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3 February 2023
Files concluded General Affairs News

Human rights: Council approves the EU human rights guidelines on non-discrimination in external action

The Council adopted conclusions approving the EU human rights guidelines on non-discrimination in external action:

1.  The Council reaffirms the EU’s commitment to the purposes and principles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights that applies to all human beings without distinction of any kind.

2.  The Council recalls that the Treaty on the European Union establishes that the action of the Union on the international scene shall be guided by the principles which have inspired its own creation, development and enlarging, and which it seeks to advance in the wider world: democracy, the rule of law, the universality and indivisibility of human rights and fundamental freedoms, respect for human dignity, the principles of equality and solidarity and respect for the principles of the United Nations Charter and international law.

3.  The Council further recalls that the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union prohibits any discrimination based on any ground such as sex, race, colour, ethnic or social origin, genetic features, language, religion or belief, political or other opinion, membership of a national minority, property, birth, disability, age or sexual orientation.

4.  With the view to enhancing the EU’s effectiveness in combatting discrimination on any grounds and the visibility and awareness of the EU’s values and action in combatting discrimination in its external action, the Council approves the EU Human Rights Guidelines on Non-Discrimination in External Action.

5.  These Guidelines on Non-discrimination deliver on the EU Action Plan on Human Rights and Democracy, complement and reinforce all other EU Human Rights Guidelines and support the EU’s Right Based Approach to Development Cooperation encompassing all Human Rights.

6.  The Guidelines on Non-discrimination shall be disseminated widely and their accessibility be ensured including for persons with disabilities. The effective operationalisation of these Guidelines on Non-discrimination will be undertaken jointly by the European Union and its Member States. The Council Working Party on Human Rights (COHOM) will support the implementation while involving, when appropriate, other Council working groups. Regular exchanges of views will be held on the implementation and review of these Guidelines.

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