Friday, 5 February 2010

ES Presidency EU: Spain wants to progress the incorporation of human rights and fundamental freedoms into Community law "as much as possible"

The Spanish Minister for Justice, Francisco Caamaño

The Spanish Minister for Justice, Francisco Caamaño

“No legal impediments exist to joining the Convention although there are some complex issues”.

Spain wishes to “make as much progress as possible” to ensure the EU becomes party to the Council of Europe's Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms soon, according to the Spanish Minister for Justice, Francisco Caamaño, at today's opening of a seminar on the challenges and possibilities arising from the Treaty of Lisbon coming into force.

Organised jointly with the Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA), the seminar brought together authorities, experts and academics in Madrid to analyse the impact of joining the Convention and the incorporation of the European Charter of Fundamental Rights into EU primary law.

“No legal impediments exist to joining although there are some complex practical issues that I'm sure we will be able to tackle”, said Mr Caamaño, who emphasised that the subject “is one of the Spanish Presidency's basic priorities”.

Caamaño stressed his interest in presenting an initial report at the meeting of justice and interior affairs ministers of EU Member States planned for late February, which will shortly provide a mandate for negotiation. “We are going to come across numerous technical problems and challenges, but where there is a will, there is a way”, said Caamaño.

The Secretary General of the Council of Europe, Thorbjorn Jagland, also spoke at the event and emphasised how important it was for the EU to join the Convention and to give priority to primary law, since if not “countries from outside the EU may lose interest in being part of the Convention.

“For example, if the EU did not join, the Russian Federation may be tempted to distance itself from a convention that ties all nations to standards on the protection of human and civil rights”, he warned.

The German Minister for Justice, Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger, emphasised the importance of the existence of a European Commissioner for the defence of civil rights at a time when security measures may infringe on civil liberties and personal rights.

“We cannot fight for our freedom by giving it up”, she added.

No comments:

Post a Comment