|Author (Person)||Cronin, David|
|Series Title||European Voice|
|Series Details||Vol.7, No.45, 6.12.01, p4|
THE European Parliament's claim to be taking the lead role in fighting human rights abuses "more reflects the past than the present", three leading campaign groups claimed this week.
Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) are protesting the decision by the leaders of the assembly's political groups not to form a parliamentary committee which focuses primarily on repression throughout the world. The campaigners are urging MEPs to press for the establishment of such a body when the matter is considered by the full assembly on 12 December.
Dick Oosting, head of Amnesty's EU office, said it is "very noticeable" that the Parliament's role has been reduced to "ad hoc activism, resolutions and missions".
The work of its foreign affairs committee is concentrated more on enlargement and defence issues than human rights, his group believes, while coordination between it and the committee on civil liberties is "virtually non-existent".
The campaigners also claim the Parliament is failing to hold the European Commission and Council of Ministers to account for their policies on human rights.
Oosting cited the softening of EU criticism of abuses perpetrated by Russian troops in Chechnya resulting from Vladimir Putin's involvement in the international coalition against terrorism as one example of "human rights taking a back seat" since the 11 September atrocities.
"There are very worrying trends that deserve parliamentary scrutiny," he added. "Unfortunately, we haven't seen a sufficiently comprehensive approach by the Parliament."
The European Parliament's claim to be taking the lead role in fighting human rights abuses 'more reflects the past than the present', according to three leading campaign groups.
|Subject Categories||Values and Beliefs|