IN THE SPOTLIGHT
EaP CSF Proposal to the European Council Special Meeting to institute a new European Commissioner for Civil Society and Human Rights
The Steering Committee of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum has submitted a proposal to the European Council Special Meeting on August 30, calling for the appointment of a new European Commissioner for Civil Society and Human Rights. The proposal is addressed to the President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker and President of the European Council, Herman van Rompuy, as well as heads of government and ambassadors of EU member states attending the meeting. The office of the new commissioner would be responsible for civil society and human rights within the EU and beyond, and working hand in hand with the European Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy, and with the European External Action Service.
Furthermore, the Steering Committee calls on all Eastern Partner countries to sign a Charter of Fundamental Rights and Freedoms – enshrining promotion and protection of human rights, freedoms of association, assembly, and speech, safeguards for independent media, and the right to participate in free and fair elections.
The proposal strongly condemns the persistence of political prisoners in Belarus, and the increasing number of political prisoners in Azerbaijan, including colleagues of the Civil Society Forum who have been imprisoned for defending democratic standards and human rights.
In view of the ongoing war in Ukraine’s eastern regions, the proposal further urges “EU member states and the EU Council to build on the sanctions imposed to date in a bid to send a clear, consistent and united signal to the Russian government that its military interference in Ukraine - its annexation of Crimea, arming of separatist forces and direct military incursions in eastern Ukraine - is illegal and unacceptable.”
Summary of Key Points: