The EU should prove its dedication to the policy of peaceful dialogue and support for human rights and democracy with a strong and consistent EU strategy for human rights. This was the overriding message of a report voted in Plenary in Strasbourg today by ALDE MEP Leonidas Donskis (Liberal Movement, Lithuania). The Annual report on human rights and democracy in the world 2011 calls for “the EU to ensure high, uncompromised human rights standards in its relations with other countries,” especially with big partners such as Russia and China, where human rights are often trivialised and marginalised in the context of economic and other considerations.

Donskis said “Fundamental human rights clauses must be included in international, EU and third party trade agreements since there are concerns that these agreements have incomplete, unbalanced, inadequate mechanisms for monitoring human rights. The EU has a responsibility towards the defenders and dissidents throughout the whole world since they are our essential partners rather than countries and institutions who show disregard for democracy and human rights.”

Mr Donskis wanted this year’s Annual Report to be sharp, focused, strategic and useful in shaping EU policy on human rights in the world and not just a mere reflection of important developments of the past year.

He concluded “I believe that each Annual human rights report should set ambitious, yet achievable goals, which the Parliament should push for. This year I want to focus on Tibet – a country which merely seeks to preserve its religious, cultural and historical identity, yet suffers from systemic human rights violations by China. Given the dramatic situation there, the European Union should set up an office of a Special EU Representative on Tibet to monitor the situation more closely.”

The European Parliament Report on human rights and democracy in the world 2011 is available here.