On numerous occasions the Vice-President/High Representative issued public statements and our delegations carried out démarches.

We fully share the worries of Mr Kukan and honourable Members concerning the trend of increased violence against journalists and restrictions on media freedom, as the numerous statements by the Vice-President/High Representative this year sadly show. In this context, your report of June 2013 on the freedom of press and media in the world was a timely and substantial contribution. It feeds into our preparation of new EU guidelines on freedom of expression online and offline, which is ongoing, in consultation with you and civil society.

Our engagement at bilateral level was both intensive and extensive: the Vice-President/High Representative and the EU Special Representative have discussed human rights issues with EU strategic partners, such as China or Russia. But they have also extensively travelled to countries in transition, particularly in such crucial areas as ASEAN, the Gulf, and North Africa. In Bahrain the call of the EU was heard for the release of those arrested in the context of peaceful political activities. And in Egypt, the Vice-President/High Representative has repeatedly called for the full respect for fundamental human rights as an indispensable condition for a transition towards democracy and has offered concrete EU support for a democratic transition, including further assistance to civil society and in the socioeconomic sector to help the most vulnerable groups of Egyptian society. Our assistance in these areas will continue.

Countries in transition are a particular challenge. We share the analysis of Mr Kukanʼs report in this regard, and deeply appreciate this support for our efforts. As the High Representative always says, it is not for Europe, nor any other outsider, to offer countries in transition any ready-made solutions.

Democracy and freedom are built from the inside, not imported from abroad. What we want to do, what the EU is trying to do, is to help Egypt, Tunisia and other partners to build the kind of democracy that meets the aspirations of all: women, men, young and old. We can help but only they can do it. Not just organising free and fair elections – it is about building the civil society and the institutions that guarantee the rights of everyone. It means freedom of expression, freedom of belief, and respect for all communities.

This is also the case in Myanmar where the EU organised the first Task Force outside of the neighbourhood area last month with the active participation and contribution of Members of this House, led by Vice-President Isabelle Durant.

The Vice-President/High Representative, together with Aung San Suu Kyi, took part in a specific civil society forum, with over 60 participants from all spectrums of civil society in the country. The forum gave the EU an opportunity to highlight the importance it places on engagement with civil society as a key component of the transition, and to discuss the key challenges facing the country, including human rights, reconciliation, minorities and the quest for sustainable peace.

The EU shares Parliament’s concern about the crackdown on civil society organisations in many corners around the world and is deploying tremendous efforts to address increased restrictions on freedom of association placed on civil society.

Let me assure you that we take very seriously Mr Kukanʼs invitation to work closely with civil society. As an example, the EEAS and DEVCO are working together towards the establishment of road maps for civil society. Only last week, we held the annual EU-NGO Forum. Hundreds of human rights defenders, activists and policymakers gathered in Brussels to discuss accountability, including the ICC and transitional justice.

The European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR) has continued to support extensively human rights defenders and civil society. In this context, let me praise the constructive trialogue of 19 November which has paved the way for an agreed text on the new EIDHR Regulation. We are pleased that the new EIDHR foresees a strengthened and more comprehensive Human Rights Defenders Mechanism, and a new facility to support civil society actors in the most difficult countries where human rights and democracy are most at risk.

We are engaged within the United Nations to advance the universality of human rights. Very fittingly, this year Human Rights Day marks the 20th anniversary of the World Conference on Human Rights in Vienna and the creation of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. The Vice-President/High Representative publicly commended the High Commissioner Navi Pillay on the tremendous work that her Office and the rest of the UN have conducted over the past 20 years in furthering and safeguarding human rights throughout the world. The Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action stated the universality, indivisibility and interdependence of all human rights and led to historic advances in their promotion and protection.

The United Nations remains a vital forum for the advancement and protection of human rights, and the EU remains active and engaged in Geneva, New York, and worldwide. In 2013 the EU has advanced its agenda through the UN, as endorsed by the Foreign Affairs Council Conclusions of 18 February.

The 2013 Human Rights Council in Geneva saw the EU successful in all its objectives, including by expanding the mandates of the Special Rapporteurs for Myanmar, the DPRK, Freedom of Religion or Belief, Belarus and Iran, as well as securing the mandate for the Commission of Inquiry on Syria. In New York, at the UN General Assembly Third Committee, EU resolutions on Myanmar and the DPRK passed without a vote, enjoying broad, cross-regional support. Resolutions on Iran and Syria were also passed, again with strong EU and cross-regional backing.

I also want to join your report in welcoming the establishment of the European Endowment for Democracy (EED). The first funding decisions have been made, to democracy activists in both the Eastern and Southern Neighbourhoods.

In closing, after taking stock of your work this year, allow me to express some satisfaction at our extensive common achievements. And once again thank you to Mr Kukan, to all the honourable Members, and to this Parliament for all your support in our common endeavour.

 
  
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  Mikael Gustafsson, föredragande av yttrande från utskottet för utveckling. − Herr talman! Jag vill bara nämna två saker från DEVE:s yttrande.

Det första gäller migrationspolitiken. Mänskliga rättigheter är universella och gäller alla människor – även flyktingar.

Det är därför viktigt att EU lever som vi lär. Tragedier som den i Lampedusa undergräver EU:s trovärdighet inom människorättsområdet när vi agerar i internationella sammanhang.

För det andra något om kvinnors rättigheter. Mänskliga rättigheter är universella och gäller alla människor – även kvinnor. Trots detta kränks kvinnors och flickors rättigheter varje dag.

Patriarkatet är som en ihållande epidemi som fråntar kvinnor rätt till ett värdigt liv världen över.

EU måste därför arbeta för att de nya millenniemålen genomsyras av ett tydligt jämställdhetsperspektiv, att de stärker kvinnors rättigheter samt betonar kvinnors sexuella och reproduktiva rättigheter. Jag instämmer därför i mycket av det som rådets representant sa här idag.

 
  
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  Mariya Gabriel, rapporteure pour avis de la commission des droits de la femme et de l'égalité des genres. − Monsieur le Président, je félicite le rapporteur, M. Kukan, pour l'excellence de son travail. Le rapport a su prendre en compte l'avis de la commission FEMM, et je le remercie.

Tout d'abord, je crois qu'il faut se féliciter de la fermeté du tout premier paragraphe du rapport. Les droits de l'homme sont au cœur des relations de l'Union avec l'ensemble des pays tiers, y compris les partenaires stratégiques. C'est là que l'action extérieure de l'Union se différencie des autres diplomaties, et on doit donner de la visibilité à cette réalité. À ce titre, le représentant spécial de l'Union pour les droits de l'homme joue un rôle capital et j'aurais souhaité qu'il soit présent pour ce débat.

Ensuite, la politique de l'Union en matière de droits de l'homme doit continuer à mettre l'accent sur la lutte contre l'impunité, notamment s'agissant des violences sexuelles, surtout quand elles sont utilisées comme une arme de guerre. Nous savons que c'est le cas, en ce moment même, dans plusieurs régions du monde.

Enfin, s'agissant des conflits armés, j'insiste sur les efforts qu'il convient de déployer pour protéger les enfants dans les conflits armés et, tant que faire se peut, leur permettre de continuer d'aller à l'école, ainsi que pour les tenir loin des groupes armés.

Ces points donnent sa valeur ajoutée à la politique européenne des droits de l'homme et je me réjouis que le rapport les renforce.

 
  
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  Inese Vaidere, PPE grupas vārdā. – Godātie kolēģi, godātais Lambrinidis kungs! 2012. gads paliks atmiņā ar dalītām jūtām, jo eiforiju par Arābu pavasari nomainīja vilšanās, redzot, kā norisinās pārmaiņu procesi. Daudzviet dominē spēki, kas tiecas ierobežot sieviešu, minoritāšu, citādi domājošo tiesības.

Ar bažām vērojam notikumus Krievijā, kur jau 2011. gada beigās sākās plaši protesti pret parlamenta vēlēšanu norisi un Putina lēmumu atkal kandidēt uz prezidenta amatu. Ja demonstrācijas viesa cerību par drīzām pārmaiņām, tad Putina ievēlēšana nesa līdzi virkni represīvu likumu. Vārda un pulcēšanās brīvības tika ierobežotas, daudzas pilsoniskās sabiedrības organizācijas padarītas par „ārvalstu aģentiem”, likums par valsts nodevību tik ļoti paplašināts, ka to var attiecināt uz jebkuru Krievijas pilsoni, kurš, piemēram, šeit, Eiropas Parlamentā runātu par cilvēktiesību stāvokli Krievijā. Uzskaitījumu varētu turpināt.

Ar nožēlu jāsecina, ka šāda agresīva politika pret saviem iedzīvotājiem šogad pāraugusi šantāžā pret Krievijas kaimiņvalstīm. To skaidri redzam Ukrainā un citās Austrumu partnerības dalībvalstīs. Paldies!

 
  
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  Μαρία-Ελένη Κοππά, εξ ονόματος της ομάδας S&D. – Κύριε Πρόεδρε, νομίζω ότι δεν μπορούμε σήμερα να ξεκινήσουμε μια τέτοια συζήτηση χωρίς να θυμηθούμε τον Νέλσον Μαντέλα και αυτό που είχε πει, ότι το να αρνείσαι σε κάποιον τα ανθρώπινα δικαιώματα σημαίνει πως αμφισβητείς την ανθρώπινη φύση. Θέλω αρχικά να συγχαρώ τον εισηγητή κ. Kukan για την έκθεσή του αλλά και για την εξαιρετική συνεργασία που είχαμε σε όλη τη διάρκεια της επεξεργασίας του κειμένου. Η φετινή έκθεση απεικονίζει πιστά την πραγματικότητα γύρω από τα ζητήματα ανθρωπίνων δικαιωμάτων στον κόσμο αλλά και τα μεγάλα προβλήματα που προκύπτουν με την προστασία τους. Ο εισηγητής κατάφερε να διατηρήσει τις ισορροπίες ανάμεσα στην σύντομη αρχική μορφή της έκθεσης αλλά και τις πολλές συγκεκριμένες αναφορές σε χώρες ή ξεχωριστές περιπτώσεις που εισήχθησαν με τις τροπολογίες.

Με την ανάληψη των καθηκόντων της η Λαίδη Ashton είχε μιλήσει για την ασημένια κλωστή που πρέπει να διατρέχει όλες τις πολιτικές της Ευρωπαϊκής Ένωσης προς τρίτες χώρες, αναφερόμενη στον σεβασμό των ανθρωπίνων δικαιωμάτων. Όμως, παρά τις διακηρύξεις και παρά την υιοθέτησή τους ως ρυθμιστικού παράγοντα στις σχέσεις και ενέργειες της Ένωσης, δυστυχώς η Ευρώπη συνεχίζει να έχει μια πολιτική δύο μέτρων και δύο σταθμών στο ζήτημα αυτό. Αυτό απαξιώνει την Ένωση και μειώνει το ηθικό της κύρος, και δεν θα πάψουμε να στηλιτεύουμε το γεγονός αυτό.

Ως σοσιαλιστική ομάδα δώσαμε ιδιαίτερη έμφαση στα δικαιώματα των γυναικών και των παιδιών, με εκτεταμένες αναφορές στις παραβιάσεις σε βάρος τους. Οι δύο αυτές ευάλωτες ομάδες συνεχίζουν να στοχοποιούνται σε όλο τον κόσμο και η προστασία τους αποτελεί ύψιστη ανάγκη.

Όμως, για να μπορούμε να συνεχίσουμε να ασχολούμαστε με τα θέματα αυτά, πρέπει να λάβουμε μέριμνα για τους ανθρώπους που παλεύουν κάθε μέρα σε όλες τις χώρες. Τονίζουμε λοιπόν και πάλι την ανάγκη προστασίας των υπερασπιστών των ανθρωπίνων δικαιωμάτων, οι οποίοι δέχονται καθημερινές επιθέσεις με κίνδυνο της ζωής τους σε όλες τις γωνιές του πλανήτη.

Ένα άλλο θέμα που τονίσαμε μέσα από τις τροπολογίες μας είναι η διαδικτυακή λογοκρισία και η αλληλεπίδραση των νέων τεχνολογιών με τα ανθρώπινα δικαιώματα και την κοινωνία των πολιτών, από την οποία εξαρτάται σε μεγάλο βαθμό η ψηφιακή ελευθερία. Θα ήθελα στο σημείο αυτό να επισημάνω τον σημαντικό ρόλο του ειδικού εκπροσώπου για τα ανθρώπινα δικαιώματα, του κ. Σταύρου Λαμπρινίδη, και θα ήθελα να τον καλέσω να συνεχίσει με την ίδια δέσμευση και την ίδια αποφασιστικότητα να εκπροσωπεί την Ένωση στον κόσμο.

Κύριε Λαμπρινίδη, είναι ξεκάθαρο πως χρειάζεται μεγαλύτερη αφοσίωση όλων μας, όχι μόνο σε θεωρητικό επίπεδο αλλά και σε όλες τις μορφές άσκησης πολιτικής από τα ευρωπαϊκά όργανα. Η Ένωση –και αναφέρομαι σε όλους τους θεσμούς της Ευρωπαϊκής Ένωσης, είτε είναι το Κοινοβούλιο είτε το Συμβούλιο είτε ο δικός σας ο θεσμός– πρέπει να είναι πιο συνεπής με τη στάση της απέναντι στα ανθρώπινα δικαιώματα, αν θέλει να γίνει ο παράγοντας θετικής αλλαγής στον τομέα αυτό. Ο δικός σας ρόλος είναι κεντρικός σ' αυτό.

 
  
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  Kristiina Ojuland, on behalf of the ALDE Group. – Mr President, I want to congratulate first the rapporteur, our dear colleague Mr Kukan, for his success in drafting a comprehensive and well-balanced report on human rights in the world.

As reiterated in the report, there was a significant breakthrough in the integration of human rights in the EU’s external relations last year. The adoption of the strategic framework has made it possible for our human rights policies to turn into tangible results that increase the protection of fundamental rights and values. Without any doubt, the EU has become the biggest global power for protecting and promoting human rights in the world. For that reason, we bear an immense moral duty to continue along this path and not close our eyes to serious human rights breaches around the world.

In the European Parliament we talk about the issues. From the cultural genocide in Tibet to the tragic death of Sergei Magnitsky, from the large-scale spying scandal to bloodshed in the Central African Republic, human rights are breached in the worst possible ways in different places around the world, and still there are many who do not care about these issues. Our task as Members of the European Parliament is to open our national governments’ eyes and to ring the bell to wake them up, so that they implement value-based human rights policies. And I was sorry to listen to you, Mr Minister: that was a very formal speech, but you mentioned nothing about the concrete results that Europe has achieved.

I think that Europe’s moral duty is to implement exactly those policies that we have been speaking about here in the European Parliament over the years. Last and not least, at every session here in Strasbourg we talk about three urgent breaches of human rights around the world. Unfortunately, the timing of the debate does not allow many colleagues to be present, and for that reason our position is often not heard enough. I believe this needs to change. In addition, I call for an increase in cooperation between Parliament and the European Union Special Representative for Human Rights, in order to coordinate actions.

 
  
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  Barbara Lochbihler, on behalf of the Verts/ALE Group. – Mr President, this discussion today of the annual report on the occasion of International Human Rights Day is a timely one, and I also welcome our EU Special Representative for Human Rights, Mr Lambrinidis, here to discuss it with us. This annual report provides a solid and comprehensive overview and many valuable recommendations on the EU’s human rights policy. Thank you, Mr Kukan, for your excellent work as rapporteur.


The adoption of a Strategic Framework and Action Plan on Human Rights and Democracy has clearly given all of us an important tool to implement and monitor the EU’s human rights policy, and I urge the EEAS and Member States to stick to their commitments and to effectively implement this action plan. On some of the specific issues, I welcome the call in the report for an EU position on armed drones. I welcome the strong reference in the report to the business and human rights nexus and to the issues of coherence between internal and external EU policies. The EU’s human rights policy statements and commitments cannot and should not be disconnected from its other policies, such as trade and migration, which directly impact on the enjoyment of human rights outside our borders.

I call on the EEAS and Member States to do much more to mainstream human rights in these external polices. In this regard I regret that the entire reference to migration policy, including Frontex and readmission agreements, as well as to other internal EU human rights challenges, such as the situation of the Roma, detention conditions, and the accountability of secret services, were rejected by the Committee on Foreign Affairs. A human rights policy is not one of pick and choose; it starts at home and it should cover all areas, particularly the most difficult ones.

 
  
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  Charles Tannock, on behalf of the ECR Group. – Mr President, on behalf of the ECR Group let me congratulate my friend pán Kukan on his comprehensive report on human rights in the world. I join colleagues in endorsing the bulk of this year’s report, which outlines the potentially beneficial role played by the External Action Service amongst other things, in addition to the perennial human rights probes we face in North Korea, Iran, China, Zimbabwe, Belarus and Russia – particularly Russia with the ongoing shameful Magnitsky case and the Khodorkovsky prolonged incarceration, for instance. The ECR is committed to improving democracy and human rights both within the EU and outside of it.

I recently authored a human rights report on the Sahel in Western Sahara, where I made clear the importance of civic, political, cultural and minority rights, in addition to the importance of linking human rights with developmental policies. As ever, the debate will continue about what constitutes a human right and, as such, I have misgivings about the term universality. All human rights originate in a specific time and cultural context. For instance, I distinguish between fundamental civil and political rights versus the social-economic rights favoured by the Left of this House. Sometimes we must accept that simply because we do approve of a certain cultural practice, such as levirate or sororate marriages in parts of Africa and the Middle East, it does not necessarily constitute a breach of human rights.

Human rights policy must be aimed at helping those most vulnerable, with the least heard voices, live the lives that they have freely chosen without harming others. We must continue to work with the EU instruments and with all our international partners in the democratic world to ensure that this may, some day, become a reality for all on this planet.

 
  
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  Marie-Christine Vergiat, au nom du groupe GUE/NGL. – Monsieur le Président, comme chaque année, nous examinons le rapport sur les droits de l'homme et la démocratie dans le monde.

Je voudrais d'abord remercier notre rapporteur, M. Kukan, et son approche liminaire, refusant l'approche par pays, pour se concentrer sur l'essentiel et éviter les "deux poids, deux mesures". Malheureusement, il n'a pas pu tenir complètement cette ligne. Certains pays cités sont toujours les mêmes pays obsessionnels; d'autres sont curieusement absents, notamment en Afrique et au Moyen-Orient. Pire, on se félicite des accords de libre-échange et notamment des ALECA, alors que nous savons tous combien les clauses sur la démocratie et les droits de l'homme sont bafouées dans la mise en œuvre de ces accords.

Nous aurions aimé une approche plus objective, moins orientée sur les seuls intérêts politique, stratégiques et économiques de l'Union européenne et surtout de ses États membres. Nous aurions aimé que l'Union européenne change ses politiques, notamment au Maghreb, tirant les leçons des soulèvements populaires. Il n'en est rien. Le Parlement européen pourrait faire mieux, beaucoup mieux, être plus exigeant, plus objectif, donner une vision plus opérationnelle de ce qu'il attend de l'Union en matière de droits de l'homme.

Pour toutes ces raisons, nous nous abstiendrons sur ce rapport.

 
  
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  Bastiaan Belder, namens de EFD-Fractie. – Op 30 november publiceerden Shirin Ebadi en Payam Akhavan een opinieartikel in de Washington Post onder de duidelijke titel "In Iran kunnen mensenrechten niet worden opgeofferd voor een nucleaire deal". Deze boodschap vind ik ook terug in paragraaf 70 van het voortreffelijke verslag Kukan.

Ik wens vurig dat alle Europese instellingen, inclusief ons eigen Huis, in toekomstige contacten met officiële vertegenwoordigers van de islamitische Republiek Iran elementaire grondrechten van Iraanse burgers zullen verdedigen en schendingen openhartig concreet benoemen. Omwille van de afsluiting van een alomvattende nucleaire overeenkomst mag de internationale gemeenschap, mag de Europese Unie niet zwijgen over de alarmerende stijging van het aantal executies in de laatste weken, over de aanhoudende vervolging van religieuze en etnische minderheden. Ik denk bijvoorbeeld aan de Iraans-Amerikaanse voorganger Abedini. Ik hoop dat de speciale vertegenwoordiger zich zal inzetten voor zijn vrijlating.

Collega's, neem vooral nota van het VN-rapport over de mensenrechtensituatie in Iran van deze herfst. Daar lees ik bijvoorbeeld op pagina 6 dat sinds begin dit jaar Iran over een speciale machine beschikt die in het openbaar amputatiestraffen versneld uitvoert. Om van te gruwen!

 
  
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  Ewald Stadler (NI). - Herr Präsident! Herr Kollege Kukan, bei allem persönlichen Respekt halte ich diesen Bericht eben nicht für ausgewogen. Ich bringe Ihnen nur drei Beispiele, könnte Ihnen aber gleich zehn weitere nennen. Ich nenne nur die drei prägnantesten. Unter dem Kapitel „Die Todesstrafe und ihre Vollstreckung“ wird zwar Belarus genannt, aber das führende Land, unser Partnerland, das jeweils traurige Führerschaft bei der Vollstreckung der Todesstrafe hat, die Vereinigten Staaten von Amerika, wird mit keiner Silbe genannt!

Weiteres Beispiel: Auf der nächsten Seite wird unter dem Titel „Religionsfreiheit“ allgemein auf die Blasphemiebestimmungen in bestimmten Ländern verwiesen. Aber dort, wo Tausende und Zigtausende Christen vor der Auslöschung ihrer uralten christlichen Gemeinschaften stehen – etwa im Irak, etwa in der Türkei, in Nigeria, oder auch in Syrien –, wird das mit keiner Silbe erwähnt. Die Christen sind überhaupt eine der gefährdetsten religiösen Minderheiten in islamischen Ländern, das spielt nicht einmal am Rande eine Rolle.

Als dritten Punkt rufe ich die heutige Debatte zum Estrela-Bericht wieder in Erinnerung, etwa Ziffer 118, wo in Wirklichkeit versteckt sogar noch Abtreibung gefordert wird, und das Menschenrecht des Ungeborenen auf Leben wird mit keiner Silbe angesprochen.

Das sind nur drei Beispiele für die Einseitigkeit dieses Berichts. Ich könnte Ihnen zehn weitere ohne Weiteres aus dem Stand heraus nennen. Ich werde diesen Bericht ablehnen.

 
  
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  Andrzej Grzyb (PPE). - Gratuluję sprawozdawcy, posłowi Edwardowi Kukanowi! Trudne – jak zwykle – doroczne sprawozdanie w bardzo dobrym wykonaniu. Chciałbym stwierdzić, że Unia zmienia się, by lepiej odpowiadać dzisiejszym światowym wyzwaniom w zakresie ochrony praw człowieka: rozszerzyliśmy mandat m.in. grupy ds. obserwacji wyborów i powołaliśmy też specjalnego przedstawiciela do spraw praw człowieka.

Pragnę podkreślić, że w sprawozdaniu doceniono znaczenie powołania Europejskiego Funduszu na rzecz Demokracji. To jest flagowa inicjatywa polskiej prezydencji. Wprowadzono również stosowne zapisy, które pozwalają na jej finansowanie. Dobrze, że w ślad za zmianami instytucjonalnymi na rzecz praw człowieka idą konkretne środki finansowe, tj. ok. 63 miliardy euro.

Chciałbym również docenić, że poseł Kukan i kontrsprawozdawcy podzielili pogląd, że należy zwrócić uwagę na sytuację i prześladowanie chrześcijan w świecie, m.in. w Syrii czy Koptów w Egipcie.

Chciałbym podkreślić zaangażowanie Unii wynikające z gwałtowności wydarzeń w obszarze śródziemnomorskim, ale temu musi również towarzyszyć proporcjonalne zaangażowanie na Wschodzie. Wydarzenia na Euromajdanie to potwierdzają.

Chciałbym również na koniec podziękować za utrzymanie wprowadzonego przeze mnie w poprawkach apelu do społeczności międzynarodowej o dogłębne i obiektywne wyjaśnienie okoliczności śmierci pierwszego kubańskiego laureata nagrody Sacharowa Oswaldo Payá Sardiñasa.

 
  
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  Richard Howitt (S&D). - Mr President, congratulations to my friend and colleague Mr Kukan on the Annual Human Rights Report. As a fellow rapporteur on EU enlargement, I welcome his emphasis this year on human rights in Europe’s enlargement and neighbourhood policies and I give my full support to his call for Europe to develop a dedicated policy on transitional justice.

On the day this Parliament voted the agreement with Canada, I am proud we resisted the pressure and insisted on a human rights clause in every EU trade agreement, but on the day this Parliament voted down the resolution on sexual health rights I regret the message that ʻClairement les droits des femmes n’étaient pas les droits des hommesʼ.

As the Socialist human rights coordinator, I ask Parliament to support our amendments calling for a mechanism for targeted sanctions, expressing concern about the use of military drones and condemning violations of the rights of LGBT people.

I also endorse our call in paragraph 72 for those responsible for the mass graves in Kashmir to be brought to justice and, after the championing of the UN guiding principles and the participation in last week’s UN Forum on Business and Human Rights, our resolution tonight reiterates the demand for an EU report on their implementation by Member States.

I urge agreement with the current Commission proposal on non-financial reporting by companies to give real effect to that commitment and I thank sincerely Special Representative Lambrinidis for his personal commitment in this matter.

Finally, I join with the President-in-Office and my friend, Ms Koppa, to recall on the day that we celebrate the life of Nelson Mandela that those who question human rights question his values when he said: ʻTo deny people their human rights is to challenge their very humanityʼ.

 
  
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  Mirosław Piotrowski (ECR). - Panie Przewodniczący! W przedstawionym tekście sprawozdania dotyczącym praw człowieka na świecie w roku 2012 Parlament nasz odnosi się m.in. do karygodnej sytuacji, czyli prześladowania chrześcijan, w tym wypadku w Egipcie i w Syrii. W art. 54 potępiamy przemoc ekstremistów wobec mniejszości, w tym wobec społeczności koptyjskich chrześcijan, a w art. 56 potępiamy prześladowania chrześcijan i pozostałych mniejszości religijnych na Bliskim Wschodzie. Dobrze, że zapisy te znalazły się w tym dokumencie, ale jak wielokrotnie podkreślałem, to zbyt mało – i tu zgadzam się z posłem Stadlerem. Przypomnijmy, że według organizacji Open Doors ok. 100 milionów chrześcijan jest prześladowanych z powodu swojej wiary, co sprawia, że to chrześcijanie są najbardziej prześladowaną i dyskryminowaną grupą wyznaniową na świecie. Chrześcijanie są mordowani, według innych danych, co 5 minut na świecie dochodzi do zabójstwa chrześcijanina.

Mam nadzieję, że zapisy naszej rezolucji staną się punktem wyjścia do podjęcia szerszej akcji mającej na celu skuteczną ochronę chrześcijan na świecie.

 
  
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  Νικόλαος Σαλαβράκος (EFD). - Κύριε Πρόεδρε, έχω την άποψη ότι η έννοια του ανθρωπίνου δικαιώματος δεν είναι στατική, είναι δυναμική και επομένως η απαρίθμησή τους είναι ενδεικτική. Συμφωνώ λοιπόν τόσο με τον εισηγητή όσο και με τον εκπρόσωπο του Συμβουλίου στην απαρίθμηση των ανθρωπίνων δικαιωμάτων και στα όσα περί αυτών και της προστασίας τους έχουν γίνει. Βεβαίως συμφωνώ ότι στον χώρο της Ευρωπαϊκής Ένωσης έχουμε φθάσει σε ένα ικανοποιητικό επίπεδο από πλευράς προστασίας των ανθρωπίνων δικαιωμάτων, το οποίο διασαλεύεται την τελευταία τετραετία, διότι καταπατώνται ανθρώπινα δικαιώματα λόγω της οικονομικής δυσπραγίας των μέτρων λιτότητας και αυξάνεται η φτώχεια.

Πολλές κυβερνήσεις στην Ευρώπη επιβάλλοντας μέτρα λιτότητας έχουν ξεχάσει τις υποχρεώσεις τους που απορρέουν από τις ευρωπαϊκές συνθήκες για τα ανθρώπινα δικαιώματα ιδίως τα κοινωνικά και οικονομικά δικαιώματα των πιο ευάλωτων ομάδων και την ανάγκη να εξασφαλιστεί το δικαίωμα στην ίση μεταχείριση και κυρίως το δικαίωμα στην εργασία. Η ανεργία των νέων έχει φτάσει σε τραγικά επίπεδα, ενώ είκοσι εκατομμύρια άνθρωποι στην ευρωζώνη δεν έχουν απασχόληση. Στη Μεσόγειο άνθρωποι μεταφέρονται σαν ζώα και πνίγονται, έχουμε διωγμούς χριστιανών, πρέπει να δούμε τον άνθρωπο και να λάβουμε σημαντικότερα μέτρα, και προσβλέπω στη βοήθεια και τη συνδρομή του κ. Λαμπρινίδη.

 
  
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  Filip Kaczmarek (PPE). - Panie Przewodniczący! Chciałbym podkreślić to, co sprawozdawca umieścił w ustępie pierwszym swojego sprawozdania. Uznajemy w nim, „że prawa człowieka znajdują się w centrum stosunków Unii Europejskiej ze wszystkimi państwami trzecimi”. To powinna być nie tylko ważna deklaracja, ale również rzeczywistość realizowana w praktycznych, codziennych działaniach.

W ustępie pierwszym uznajemy też, że polityka Unii Europejskiej w dziedzinie praw człowieka „musi (...) unikać podwójnych standardów w polityce zagranicznej”. Tak, to też bardzo ważne. Każde odstępstwo od tej zasady podważa wiarygodność Unii Europejskiej. Podwójne standardy w pewnym sensie zabijają koncepcję praw człowieka.

I trzeci istotny zapis, też z ustępu pierwszego, to stwierdzenie, że „polityka Unii Europejskiej w dziedzinie praw człowieka musi (...) zapewniać spójność między zewnętrznymi i wewnętrznymi strategiami politycznymi”. Bez takiej spójności nasza wiarygodność też będzie bardzo niewielka.

 
  
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  Joanna Senyszyn (S&D). - Panie Przewodniczący! Gratuluję mojemu koledze bardzo dobrego sprawozdania. Jednym z największych wyzwań strategii rozszerzenia na lata 2012-2013 jest poszanowanie praw mniejszości. To problem globalny, bo na świecie już jedna na trzy osoby jest częścią mniejszości w swoim kraju. Tragiczne wydarzenia w Syrii, Libii, Mali pokazały, że aby skuteczniej reagować na kryzysy, trzeba zmienić unijne wytyczne w sprawie międzynarodowego prawa humanitarnego oraz zreformować Radę Bezpieczeństwa ONZ.

Kolejny aspekt to nagminne łamanie praw kobiet, w tym przemoc seksualna. Przykładowo od wybuchu syryjskiego konfliktu zgwałconych zostało ponad 6 tysięcy kobiet. W zakresie zwalczania przemocy istotna jest spójność między wewnętrznymi i zewnętrznymi działaniami Unii. Powinniśmy przystąpić do konwencji o zapobieganiu i zwalczaniu przemocy wobec kobiet. Dziękuję Komisji za podejmowane w tej sprawie działania. Konieczna jest skuteczniejsza realizacja milenijnych celów rozwoju związanych z równością płci, opieką zdrowotną, edukacją, prawami seksualnymi i reprodukcyjnymi. Dziękuję również Stavrosowi za jego pracę, zaangażowanie i efektywną współpracę z Parlamentem.

 
  
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  Sajjad Karim (ECR). - Mr President, I would like to start by thanking Mr Kukan for incorporating my amending paragraph. If it were not for the amendments in addition to paragraph 72, I am afraid that Kashmir and the plight of Kashmiris would have been completely omitted from this report.

It is this House, out of the EU institutions, that keeps the suffering of the Kashmiri people on the agenda. It is not the Council, it is not the Commission. I am afraid that our flag ought to represent something for which we can be proud – and in many instances it does – but, when it comes to the issue of Kashmir, it represents nothing other than double standards. That is something that I am afraid the people of Kashmir will remind us about one day.

I welcome Mr Stavros Lambrinidis to the Chamber today. Turning to the plight of Christian minorities, both he and I heard directly from Coptic Christian minorities in Egypt about the suffering that they are having to face today. The plight of so many people like them is now becoming so desperate, but yet we as a Union are simply not doing what is necessary to help alleviate the problems they are suffering.

 
  
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  Bernd Posselt (PPE). - Herr Präsident! Anders als der Kollege Tannock bin ich überzeugt von der Universalität der Menschenrechte und halte diese für einen Kernpunkt unseres politischen und geistigen Lebens.

Aber gerade weil das so ist, weil der Mensch ein Mensch ist und deshalb Rechte hat – es gibt keine chinesischen und asiatischen und südamerikanischen Menschen, sondern es gibt nur Menschen – gerade weil das so ist, müssen wir diesen Menschenrechtsbegriff auch sauber halten. Deshalb sollten wir darauf verzichten, die Menschenrechtspolitik zu einem ideologischen Schlachtfeld zu machen, wie das heute z. B. die Kollegin Estrela getan hat.

Ich sage kristallklar: Menschenrechtspolitik muss im Konsens erfolgen. Sie muss aufbauen auf der Allgemeinen Erklärung der Menschenrechte, deren Jahrestag wir heute begehen, auf der Menschenrechtskonvention des Europarates und der Charta der Grundrechte der Europäischen Union. Da haben wir eine saubere und klare Basis, um uns für das einzusetzen, was wirklich universal ist und nicht ideologisch oder kulturell.

 
  
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  Alf Svensson (PPE). - Herr talman! Vi har tidigare här idag talat om Ukraina och situationen där.

Slår man på TV:n så handlar det mycket om Centralafrikanska Republiken. Två skilda länder förvisso, men en sak gäller medborgarna i båda dessa länder och i alla övriga länder – att människan har ett okränkbart värde och att mänskliga fri- och rättigheter ska gälla var och en, var hon än bor. Och precis som det sades här tidigare, är dessa värden universella.

Det är inte några värden och någon värdighet som en president kan dela ut, och inte heller ta tillbaka, utan det gäller människan för att hon är människa. Jag tror det är utomordentligt viktigt att EU håller fast vid att det är universella värden, och inte börjar relativisera dessa värden utifrån språk, kultur, religion, tradition, och vad vi än får för oss att räkna upp.

Det är tillfredsställande, herr talman, att vi nu har en särskild representant för mänskliga fri- och rättigheter. Själv skulle jag gärna se att varje regering hade en sådan ministerrepresentant.

 
  
 

Uwagi z sali

 
  
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  Csaba Sógor (PPE). - Nagy örömömre szolgál, hogy a jelentés kéri az Uniót, hogy a bővítési folyamat során is követelje meg a nemzeti kisebbségekhez tartozó személyek jogainak aktív védelmét az oktatás, az egészségügyi ellátás, a szociális és egyéb közszolgáltatások tekintetében. Hangsúlyozza továbbá, hogy a tagjelölt országok tegyenek lépéseket a nemzeti kisebbségekhez tartozó személyeknek a társadalmi, gazdasági, politikai és kulturális élet minden területén való teljes és tényleges egyenlőségének biztosítása iránt. Ezek a kívánalmak mindenképpen üdvözlendőek, ám sajnálatosan meg kell állapítanom, hogy a tagországok tekintetében az EU már nem kéri számon ezeket az intézkedéseket. Ez a tagjelöltek számára azt sugallja, csak addig kell figyelniük ezekre a kérdésekre, ameddig csatlakoznak, később akár vissza is vonhatják a nemzeti kisebbségek számára kedvező szabályokat. Sajnos volt már erre példa, így nem alaptalan az aggodalom. A megoldás a koppenhágai kritériumok uniós joganyagba való beemelése lenne, amelynek kezdeményezését meg kell fontolnia a Bizottságnak.

 
  
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  Izaskun Bilbao Barandica (ALDE). - Señor Presidente, en este debate quiero llamar la atención sobre la necesidad de insistir en el cumplimiento de las resoluciones internacionales sobre el Sáhara Occidental. Este Parlamento se ha referido a ellas en varios informes durante los últimos años, sin que por el momento se observen avances significativos.

Por el contrario, el propio Relator Especial de las Naciones Unidas sobre las torturas y otros tratos o penas crueles, inhumanos o degradantes está denunciando graves retrocesos en materia de derechos humanos en un territorio ocupado en el que deben cumplirse clarísimas resoluciones internacionales.

Por eso he suscrito la enmienda 23, que pide el respeto de los derechos fundamentales del pueblo del Sáhara Occidental, el respeto de su derecho a la autodeterminación de acuerdo con las resoluciones de las Naciones Unidas, la liberación de los presos vinculados a este conflicto y la apertura del territorio ocupado a los observadores independientes, las ONG y los medios de comunicación. Necesitamos un mecanismo internacional de seguimiento eficiente en la zona.

 
  
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  Seán Kelly (PPE). - Mr President, I think the European Union has a reputation, rightly so, for being the biggest contributor to humanitarian development aid worldwide and indeed also to the promotion of human rights. In this sense we are probably in a better position to do it than anyone else, but sometimes, when we discuss urgency motions here on Thursday afternoons, I am often surprised at the fact that we continue to give support, of one kind or another, to countries where human rights are grossly disrespected.

I think we should be tougher with these countries, to make it clear that our aid is conditional on respect for human rights. Sometimes I think we skip over that a little and certainly it is something we should demand, that countries should sign up to conventions and observe them, and especially so in relation to respect for women in many places of the world where it is far below any normal expectations.

 
  
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  Laima Liucija Andrikienė (PPE). - Mr President, I would like to thank the rapporteur for a comprehensive and detailed report which underlines the universality of human rights. Promoting human rights around the world is rightly a cornerstone of the EU’s external relations. I am also grateful that Mr Kukan included my amendment on Russia, and in particular my concern about Mikhail Khodorkovsky, a concern shared by so many of us in this House. This Christmas will be his last behind bars after 10 years of injustice, political persecution and imprisonment. We eagerly await his release next August. Russia badly needs a change of direction. It needs people of the character and calibre of Mikhail Khodorkovsky to take the country forward.

Finally, the report mentions another former Yukos employee, Vasily Aleksanyan, who died after being tortured. His case is a stark reminder that some people in Russia pay for their principles not only with their freedom but with their lives.

 
  
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  Andrej Plenković (PPE). - Gospodine predsjedavajući, čestitam kolegi Kukanu na kvalitetnom izvješću o ljudskim pravima u svijetu 2012. i politici Europske unije, posebno s obzirom da je evo baš danas, 10. prosinca, dan kada obilježavamo 65 godina od potpisivanja Univerzalne deklaracije o ljudskim pravima, a i u svijetlu činjenice da je baš Europska unija 2012. primila i Nobelovu nagradu za doprinos u promicanju mira i povjerenja, demokracije i ljudskih prava.

Aktivnost Europske unije na širenju i poštovanju ljudskih prava u globalnom kontekstu jedan je od naših prioriteta. Ona je dio naše vanjske politike, ona je dio naših međunarodnih ugovora, a ona je i dio stalnog nastojanja da putem cjelovitih dokumenata koje smo 2012. prvi put objedinili naglasimo stratešku važnost univerzalne zaštite ljudskih prava i pritom smatram da će nam i posebni predstavnik za ljudska prava i njegove aktivnosti g. Lambrinidis povećati vidljivost. U tom kontekstu cijenim veliku aktivnost Europskog parlamenta baš na jačanju ljudskih prava i promicanja aktivnostima niza parlamentarnih odbora.

 
  
 

(Koniec uwag z sali)

 
  
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  Vytautas Leškevičius, President-in-Office of the Council, on behalf of the Vice-President of the Commission/High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. − Mr President, honourable Members, I thank you all very much for your comments. You have raised a number of issues and concerns which illustrate the importance that you attach to EU action on human rights. While I would have been delighted to have asked Stavros to share his expertise with you directly, we are told that the internal rules of Parliament do not allow for this. We have however taken a very careful note of Parliamentʼs recommendations and will try to incorporate them into every EU policy strand.

Now let me comment on a couple of issues that you raised.

First on Iran: the deal the EU contributed to reaching with Iran is a major step towards a more peaceful world and the nuclear negotiations did not prevent the EU from condemning the high number of executions carried out there. The EU has endeavoured to address both individual cases and general issues in its action, calling on Iran to respect the international human rights obligations it has signed up to.

Certainly many of you mentioned the tragedies related to refugees, particularly the last, very tragic, event off the coast of Lampedusa. Let me just remind you that, as you know, the December European Council discussed the report on the Task Force for the Mediterranean set up after the recent tragedy off the coast of Lampudusa and a set of concrete actions will be taken to face this huge problem.

And last but not least, some words on Russia. We fully share Parliament’s concerns about worsening conditions for human rights defenders, independent journalists and civil society at large in Russia. Let me say that the Vice-President of the Commission/High Representative issued a number of statements expressing our concerns with regard to these worrying developments.

In addition to that we openly reiterate these concerns during our regular political dialogue. The regular human rights consultations – the last round of which took place on 28 November – allowed for frank and detailed discussions on these matters, in which we raised systematic issues and individual cases of concern as well as questions about particular individual cases referred to in Parliamentʼs report.

I would like particularly to mention that we continue to support NGOs financially, notably through the EIDHR instruments.

And by way of concluding, let me simply say that with your support we will continue to reinforce our actions in this area in the future.

 
  
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  Eduard Kukan, rapporteur. − Mr President, this has been a very good debate and I will only make a couple of remarks.

I will start with Mr Lambrinidis. An overwhelming majority of the speakers addressed you or mentioned your name, and I am sure that I am expressing the wish and desire of all of us present in this room when I say that you should be given the floor to address us. But, as Minister Leškevičius said, the existing rules do not allow this. I heard this from a very good source. Rules are rules, but if the rules are not contributing positively, I think it is worth thinking about changing them. But I am glad that you were present here. Your aura and the positive energy which you radiate nevertheless made a contribution to our debate.

In a way it is unfair to you, Stavros. You have been sitting here all the time listening very attentively to what we all have to say, you cannot say anything yourself, and afterwards you will have to deliver what we have discussed and what we have agreed upon here. I think this is unfair, and next time I am sure it would be only fair to give you the floor and a full opportunity to participate in our discussion.

Concerning the contributions made by Members, I would like to thank those who expressed their support for the report. I really do appreciate that. For those who criticised it and said that the report is unbalanced or not objective, what can I say? In this world we do not live in a vacuum but in a political reality. Given the complex character of the issue of human rights, I do not know whether the most capable magician could reconcile all the political positions or standpoints which we all have. I did not expect my report to satisfy everybody, because that is simply not possible. I have tried to do as well as possible, even when accepting or rejecting the amendments, even those from GUE/NGL Members, I have taken several additions from them because I really think that to have the majority of this House behind this report is very important.

Another thing I would like to mention is that next year the new Action Plan will be adopted and will start functioning from 2015. Parliament should use this opportunity because it will be consulted. We should take it as a new opportunity to strengthen our role in the whole human rights agenda.

I would like to remain friends with Vice-President Protasiewicz so I will finish my intervention now.

 
  
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  Przewodniczący. − Zamykam debatę.

Głosowanie odbędzie się w środę 11 grudnia 2013 r. o godz. 12.20.

Oświadczenia pisemne (art. 149)

 
  
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  Luís Paulo Alves (S&D), por escrito. O relatório sobre o instrumento financeiro para a promoção da democracia e dos direitos humanos a nível mundial é importante porque se trata da gestão de uma das mais importantes missões da UE no mundo que convém continuar a apoiar. Acredito que este instrumento possa fazer com que a UE tenha uma abordagem mais eficaz na defesa dos direitos humanos e da democracia, nomeadamente porque permite prestar assistência sem ser necessário o consentimento dos Estados-Membros, o que, tratando-se deste tipo de intervenção, se justifica inteiramente.

 
  
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  Kinga Gál (PPE), írásban. Éves emberi jogi jelentésünkről nem is vitázhatnánk jobbkor, mint az Emberi Jogok Világnapján. Elsősorban gratulálni szeretnék a jelentéstevőnek, hiszen már a jelentés tervezete is egy olyan kiegyensúlyozott és átfogó szöveg volt, ami jó alapjául szolgált további munkánkhoz. Úgy gondolom, hogy az emberi jogok védelmének területén kiemelt figyelemmel kell kísérnünk a gyermekek és fiatalok helyzetét úgy a csatlakozó, mint a harmadik országok esetében. Egyrészt fontosnak látom az oktatási rendszerek javítását, adott esetben a megfelelő kétnyelvű oktatás biztosítását. Emellett pedig úgy gondolom, hogy az erős civil társadalmak kialakulásában fontos szerepe lehet annak, ha megnyitunk tanulmányi csereprogramokat harmadik országbeli fiatalok számára. Üdvözlöm továbbá, hogy a végső szöveg kiemelt figyelmet fordít a nemzeti kisebbségek kérdésére is. A nemzeti kisebbségek és a többségi nemzet közötti gyakorlatban megvalósuló egyenlőség biztosítása elengedhetetlen. Igaz ez az élet minden területére - legyen szó szociális, gazdasági, politikai vagy kulturális életről.

 
Aġġornata l-aħħar: 27 ta' Frar 2014Avviż legali