Rapporteurs welcome EU’s renewed commitment to EU accession to the European Convention on Human Rights

Two rapporteurs of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) have welcomed the adoption by the EU Council of supplementary negotiating directives aimed at the swift resumption of negotiations with the Council of Europe on EU accession to the European Convention on Human Rights, taking into account the issues raised by the European Court of Justice in its 2014 opinion. Negotiations started in 2010 as a legal obligation under Article 6(2) of the Lisbon Treaty.

Titus Corlatean (Romania, SOC), rapporteur on “Ten years after the Lisbon Treaty: strengthening Council of Europe and European Union co-operation”, and Tiny Kox (Netherlands, UEL), rapporteur on the “Role and mission of the Parliamentary Assembly: main challenges for the future”, were speaking during a meeting of PACE’s Committee on Political Affairs and Democracy in Berlin on 14 November.

“This is an important step toward fulfilment of the Lisbon Treaty’s objectives of reinforcing the common values upheld by the Council of Europe and the EU, improving the effectiveness of EU law, and enhancing the coherence of fundamental rights protection in Europe, and also has important geopolitical consequences for Europe as a whole,” said Mr Corlatean.

“Our Assembly also issued a strong call to this end in Resolution 2277 (2019) on the ‘Role and mission of the Parliamentary Assembly: main challenges for the future’, which also highlighted the need to step up political dialogue between the Assembly and the EU. On 4 April in Brussels I discussed this personally with President Juncker, who has reinvigorated work in this area,” added Mr Kox.

“EU accession to an external, independent, collective mechanism of human rights protection, such as the ECHR, would create an organic integration and enhanced coherence between the EU and the Council of Europe, representing the outcome of decades of effort, and strongly reinforcing the Council of Europe’s position as a benchmark for human rights on the continent,” they concluded.