"The EU should use its full weight to promote human rights through bilateral and multilateral relations", outlined the European Parliament Rapporteur on the 2014 Annual Report on human rights and democracy in the world, and Spokesman on EU policy on the matter, Cristian Dan Preda MEP, during today's plenary debate.

"Over the last two years, human rights and democratic principles have been seriously challenged worldwide, wars in Syria and Ukraine being just some of the immediate causes of this warring situation", stressed Preda, who called on the EU to step up its efforts to make full use of all policy tools at its disposal in order to promote the respect of human rights and democratic principles in third countries.

The Rapporteur also explained that this year's report underlines the importance for the EU to "put the promotion of human rights and democracy on an equal footing as they are two sides of the same coin". The report therefore calls for a more comprehensive EU approach of democracy support, of which free and fair elections are only one dimension.

NOTE TO EDITORS

The EPP Group is the largest political group in the European Parliament with 216 Members from 27 Member States

The Annual Report is an indispensable tool for scrutiny, communication and debate on these topics and it expresses the European Parliament's position on the EU's human rights and democracy policy.

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