EU flagOn September 6, The European Parliament adopted a report drafted by Elena Valenciano Martinez-Orozco (Spain, European Socialist Group) calling on the Commission and Council to ensure a greater degree of coherence in the EU’s human rights dialogues with third countries (China, Russia, Iran).

In the report, members of the European Parliament stress the need for European Parliament to be informed of the content of the on-going dialogues and also urge the use of more stringent criteria and monitoring mechanisms. The report offers some recommendations on how to improve the mechanisms. MEPs call on the Council to ‘set clear criteria for the initiation, suspension or termination of a dialogue’.

The report emphasises the ‘need to considerably strengthen and improve the EU-China human rights dialogue’ and stresses that ‘China’s human rights remains a matter of serious concern’. The Parliament considers that (…) ‘the situation of minorities in Tibet, Xingjian and Mongolia (…) must continue to be raised in the context of the dialogue in particular with regard to the application of the recommendations resulting from previous dialogues and seminars on legal affairs’.

On the last legal seminar boycotted by Chinese side, the European Parliament ‘deplores the fact that the experts seminar that was to take place in Berlin on 10 May 2007 was postponed because the Chinese authorities did not agree to the participation of two independent NGOs invited by the EU’ and ‘applauds the insistence of the Commission and the German Council presidency that these representatives should be allowed to participate fully in the seminar inasmuch as the representation of NGOs and other civil actors should be regarded as a valuable resources for all parties involved in the dialogue’. Last but not least, the Commission is asked to ensure ‘that its trading relationship with China is linked to human rights reforms’.

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