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dc.contributor.authorASCHENBRENNER, Jo Beatrixen
dc.date.accessioned2006-06-09T09:40:19Z
dc.date.available2006-06-09T09:40:19Z
dc.date.issued1999en
dc.identifier.citationFlorence : European University Institute, 1999
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/1814/5475
dc.descriptionAward date: 19 February 1999
dc.descriptionFirst made available online on 21 June 2017
dc.description.abstractThe performance of the European states at the UN Commission in Geneva in the last two years has again shifted the focus on this enormous country. The 15 European states are unable to find a common standpoint with regard to China, not at least because of economic interests. The impressive trade figures growing between the European Union and China gravely question the seriousness of any commitment to human rights on the side of Europe. Neither is a link established between China’s accession to the WTO and the observance of human rights, nor are the impressive trade figures, of the EU and China used to exert pressure on China. China even seems to reverse the position and to apply commercial bribery and threats to Western countries in response to criticism of its human rights record. If human rights indeed 'nominally pertain to political co-operation' instead of to aid or trade, then the current de-linking of human rights from trade with regard to China is nothing to complain about. If however human rights should be more than 'deploring the critical situation', then a human rights policy should also cover hard issues related to aid and trade policies. The case of China was chosen, on the one hand, because it shows human rights at the crossroads between law and politics, as the protection and enforcement of human rights is both a political and a legal problem. As regards the political side, different understandings and concepts of human rights exist among the states of the world. The legal dimension of human rights enforcement exemplifies the structural weakness of the international legal system in lack of mechanisms to enforce international law. On the other hand, China is a good case to demonstrate the deficiencies and problems still connected with the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) of the European Union. Can it overcome the divergent economic interests of the Member States or is it too weak a procedure? What are the reasons for the European Union's retreat to the CFSP alone in order to deal with China instead of applying a comprehensive human rights policy? 'China is today, by virtue of its size, economic vitality and future potential, of crucial importance from the European perspective as the EU seeks to expand its economic reach in the global context and to develop an effective Common Foreign and Security Policy'. This paper is an attempt to trace the development of the Union’s human rights policy towards China and to analyse its significance in relation to the needs of China. It is a country in transition, moving from a totalitarian system under one-party rule to a more open society, and perhaps eventually to a state where the principles of pluralist democracy and a market economy are adhered to. Integration into the economic, social and political life of Western Europe is considered to represent the most appropriate means of ensuring that the events of 1989 will not be repeated. It is the declared objective of the European Union to make its engagement in human rights more visible. To this end, coherence and targeting are necessary. According to the Commission document 'The European Union and the External dimension of Human Rights Policy: From Rome to Maastricht and Beyond', the first exercise of this kind, it is the Union’s obligation to 'define and implement a strategy guaranteeing the consistency, impact and efficiency of its activities'. The Union is, besides others, fulfilling this task by an 'in-depth analysis of human rights issues in order to develop a range of instruments tailored to the specific needs and features of the countries and regions concerned'. Knowing that this is only one small part of the overall strategy to become visible, coherent and efficient on the world scene, and finally to reach the objective of asserting its identity on the international scene as stated in Art. B of the Treaty of Maastricht (TEU), the paper will nonetheless focus on the tailoring of a human rights policy towards China as this gives enough material for discussion.
dc.format.mimetypeapplication/pdf
dc.language.isoenen
dc.relation.ispartofseriesEUI LLM thesesen
dc.relation.ispartofseriesDepartment of Lawen
dc.rightsinfo:eu-repo/semantics/openAccess
dc.subject.lcshHuman rights -- European Union countries
dc.titleThe European Union, human rights and China : how China challenges the coherence and efficiency of the EU's human rights policy in the framework of the CFSPen
dc.typeThesisen
dc.identifier.doi10.2870/80778
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