EU accession to the European Convention on Human Rights

On 8 October 2019, the EU Justice and Home Affairs Council mandated the European Commission to quickly resume negotiations with the Council of Europe with a view to allowing the EU to accede to the Convention, pursuant to Article 6(2) TEU. The following statement was thereby issued:

“The Council reaffirmed its commitment to the EU’saccession to the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR).

The Council agreed to supplementary negotiating directives in order to allow for a swift resumption of the negotiations with the Council of Europe. Those amended negotiating directives are designed to take into account the Court of Justice’s opinion of 2014.

Negotiations on an agreement with the Council of Europe started in 2010. In 2013, a draft agreement was submitted by the Commission to the Court of Justice for an opinion on its compatibility with the EU treaties. At the end of 2014, the Court stated that the draft agreement was not compatible with the treaties on a number of points. In October 2015, the Council reaffirmed the EU’s commitment to accede to the ECHR and invited the Commission to work on an analysis of all legal issues raised by the Court. Last May, the Commission submitted to the Council a written contribution which comprehensively addresses all of the objections raised by the Court of Justice.

The Treaty on European Union provides for the accession of the EU to the ECHR. The objective is to reinforce the common values of the Union, improve the effectiveness of EU law and enhance the coherence of fundamental rights protection in Europe. “