MEP Leonidas Donskis was appointed as the Rapporteur for drafting the main EP human rights document, namely the annual report on human rights in the world and the EU`s policy on this issue. Leonidas Donskis, who is the ALDE Coordinator in the Subcommittee on Human Rights since the beginning of his mandate, was appointed by the Group of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE).
L. Donskis is starting his work as Rapporteur on the annual report, which will have to assess the human rights situation in the world, the EU`s action on this matter in 2011, as well as to present recommendations on how the EU must achieve effective results in this priority EU policy area. For the past two years in a row L. Donskis represented the ALDE Group as the Shadow Rapporteur in preparing similar EP human rights documents; so he is well aware of the specifics of the preparation of this document and participation in negotiations with different EP political groups.
"Every year the annual human rights report presents the unique opportunity to the EU, its politicians and human rights defenders to express their world vision. Liberal democracies are ready to fight battles of ideas for that vision. That vision brings us closer to reality. It bases the people`s cooperation and partnership not only on economic powers, natural wealth, security interests and wise compromises between historical and modern differences, but also and first of all, on the universal recognition that the value of the human life, dignity and rights are the essential and fundamental criteria of civilized and reliable country, that human rights are not and cannot be a target of negotiations or a hostage of economy," said Leonidas Donskis in the Strasbourg plenary session yesterday.
According to the MEP the year 2011, which will have to be assessed from a human rights point of view in the document that he is drafting, was a special year, first of all due to the Arab Spring revolutions. "As a future Rapporteur I am facing a difficult task of assessing the lessons learnt by Europe in relation to the Arab Spring and analysing how these lessons influence the general future of the EU human rights policy."
Big changes are also taking place in the institutional structure of the EU human rights policy, starting with the new EU Special Representative for Human Rights, who will represent the Community worldwide in the field of human rights, being appointed already this month. This and other EU human rights innovations, developed under a comprehensive overview of the EU human rights strategy, will undoubtedly have to be assessed in the document which L. Donskis is drafting.
L. Donskis is going to draw particular attention in the annual report not only to the obvious human rights violations, such as death penalty, murder, torture, violations of freedom of expression or religion, but also to the elusive violations of human rights, such as selective justice, politicized trials, hidden corruption, illegal surveillance, misuse of psychiatry, and government campaigns against dissidents and human rights defenders. L. Donskis, similarly to his work as Shadow Rapporteur for the previous annual reports, will seek to put more emphasis in the document on the systematic approach to the fundamental human rights problems as well as measures for their solutions, rather than individually identifying human rights violations in particular countries or regions.
From the very beginning of his term in the European Parliament and the Subcommittee on Human Rights L. Donskis has built close relations with international non-governmental human rights organisations, and he is going to continue close cooperation with them while drafting the annual report. The Rapporteur expects effective cooperation with the European External Action Service (EEAS), whose leader is the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton. The High Representative has responded positively to L. Donskis` request to present the annual human rights report for 2011 prepared by EEAS, which will serve as one of the basic sources of information to prepare the European Parliament`s annual report, already in the June plenary session.