Democracy and Human Rights

Human rights, democracy, and the rule of law are core principles of the European Union. Respect for human rights is a prerequisite for countries seeking to join the Union and a requirement for countries concluding trade and other agreements with the EU.

The EU’s human rights policy focuses on civil, political, economic, social, and cultural rights. It also seeks to promote the rights of women and children, persons with disabilities, minorities, and displaced persons. Particular areas of concern include human rights as they relate to asylum and migration, racism, xenophobia, and other discrimination against minorities.

The EU publicly condemns human rights violations wherever they occur, appealing to non-EU nations to end such violations. Since 1992, all trade and cooperation agreements with non-EU countries contain clauses making human rights an essential element of the relations between the parties.

The EU’s extensive human rights toolbox also includes human rights guidelines, demarches, and declarations; Council decisions; human rights dialogues with more than 30 non-EU nations; and the inclusion of human rights and gender components in Common Security and Defense Policy missions and operations.

Learn more about the EU and Human Rights on the EEAS website

Or download EU’s Annual Report on Human Rights and Democracy in the World in 2012


Delegation’s Human Rights 
Focal Point:

Gisella Gori
Senior Political Advisor
Email Address: gisella[dot]gori[at]eeas.europa.eu

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European Instrument for Democracy & Human Rights

The EU provides direct funding for human rights and democratization through the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR). Launched in 1994, EIDHR’s annual budget of €155 million supports activities including global campaigns against the death penalty, the rehabilitation of torture victims, assistance for human rights defenders at risk, and support for free media organizations.... Read more

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Human Trafficking

Trafficking in human beings is one of the most lucrative organized crime activities on the planet. Discover what the EU is doing to fight this modern-day scourge.... Read more

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Torture and Capital Punishment

Abolition of the death penalty is a prerequisite for EU membership, and the European Union actively promotes a global moratorium on the use of the death penalty. Learn how the EU unconditionally supports the right to life and the right not to be subject to cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment or punishment.... Read more