Council expresses its commitment to EU accession to the European Convention on Human Rights
The Council reaffirmed its commitment to EU accession to the European Convention on Human Rights by adopting, on October 7, supplementary negotiating directives aiming at thee swift resumption of negotiations with the Council of Europe.
Accession of the EU to the European Convention of Human Rights is a legal obligation based on the Treaty on the European Union. By acceding, the EU will join the community of 47 European states that are parties to the Convention. These States have agreed to have the European Court of Human Rights supervise their compliance with the Convention. The European Union is thus in line to become the 48th Contracting Party to the Convention.
EU accession is a matter of high significance for all Europeans, as it will ensure sound and consistent fundamental rights protection across Europe. Accession will make it possible for individuals and undertakings to appeal to the European Court of Human Rights for review of acts adopted by the EU institutions. Accession will also emphasize the EU’s commitment to common values, democracy and rule of law. Respect for human rights, the rule of law and democratic principles at national level is also a key element in enhancing rules-based multilateral cooperation.
In 2013, provisional agreement was reached on the text of the draft accession agreement between the EU and the States Parties to the European Convention on Human Rights. However, the Court of Justice of the European Union held in its Opinion 2/13 of 18 December 2014 that certain parts of the draft accession agreement were not compatible with EU law.
The Council has repeatedly expressed its commitment to take forward the work on EU accession to the European Convention on Human Rights. At the same time, it has pointed out the need to find sound solutions to all the legal issues raised by the Court in its opinion of December 2014.
Inquiries: Maria Guseff, Legal Counsellor, Unit for EU and Treaty Law, tel. +358 295 351 158 and Jenna Oja, Legal and Institutional Affairs, Permanent Representation of Finland to the European Union in Brussels, tel. +32 470 914 276
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