Human Rights, the European Parliament and the Mexico-European Union relationship

Respect for Human Rights is one of the founding objectives of the European community project that emerged after the Second World War, under the ideals of figures such as Robert Schuman, Jean Monnet, Konrad Adenauer and Winston Churchill.

In its foreign relations, the European Union also seeks to export the values ​​of peace, equality, freedom, diversity, respect for the rule of law and human rights.

The European Parliament, which represents the interests of nearly 450 million inhabitants of the 27 countries that make up the European Union, is the most democratic institution of the community model, since its members are elected by universal and direct suffrage.

In particular, the European Parliament has endorsed the defense of democracy and freedoms in different latitudes and at different times, and they are not unaware of what is happening in Mexico. The same has been pronounced against the impeachment of Andrés Manuel López Obrador, in 2005; She has condemned the femicides in Ciudad Juárez in 2007 and, in a special way, has raised her voice for the disappearance of the 43 students from Ayotzinapa in 2014 and 2015.

The Mexico-European Union Global Agreement, in force since 2000, is considered a fourth generation agreement, because in addition to the commercial sphere, political dialogue and cooperation, it includes a democratic clause as the basis of the bilateral relationship, which puts ” respect for democratic principles and fundamental human rights, as stated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights” (Title I, Article 1).

Although the ineffectiveness of the democratic clauses promoted by the EU in its various association agreements has been criticized, in the case of Mexico it has acquired a special status, especially after the 2011 Constitutional Reform on Human Rights, that elevates international treaties on the matter to constitutional rank. And with even more reason, as of 2013, when the First Chamber of the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation determined that those clauses of international treaties that refer to Human Rights (although the treaty per se is not), also they enjoy constitutional rank, as happens, precisely, with the democratic clause of the Mexico-EU Global Agreement, today in the process of modernization.

The controversial resolution of the European Parliament, promoted by the Human Rights Subcommittee and approved in the Strasbourg Plenary on Thursday, March 10, 2022, it is true, it contains various erroneous data, inaccuracies, ambiguities and speculations. Even so, it was approved by an overwhelming majority of 607 votes in favor, two against, and 73 abstentions.

The MEPs of the seven political groups that make up the European Parliament and represent all colors and ideological positions, in addition to the non-attached members (independents), gave their consent to the aforementioned document.

The foregoing is explained because, precisely, the central point of the pronouncement of the European Parliament has to do with the siege and, above all, with the murder of journalists and human rights defenders in Mexico, in incontestable and worrying figures, which are alarming in any time, context and place.

We talk about Human Rights in troubled times, and in the face of incessant international threats and with incalculable effects. Let’s keep talking about Human Rights. Here, there and there. Let’s talk about Human Rights. Always.

*The author is academic; specialist in European affairs.

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