The Constitutional Treaty: the Answer to the European Union’s Quest for a Consistent Human Rights Policy? ANDREAS FØLLESDAL* 1. Challenge of Consistency The European Union is often accused of a patchy and inconsistent approach to human rights. The commitment has long been there, albeit vaguely: the Rome Treaty of 1957 commits to “preserve and strengthen peace and liberty”. But critics charge that the EU applies double standards when it responds to ‘internal’ human rights violations dif- ferently in some Member States than in others. The most notable case is perhaps ‘The reaction against Austria’ in 2000 against the inclusion of the xenophobic Freedom Party in government. The protests included various diplomatic protests, ending bilat- eral political contacts, and rejection of Austrian candidates for international offices. The EU was not formally involved in the interventions, but the Portuguese Presidency of the Council was crucial: he coordinated the responses, and helped resolve the crisis by an invitation to the President of the European Court of Human Rights to appoint a committee of experts – ‘the Wise Men’. Their report recommended that the reactions come to an end. Critics of the responses claimed that small Austria was being singled out: larger
International Journal on Minority and Group Rights – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 2006
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