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NHC: The Netherlands should continue to promote rule of law across the whole of Europe

25 October 2012

At the NHC 25th anniversary reception, Chairman Ian de Jong of the Netherlands Helsinki Committee called for the Netherlands to not look away from problems in the maintainance of the rule of law and human rights in wider Europe. “Sooner or later we get an unpleasant way to deal with the consequences of that denial. Migration, crime, corruption and civil war do not respect borders. The cost of investments for improvements in the rule of law are nothing compared to what else can come upon us.”

The Netherlands Helsinki Committee has, over the years, undertaken dozens of projects to build and equip institutions and organizations that shape the rule of law and protect human rights. Part of these were public institutions such as courts or prisons, part were social organizations such as law clinics or centers against trafficking. Much work focused and still focuses on countries that wanted to join the European Union. In these countries, the government is highly motivated. But also in the countries of the former Soviet Union government agencies or non-governmental organizations can be found who are committed to this objective. And now we see that even within the European Union the need becomes evident for improvements in the functioning of the rule of law and protection of human rights.

At the reception, Minister of European Affairs and International Cooperation Ben Knapen congratulated the Netherlands Helsinki Committee for its continuous work for promoting international standards that enshrine values such as democracy, the rule of law and minirity rights. In his speech, he focussed on the need for better mechanisms for mutual accountability among EU member-states on the rule of law.

The Helsinki Committee announced a strengthening of its fundraising. De Jong also called for greater and more effective cooperation between organizations in The Hague that focus on strengthening of the rule of law. Such a partnership should be able to count on continuous support from the government.

For more information see: Press release (Dutch version)