Open seminar May 19: Human rights and the EU

Monday May 19 from 12:00 to 13:30 at the Nordic House

 Human rights and the EU

An open seminar hosted by the Institute of International Affairs at the University of Iceland and the EU Info Centre in Iceland.

The seminar will tackle issues concerning the status of human rights within the EU’s borders following the financial crisis. Furthermore, the seminar will focus on the human rights policy of the European Union and illustrate how it encompasses civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights. This will be achieved by utilizing case studies focusing on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) persons, gender equality, as well as the issue of freedom of expression.   

The undermining of human rights following the financial crisis   

The European Union is founded on the values of respect for human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law and respect for human rights. Recent events in some member states however have shown that these founding values have been undermined, partly as a result of the financial crisis. How can the EU step up with human rights violations world-wide if it struggles to enforce these rights in some member states within its own borders? The EU needs appropriate instruments to deal with this deficit.

Kinga Göncz is an MEP, the Vice-Chair of the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs, and the former foreign minister of Hungary.


The EU’s human rights policy – advancing human rights worldwide

In 2012, the EU’s first-ever Strategic Framework on Human Rights and Democracy was launched to improve the effectiveness and consistency of the EU’s human rights policy. Also in 2012, the first EU Special Representative for Human Rights was appointed to enhance the visibility of the EU’s external human rights policy. This presentation will look at how EU implements human rights through the areas of promotion and protection of all human rights by lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) persons as well as the issue of freedom of expression.

Pauline Torehall is a specialist at the European External Action Service (EEAS).

Moderator: Alyson Bailes, Adjunct Professor at the Faculty of Political Science, University of Iceland.

The seminar will take place in English and is open to the public.