Stravos Lambrinidis: EU First Special Representative for Human Rights

By EDRi · August 1, 2012

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Deutsch: [Stavros Lambrinidis: Erster EU-Sonderbeauftragter für Menschenrechte |]

On 25 July 2012, on a proposal by Catherine Ashton, EU High
Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the Council of
the European Union appointed Mr Stravos Lambridinis, former MEP, as EU
Special Representative for Human Rights.

This appointment is the result of repeated demands from the European
Parliament and a recommendation of the Foreign Affairs Committee. On 24
May 2012, indeed, the Foreign Affairs Committee called on the Council to
appoint a EU’s high-level human rights envoy with an international
reputation. The creation of the human rights envoy follows the EU’s
Strategic Framework and Action Plan on Human Rights and Democracy that
was adopted on 25 June 2012.

As requested by the European Parliament, Mr. Lambridinis has a
long-standing experience in human rights and international relations. In
his earlier carrier, he was indeed nominated Chairman of the Committee
for Human Rights at the Washington D.C.’s bar association. He also
worked at the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs and became the
Ambassador at Large of the Hellenic Republic. He was elected Member of
the European Parliament in 2006, where he was Vice-Chairman of the Civil
Liberties Committee. In 2009, he was elected Vice-President of the
European Parliament. He served as Minister of Foreign Affairs for Greece
from June to November 2011.

The task of the EU Special Representative for Human Rights is to ensure
the promotion of EU human rights policy worldwide. The mandate will be
broad and flexible in order to give Mr Lambridinis the ability to adapt
to different situations. He will work closely with the European External
Action Service. He will in particular represent the EU at the
international level, be responsible for the interactions with the UN and
chair human rights dialogues with third countries. Mr Lambridinis’
initial mandate will run until 30 June 2014. The goal is to enhance the
effectiveness and consistency of EU policy.

The news was broadly appreciated by the MEPs, and “warmly” welcomed by
the President of the European Parliament Martin Schulz (Germany, S&D),
and by the chairwoman of the EP human rights subcommittee Barbara
Lochbihler (Germany, Groups of the Greens).

This appointment shows the willingness of the European Union to make
human rights one of its strategic priorities and to give the EU a united
voice on human rights issues. Mr Lambridinis said that he would “ensure
the Human Rights gets integrated into all EU external policy”.

Stavros Lambrinidis appointed first EU Special Representative for Human
Rights (25.07.2012)

Stavros Lambrinidis appointed EU Special Representative for Human Rights

MEPs congratulate new EU human rights envoy, Stavros Lambrinidis

EC press briefing (25.07.2012)

(Contribution by Marie Humeau – EDRi)