College meeting: Human Rights and Democracy: striving for dignity and equality around the world
Daily News 25 / 03 / 2020
Source: European Commission Spokesperson's Service
Today, the European Commission and the High Representative set out the priorities and way ahead on Human rights and Democracy, adopting a Joint Communication and the EU Action Plan on Human Rights and Democracy for 2020-2024. Further, they put forward a joint proposal to the Council to act by qualified majority voting on issues falling under the Action Plan, reflecting the strategic importance of the Action Plan. It aims at fostering faster and more efficient decision-making on human rights and democracy. Changing geopolitics, transition to the digital age, environmental degradation and climate change pose important challenges, but they are also opportunities to foster positive transformation towards more democratic and inclusive societies. Today's proposal sets out steps for the EU and its Member States to embrace new realities and act together in line with the EU's founding values. High Representative/Vice-President Josep Borrell said: “Crisis situations, as the one we are living with the coronavirus' pandemic, pose particular challenges to the effective exercise and protection of human rights, and put the functioning of our democracies to the test. This is an opportunity for Europe to stand up for its values and interests. We need the courage and ambition to tackle challenges together. Today, we propose an ambitious plan to defend human rights and democracy all over the world by using all our resources faster and more effectively.” Building on the achievements of the previous Action Plans, the new Action Plan identifies the priorities and key actions for the next five years and commits to ensure that the EU plays a greater role in promoting and defending human rights and democracy throughout its external action. The full press release and a Q&A are available online.