The European Union – number 48?

The EU's accession to the European Convention on Human Rights: Joint statement on behalf of the Council of Europe and the European Commission

Council of Europe's Agora building in Strasbourg, France. Foto: Gzen92 / Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY-SA 4.0int

(CoE / Red) – The Secretary General of the 47-nation Council of Europe, Marija Pejčinović Burić, and the EU Commission’s Vice President for Values and Transparency, Věra Jourová, have issued the following statement concerning the resumption of negotiations on the European Union’s accession to the European Convention on Human Rights on Tuesday 29 September:

“The European Union’s accession to the European Convention on Human Rights will be an important milestone in the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms across Europe.

For 70 years, the Convention has been a unique and invaluable tool protecting millions of Europeans and supporting our shared values of human rights, democracy and the rule of law.

The EU’s accession to the Convention, which is a legal requirement under the Lisbon Treaty, will further strengthen human rights protection in Europe.

Accession will help to guarantee coherence and consistency between EU law and the Convention system. It will also ensure that the EU is subjected to the same international oversight on human rights as its 27 member states and 20 other Council of Europe countries which are not members of the EU.

It means that citizens will be able to challenge the EU’s actions before the European Court of Human Rights. The EU will also be able to join its member states in proceedings at the European Court of Human Rights concerning alleged violations resulting from EU law.

The European Convention on Human Rights represents everything that the Council of Europe and the European Union stand for. In these difficult times, the resumption of these crucial negotiations sends a strong signal about the commitment of our two organisations, and our member states, to the fundamental values that we cherish.

We very much hope that the negotiations can be brought to a speedy and successful conclusion for the benefit of Europe as a whole.”

The accession to the Convention will be a milestone in the history of the European institutions. This step increases the importance and visibility of the Council of Europe whose role as a diplomatic mediator will become more and more important. So, it is about time to act – let’s hope that the negotiations will be terminated soon.

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