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Don’t undercut Council of Europe norms and standards, EU is told

Strasbourg, 03.10.2013 – The EU should explore possible synergies with the Council of Europe before setting up new human rights structures.

Approving a report by Michael McNamara (Ireland, SOC) after an urgent debate, PACE said the EU should continue to make use of Council expertise, join Council conventions and speed up its accession to the European Convention on Human Rights.

Higher standards and stronger protection are always welcome, PACE said, but the Council of Europe’s legal instruments must not be undercut by the EU: “Setting up parallel structures creates double standards and opportunities for ‘forum shopping’,” while duplication also wastes money.

Countries which are members of both bodies should use their influence to “minimise duplication and maximise synergies”, the parliamentarians said.