The European Union: What it Can Do, Getting it to Take Action
“THE EU’S OBJECTIVE IS TO INFLUENCE THIRD COUNTRIES TO CARRY OUT THEIR OBLIGATIONS TO
RESPECT THE RIGHTS OF HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDERS.”
(EUROPEAN UNION GUIDELINES ON HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDERS)
While the EU and its Member States can contribute to the protection of HRDs, HRDs might not know exactly when they should seek help from the EU, what they can expect from it, or how to approach it. This handbook is meant to address this need and shows HRDs the specific actions they can expect from the EU in meeting their protection needs, and how they can approach the EU for assistance.
The handbook is targeted at HRDs at risk who are seeking ways to prevent or react to violations against them. It deals not with the violations and threats against the victims HRDs work for, but with violations and threats against HRDs themselves. It focuses on the action that the EU and its Member States can take, and especially on what HRDs can expect from EU Delegations and embassies of EU Member States – collectively known as “EU Missions” – in their country.