Por Soraya Rodríguez Ramos

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Soraya Rodríguez calls for human rights to be a priority in the EU’s external strategy

The MEP presented the annual report 2021 on Human Rights and Democracy in the World at the plenary session of the European Parliament.


Soraya Rodríguez, MEP for Ciudadanos and spokesperson for Human Rights in the European Parliament, has presented the 2021 annual report on Human Rights and Democracy in the world and has demanded a central position for the defense of fundamental rights in the external strategy of the Union. In 2021, the trend registered in 2020 was confirmed for the first time in 20 years: there are already more countries with authoritarian regimes and dictatorships than liberal democracies. “Autocratic drift is going viral.”

Soraya Rodríguez has defended her report in the EP’s plenary session. She denounced that the questioning of human rights and the legitimization of the law of the strongest are expanding, with countries like China at the forefront “and its doctrine of denying rights to those who do not follow its doctrine of fear.”

“That is why we have to support civil society and work with our partners in the defense of active multilateralism in defense of International Law and Human Rights. The EU has an enormous responsibility, which is why we are reflecting in this report on our instruments and how to improve them”, explained the MEP.

In this sense, the report underlines the strength of the EU setting conditions for access to the Union’s economic and political incentives, such as access to European financing, the granting of the generalized system of preferences (GSP) and other facilities tariffs, as well as the granting of the Union’s Schengen visa exemption, which must be linked to respect for Human Rights.

The spokesperson thanked the majority support shown by the European Parliament and the message shared by the majority of MEPs in the debate that Human Rights have no ideology. “Many citizens of the world look at us and recognize in the EU a democracy that is capable of defending the rights of its citizens and of the world’s citizens. That is why they seek this protection. We have to live up to it. Today I remember all those who suffer persecution, repression, are subjected to unfair trials as in Nicaragua, all the families who seek justice for kidnappings and murders. They have to know that the European Parliament will continue to be close to them”.

Soraya Rodríguez Ramos

Mujeres al frente es un espacio de reflexión dirigido por la política y abogada española Soraya Rodríguez Ramos. Desde 2019, es diputada del Parlamento Europeo en la delegación del partido Ciudadanos. Desde su escaño de eurodiputada, desarrolla un intenso trabajo como Portavoz de Derechos Humanos del grupo Renew Europe, así como por la defensa de la igualdad y derechos de las mujeres como titular de la Comisión de Igualdad, y miembro de la Comisión de Medio Ambiente, por su compromiso con el cuidado del planeta y la justicia climática.