The Renew Europe Group in the European Parliament calls on the EU and its Member States to expand the scope of the EU Global Human Rights Sanctions Regime (EU Magnitsky Act) and to include acts of corruption. If the Council fails to do so, at least an EU - anti corruption sanctions regime must be considered.
In a resolution on the EU global human rights sanctions regime, today adopted by the Committee on Foreign Affairs, Renew Europe asked for a flexible and reactive regime that also includes corruption, with decisions made by qualified majority voting instead of unanimity. The European Parliament should have a scrutiny role and civil society should be properly involved in discussions on the regime concerned.
Renew Europe also condemns any countersanctions used by certain regimes to intimidate the EU and its leading role on defending human rights.
MEP Hilde Vautmans (Open Vld, Belgium), Renew Europe’s coordinator in Foreign Affairs Committee, who negotiated the resolution on behalf of our Group, said:
“The EU global human rights sanctions regime has proven its worth in the past few months, we have halted impunity for serious human rights abuses in different parts of the world. At the same time we have seen its flaws too, notably the paralysis in the Council because of the unanimity requirement. This is damaging for the EU but also risks undermining the deterrent nature of the regime. This resolution is a rallying call of Parliament to the Council and Commission to be more ambitious on human rights. It is not up to one member state to determine whether or not the EU stands up for human rights.”
MEP Soraya Rodríguez Ramos (Ciudadanos, Spain), Renew Europe Group’s Coordinator in the Subcommittee on Human Rights, added:
“While we welcome the inclusion of some crimes such as sexual violence, we call on the EU to also take steps to recognise the close link between corruption and human rights violations. A strong foreign policy needs appropriate tools to be able to timely confront and respond to the most horrible crimes of today's world. That is why the requirement of unanimity within the Council does not help us to move forward. Human rights cannot be subject to veto.”
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