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Speech on COVENEY Report - Human Rights in the World and the EU's Policy

Dr.Laima Andrikiene, MEP

EP Plenary Session

Brussels, April 27, 2005


Thank you, Mr. President.

First of all, I would like to thank our colleague Simon Coveney for a huge work he invested into our Annual Report on Human Rights in the World 2004 and the EU's policy on the matter.

A remarkable part of this report is dedicated to the countries in Eastern Europe, which in the future might become members of the EU family, namely, Ukraine, Moldova, and even Belarus.

I would like to stress some points which are of a great importance for improving human rights situation in this region.

As part of the EP delegation I had an opportunity to observe parliamentary elections in Moldova. Though election results have been recognised by international community, it is clear that the elections did not succeed in meeting certain obligations required for a full competitive electoral process, especially in relation to fair access to the media and impartial campaigning coverage; in addition arrests of opposition MPs, other actions against peaceful demonstrations constituted clear violations of fundamental rights and freedoms such as freedom of expression, association and assembly. Even meeting of international observers with the president of the country and No.1 on one political party's electoral list was used for his party's campaign.

Another important point is to call on Ukraine and Moldova to crack down on smuggling to, from and through Transnistria and to develop effective anti-corruption programmes for the customs, border guard and tax services, as well as the police. We, observers from this House, on the election day were not allowed to get into Transnistria, but it was clear that people in Moldova and Transnistria in particular have to face all negative implications of the situation there.

And last, but not the least: we should again remind Russia to withdraw it's so called "peacekeepers" and ammunition from Transnistria, as without this precondition our recommendations to fight against corruption, organised crime, illegal export of weapons will remain our good will, but not a reality.

Thank you.