"EU Members who infringe fundamental rights must be held to account", say S&D MEPs

The S&D Group in the European Parliament welcomed the resolution on the situation of fundamental rights in the European Union (2013-2014). It includes a mechanism to monitor and measure infringements of democracy, the rule of law and fundamental rights in EU Member States. The S&D Group has long called for such a mechanism, backed up by increased powers for the Commission to issue formal warnings and corrective measures for persistent offenders.

S&D MEP and shadow rapporteur, Péter Niedermüller said: 

"We welcomed the adoption of the resolution on the situation of fundamental rights in the EU. At the same time, we were surprised at the attitude of the EPP to present an alternative motion for resolution which went against the compromises reached after months of cross-party negotiations and would have considerably weakened the protection of fundamental rights of vulnerable groups who suffer the most from discrimination. It is a damaging situation for the European Parliament. However, the majority of the European Parliament stood up for the rights of all the people in the European Union." 

"The adopted resolution recalls that upholding the values enshrined in Article 2 of TEU is crucial for the proper functioning of the European Union, since they guarantee that Member States uphold all rights and obligations deriving from the Treaties, they also ensure the mutual trust between Member States and their respective legal systems. Accordingly, the resolution calls for a new mechanism to monitor Member States' compliance with democracy, the rule of law and fundamental rights that is automatically triggered if a Member State is in breach of fundamental values and rights in order to prevent systematic threats to materialise. This will help support the most vulnerable groups in our society and ensure all EU citizens are protected from abuse."

Birgit Sippel, S&D Group Spokesperson for the Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs, added:

"Today we have sent a message that we are a Union based on principles of decency and equality and we will not accept any form of discrimination against any of our citizens. We have ensured strong condemnation of all forms of discrimination against LGBTI people and called for a roadmap on LGBTI rights. In far too many countries across our union, people are still discriminated against because of the people they love, while lifestyles are condemned rather than celebrated. We have made it clear we stand by these individuals wherever they are in Europe." 

"We also welcome the report's condemnation of the lack of humanity shown on European borders, showing those fleeing war and persecution not compassion but walls and barbed wire. Hopefully national governments will listen to this message and finally agree to a humane response to the refugee crisis."