Hautala Presses EU to Respect Human Rights in Turkmenistan

Subcommittee on Human Rights will discuss human rights situation in Turkmenistan after Foreign Affairs Committee decided after proposal by Hautala that the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement between the EU and Turkemnistan should be not concluded without carefully considering the human rights issues. [:]

Hautala expressed dismay over the unwavering progression in the completion process when the human rights situation in the already repressive country worsened again in 2009. “The deterioration in the human rights situation has been received by the EU with near silence and by complete inaction. Instead, at the same time great efforts have been made to ensure EU access to gas resources in this country” she criticised.

In 2008 European Parliament demanded attention to specific human rights issues in the negotiations but this has been ignored. It is most necessary to discuss how will the human rights issues be integrated into any cooperation between the EU and Turkmenistan and how does the Commission plan to ensure that human rights be effectively integrated into the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement.

To become operative 15 EU Member States must ratify the agreement. Last two ratifications are now nearing completion, in France and UK. The European Parliament has power to block the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement once the ratification process and negotiations have been concluded.

The hearing at the European Parliament Subcommittee on Human Rights is scheduled for 26th of October.