chapter  7
13 Pages

Human rights, democratization and good governance


Democracy, human rights and good governance have often been stated as key objectives of the European Union’s (EU) foreign and development policy. In November 1991, the European Commission’s landmark Resolution on Human Rights, Democracy and Development explicitly linked democracy, human rights and development, and made the promotion of human rights and democracy both an objective and a condition of development assistance (European Commission 1999). The Maastricht Treaty extended this approach beyond the EU’s development policy and made the consolidation of democracy a general objective of the Union’s Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP). Human rights and democracy are now considered to be complementary and fundamental to other EU foreign and security policy goals – a position that has since then been reinforced in major EU statements and strategy documents. The European Security Strategy of 2003, for example, states that ‘the quality of international society depends on the quality of the governments that are its foundation. The best protection for our security is a world of well-governed democratic states. Spreading good governance, supporting social and political reform, dealing with corruption and abuse of power, establishing the rule of law and protecting human rights are the best means of strengthening the international order’ (European Council 2003: 10). The EU has incorporated this approach into its network of relations with the Central Asian region. Probably the most prominent example is the Partnership and Cooperation Agreements (PCAs) that are currently in force with Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan. In the declaration on ‘general principles’ it is stated that ‘respect for democracy, principles of international law and human rights … as well as the principles of a market economy, underpin the internal and external policies of the Parties and constitute an essential element of partnership of this Agreement’. Furthermore, in Article 1 the ‘consolidation of democracy’ is mentioned as a main objective of cooperation. Similar references are made in the EU’s Technical and Financial Assistance to the Commonwealth of Independent States (TACIS) scheme

and the new Development Cooperation Instrument (DCI); the latter defining ‘the promotion of democracy, good governance and respect for human rights’ as an ‘overarching objective of cooperation’.2