Press Release: EU-Russia Summit: Europe must make Human Rights the main issue

European parties express concern for the deterioration of human rights in Russia

Brussels, December 20, 2012 —

On the eve of the EU-Russia Summit in Brussels, the presidents and chairs of four European political parties – the European Greens, as well as the ALDE, EPP and PES groups – have sent an open letter to Presidents van Rompuy and Barroso, expressing serious concerns for the deterioration of the human rights situation in Russia.


Open letter to President van Rompuy and President Barroso

Dear President van Rompuy, Dear President Barroso,

This week you will be meeting Russian President Putin in Brussels for the 30th EU- Russia Summit. Your meeting will take place under the shadow of a continuously deteriorating Human Rights situation in Russia, amounting to a general crackdown on liberties and Human Rights.

Lyudmila Alexeyeva, founder and chairwoman of the Moscow-Helsinki group, Russia’s oldest Human Rights organisation, has called upon the EU to “take a very tough stand on Human Rights and demand an end to this crackdown.” She also wrote: “the EU must make Human Rights not the side issue, but the main issue.”

As presidents and chairpersons of different political European parties we support this call wholeheartedly. We want you to take up this challenge on behalf of 500 million European citizens, who have just received the Nobel Peace Prize, and we hope you will not be mincing words.

Yours respectfully,


Wilfried Martens, President of the European People’s Party

Graham Watson (MEP), President of the ALDE Party

Sergei Stanishev, President of the Party of European Socialists

Monica Frassoni, Co-Chair of the European Green Party

Reinhard Bütikofer (MEP), Co-Chair of the European Green Party