The European Union as a Protector and Promoter of Human Rights

Florentina Benga

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


[Extract] It could be argued that the European Union (EU) is the best promoter of human rights in
the entire Europe.113
The arguments rely on the advantages of any regional system and, specifically for the
EU, in its “power” to constraint the possible/future member states to improve human
rights’ protection. Indeed, regions are relatively more homogeneous with respect to
culture, language, and tradition and therefore reaching consensus on the scope and
content of rights is easier than in an ethnically diverse society114. Political consensus is
more forthcoming on both texts and any monitoring/enforcement machinery because
fewer states are involved115. In addition, the first regional human rights developments
occurred in Europe under the auspices of the Council of Europe that constitute another
advantage for the EU’s human rights system development. Yet, all EU’s member states
are members of the Council of Europe and bound by the terms of the European
Convention of Human Rights. Conditionality to respect human rights in order to become
a member is perhaps the most powerful instrument of the EU. It is probably enough to
look at the number of Central and East European Countries (CEECs) that have joined the
EU in 2004116.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)30-39
Number of pages10
JournalContemporary European Studies Association of Australia Review
Issue number34
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2006
Externally publishedYes

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