EU engagement with other European regional organisations
Šimáková, Michaela Anna
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This deliverable of Work Package 5 presents the outcome of the analysis and critical assessment of EU human rights engagement with other European regional organisations. Cooperation between the European Union and the Council of Europe has become more systematic, in particular in the framework of the Memorandum of Understanding signed in 2007. This document inter alia identifies shared priorities and focal areas of cooperation among which are listed human rights and fundamental freedoms; rule of law and legal co-operation; democracy and good governance; democratic stability; intercultural dialogue and cultural diversity; education, youth and promotion of human contacts; and social cohesion. In the light of the Lisbon Treaty, including the new legal status of the Charter of Fundamental Rights and the commitment to ratify the European Convention on Human Rights, cooperation between the EU and the system of human rights protection established within the CoE should be significantly enhanced. However, the road leading up to the accession to the European Convention may be more difficult than expected as has been indicated by the Opinion 2/13 of the CJEU on the Draft Accession Agreement, adopted on 18 December 2014. In the case of the OSCE, although the role of the EU has never been formally defined in details, the EU participation in the work of OSCE bodies has been recognized by the established practice and formalised by the Rules of Procedure of the organisation adopted in 2006. The EU attaches particular importance to co-operation with the OSCE on security-related matters and conflict prevention in Europe. The report consists of four chapters. The first chapter presents the aims of the report as well as methodology of the research. It also explains the basic conceptual framework of the deliverable. The second chapter is devoted to the cooperation of the European Union with the Council of Europe. In particular, the authors of the report analyse the Memorandum of Understanding between the European Union and the Council of Europe, EU’s policy documents and the issue of the rapprochement of the human rights protection systems of these two organisations. It also tackles the issue of common human rights standards. The third chapter presents the issue of the European Union’s cooperation with the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe. It explains the position of the EU vis-à-vis the OSCE and it presents the EU’s substantive human rights goals and objectives. The authors of the report have also analysed the issue of common human rights standards and the EU’s engagement in and support for the OSCE human rights activities. The report is supplemented by four case studies related to: 1. The role of Venice Commission ’Democracy through Law‘ and its cooperation with the European Union; 2. The legal influence of the ECHR on the EU in case of the right to an effective remedy and right to fair trial; 3. Joint Programme – Peer to Peer II, and 4. The EU’s external human rights policy in view of crisis at the EU’s doorstep: towards a gradual division of labour between EU-OSCE in Ukraine. The fourth and final chapter presents the conclusions of the research. The report seeks not only to advance existing scholarship on the topic, but also to create a broad knowledge base for future research.