EU on worldwide abuses: “On a scale not witnessed in over 75 years”

On 19 April 2022, the European Union (EU) published its Annual report on Human Rights and Democracy in the World. The report describes what the EU has done to uphold human rights, democracy, and the rule of law in 2021, the first year of implementation of its Action Plan on Human Rights and Democracy (2020-2024), approved by the Council of the EU in November 2020. 

Despite what the EU describes as one landmark achievement with the adoption of its own Global Human Rights Sanctions Regime, the report starts with the bleak observation of “widespread violations of international human rights and international humanitarian law on a scale not witnessed in over 75 years”.  

This worrisome concern can be read through the 2021 EU annual country reports, which provide an overview of the human rights and democracy situation in many countries, including in North Africa and the Middle East, and the corresponding EU’s focus areas and its bilateral political and financial engagements.