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[Luxembourg 2005 Presidency of the Council of the European Union]
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High Representative for the CFSP (Mr or Mrs CFSP)

The post of High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) was created by the Treaty of Amsterdam in order to enable the European Union to have a higher profile in expressing its views on the international stage. This post, which is often referred to as “Mr or Mrs CFSP", is currently occupied by Javier Solana, the Secretary General of the Council.

The High Representative assists the Presidency of the Council on issues relating to the Common Foreign and Security Policy. He helps formulate, elaborate and implement the Council’s political decisions. On behalf of the Council and at the request of its President, he also engages in political dialogue with third countries.

Human rights

In its case law, the Court of Justice of the European Communities has recognised principles established by the Council of Europe’s European Convention on Human Rights. This respect for human rights was confirmed in the preamble of the Single European Act of 1986, then incorporated into Article 6 (former Article F) of the EU Treaty which is based on the abovementioned convention and the constitutional traditions common to the Member States.

The guarantee of respect for fundamental rights was strengthened by the Treaty of Amsterdam. The new treaty provided, in particular, that the Court of Justice is competent to ensure respect for fundamental rights, as they derive from Article 6, and which concerns action by the European institutions. In parallel, the measures to be taken in the event of a serious and persistent breach by a Member State of the principles on which the Union is based are defined in an inserted suspension clause.

At the Cologne European Council of June 1999, the heads of state and government decided to draw up a Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union. The objective was to “bring together the fundamental rights prevailing in the European Union so as to give them greater visibility and emphasise their exceptional importance". A convention bringing together the European institutions, representatives of the Member States and Central and Eastern European countries, experts and non-governmental organisations was charged with producing a draft charter and submitting it to the European Council and the European Parliament.

The Charter of Fundamental Rights was adopted at the Nice European Council of 7 December 2000. It has been incorporated into the treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe.

This page was last modified on : 29-12-2004

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