BRUSSELS, December 19 (Itar-Tass) — The EU has no mechanisms to address human rights problems in its own territory, Russia’s permanent representative to the EU Vladimir Chizhov expressed this in an interview with Russian journalists in the run-up to the EU-Russia Summit to be held in Brussels on December 21.
“The European Union apparently sees its shortcomings in the human rights sphere, but it does not even have a mechanism to deal with these issues. It has, in addition to the working bodies, the EU Council and the European Commission, EU Special Representative for Human Rights Mr Stavros Lambrinidis. It has the Fundamental Rights Agency, which is based in Vienna. There is also the Subcommittee on Human Rights in the European Parliament, but they all oriented to the outside,” said the diplomat, adding that these structures deal with the human rights situation in third countries. According to him, “This obsession begins to turn against the EU itself when it carries out the decisions made in the style of the Political Bureau that the human rights section must be present in any agreement on any issue which the EU concludes with any third country.”
“As a result, they now face problems in the course of business negotiations even with the universally recognised liberal countries such as Canada,” he added.
At the same time, Vladimir Chizhov expressed doubt that at the upcoming EU-Russia Summit the issue of human rights will be discussed in detail. “We have held expert consultations on human rights before the summit, and it is very good, because we’ve been able to discuss at the appropriate level the practical issues of concern for each side. However, I am convinced that far from all specific issues deserve discussion at the top level at the summit, with all due respect” to the human rights issue, he said.