Fundamental rights and the European Convention on Human Rights
Human rights are fundamental to Europe’s founding principles and at the heart of all our actions, both at home and in the EU’s foreign affairs policy. The S&Ds have always been committed to defending human rights and a key priority for us is to put pressure on the Commission to make sure the EU signs up to the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) as soon as possible. This needs to be done in a way that is compatible with the fundamental rights and European values set out in the Treaties, but would be a historic step for Europe and send a strong signal about our commitment to human rights.
We are very concerned about the Commission’s failure to respond to the growing threats to democracy and fundamental freedoms in some EU countries. We need urgent action on these issues, including careful monitoring of fundamental rights, media freedom and the rule of law throughout the EU. The Commission must work on initiatives to tackle discrimination – whether it’s based on gender, racial or ethnic origin, sexual orientation or identity, religion or belief, disability or age.