«Fostering Human Rights among European Policies Large-Scale FP7 Collaborative Project GA No. 320000 1 May 2013-30 April 2017 Report on the EU’s ...»
The tools and methods employed by the EU in its cooperation with the OAS can be divided into a political and a thematic approach. The first consists of a diplomatic and political dialogue between EU and OAS representatives, the second of support for thematic lines using cooperation agreements and financing tools. Financial support is essential in implementing the thematic lines. It flows primarily through EIDHR and DCI. The EU has provided funds to the OAS since 1994. Human rights and democracy are at the core of the EU’s financial contribution, with a considerable share of the funds FRAME Deliverable No. 5.6 going to the IACHR. In 2014, the EU ranked seventh on the list of major donors to specific funds, its contribution being considerably smaller than the ones of the top donors.
With regard to the IACHR and the IACtHR, the EU’s influence appears to be mainly economic. Financial contributions of the EU to the IACHR have influenced the choice of the thematic areas selected by the latter. The financial contributions to the IACtHR allow the latter to perform its duties more effectively, for example by providing funds for the publication of judgments, advisory opinions and provisional measures.
Similar tools are implemented by the EU at the bilateral level. As it was illustrated by the example of the Republic of Peru, political dialogue and financing are used by the EU in its bilateral relations with the OAS member states. In terms of financing, the important feature is that a significant part of the funding is granted to civil society organisations for specific projects.
The research shows that the EU has a significant impact on the internal and public work of the IACHR and the IACtHR – the OAS bodies most relevant from the perspective of human rights. Along with this international impact, at the national level the Union’s biggest contribution in Peru is based on civil society human rights projects implemented nationwide. Although EU-OAS human rights cooperation yields essentially positive results at the regional and national level, further coordination is required in order to achieve EU internal mandates.
In that sense, it appears advisable to establish priority areas for cooperation to connect the support given to the IASHR with the funds assigned to the various states in the region. This would allow the EU to work on the same thematic issues at the regional and at the national level with possibly greater results. Also, coordination with other donors to the OAS would allow the EU to identify common interests and to avoid the repetition of efforts. Secondly, it appears necessary to ensure greater transparency for EU funded projects, including the publication of the results and the analysis of their long-term achievements. This would allow for enhanced dialogue with the academic institutions and civil society and the possibility of a feedback from them. The first step in this sense would be to organize the data available on EU-OAS cooperation and to create a unique database. The research shows that important information exists but that it is neither accessible nor well organized, making it difficult to analyse how EU-OAS cooperation evolved over the years. Subsequently, it appears important to compare this information with EU cooperation at the national level. This will allow future EU contributions to the American region to have even more positive results and greater impact.
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