The International Campaign for Tibet (ICT) welcomes the investiture of Mrs. Federica Mogherini as the new High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the European Commission and looks forward to her continued interest in the issue of Tibet.

“As a former colleague in the Italian Parliament, I had the pleasure to collaborate with Mrs Federica Mogherini on several issues where the implementation of international legal standards, including the respect of human rights, was critical. Relations with China are essential for the European Union, and keeping a strong focus on the implementation of human rights is fundamental for the future of both the European and Chinese peoples”, said Matteo Mecacci, ICT’s President.

The European Parliament, after formal hearings with all Commissioner-designates, voted today on the new European Commission led by its President Jean-Claude Juncker and approved the 27 candidates, including Mrs. Mogherini. She will be the second EU High Representative after Baroness Catherine Ashton and will be responsible for coordinating the EU’s foreign policy.

During her hearing with the European Parliament, Ms. Mogherini stressed that she was committed to “promoting human rights in all areas of foreign relations without exception”, defining them as the “core business” for a country’s stability. Moreover, she underlined the importance she attaches to the rights of ethnic minorities, saying that it is in her DNA.

“We look forward to actively working with Mrs. Mogherini on the issue of Tibet as per her commitment to regularly engage with NGOs and civil society groups”, said Mr. Vincent Metten, EU Policy Director at ICT’s Brussels office.

China is a strategic partner to the EU, but its repressive policies in both mainland China and Tibet are completely incompatible with international human rights standards, which the EU wishes to promote through its external action.

In light of the gross human rights violations perpetrated by China and the EU’s failure to consistently address these in its exchanges with the Chinese leadership as well as the lack of concrete progress of the EU-China human rights dialogue, ICT urges the new EU High Representative to convey the message that the Chinese government’s current policy on human rights in both Tibet and China is unacceptable and a threat to bilateral relations, and to adequately incorporate the issue of Tibet in all her relations with the Chinese government, including at the highest level.