Re-Orienting the Fundamentals: Human Rights and New Connections in EU-Asia Relations


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People also read Article. Published online: 15 Aug Simon Nuttall Survival Volume 38, - Issue 2.

Published online: 3 Mar Patricia A. Nelson Japan Forum Volume 24, - Issue 3. Published online: 29 Nov More Share Options. New to eBooks. Georg Wiessala. Filter Results. Last 30 days Last 90 days All time. English Only. All PDF Epub. For countries like Norway that have benefited so much from this, it is both a moral duty and in our own interests to include other countries in this cooperation. The Government will therefore maintain its support for European countries that are seeking closer integration with European and Euro-Atlantic cooperation structures, particularly countries that have applied for EU membership and Eastern European countries that have entered into association agreements with the EU.

All the Western Balkan countries are seeking EU membership. EU accession is a goal in itself and a process by which countries can implement much-needed economic, social and political reforms. The Government supports the EU's enlargement policy, which sets strict conditions for EU membership and supports reforms in the candidate countries.

Stability in the Western Balkan region is fragile, and the progress made so far is reversible. Weak economic development, a high youth unemployment rate, widespread corruption and lack of respect for the rule of law are contributing to ethnic and political tensions in several countries. There is a danger that internal tensions within countries could lead to tension between countries.

This situation could be exploited by undemocratic and nationalist forces, and by external actors. In cooperation with the EU, the Government will continue to promote development and stability in Western Balkans, through extensive political engagement and development cooperation. In , the Government doubled its financial support to the Western Balkans. The guiding principle of our development cooperation is to support reforms that promote European integration and economic growth. It is in Norway's interests for Turkey and the EU to enjoy a close and constructive relationship.

In recent years, there have been difficult and worrying developments in Turkey, including a coup attempt, terrorist attacks, a rise in internal tensions and a weakening of the rule of law and freedom of expression. The EU and Norway share an interest in promoting a democratic and stable Turkey that is firmly underpinned by respect for human rights and the rule of law. Norway's cooperation with the EU in Eastern Europe focuses on countries that have clearly chosen a policy of European-oriented reform and that have shown a genuine willingness and ability to translate this policy into practice.

In recent years, this has applied primarily to Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova. All three have entered into association agreements and free trade agreements with the EU. One of the main aims of Norway's cooperation with these countries is to support further reforms to promote democracy, the rule of law, good governance and respect for human rights, as well as to foster the development of a viable civil society and independent media.

We support the efforts of these countries to become more closely integrated with the EU, including through economic cooperation and trade. Norway's assistance to these countries complements the support provided by the EU under the association agreements and free trade agreements. Close contact and cooperation with the EU on issues relating to these countries, not least those where Norway has no permanent diplomatic or consular presence is important for ensuring a common and coherent European approach.

Unless Europe is secure it cannot be free. At the same time, respect for individuals' fundamental freedoms and rights and for democratic principles is essential for achieving lasting peace and stability, and thus for ensuring our security. The Government's foreign policy is based on liberal values. We are working to promote a Europe where the rights and freedoms of all individuals are respected. This means that all individuals are treated equally and have equal opportunities, regardless of gender, ethnicity, functional capacity or sexual orientation. We are working to promote a Europe where states respect the fundamental rules of democracy and the rule of law, and where international relations are based on international law.

Further, we are promoting a Europe that fosters the development of a strong civil society.

Human Rights Watch

Trends in several European countries in recent years show that we cannot take respect for these values for granted. The EU and its member states are Norway's most like-minded partners in these organisations, and the Government will continue its close cooperation with the EU and its member states in these arenas. One of the characteristics of the liberal world order is that the rights and freedoms of individuals are not only recognised, but also enshrined in legal texts that are binding on national authorities and limit their freedom of action.

The rights and freedoms enjoyed by individuals in Europe are set out in a number of different instruments and conventions.


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Through its cooperation with the EU, the Government will seek to safeguard the rights and freedoms of individuals in Europe. Freedom of movement across borders has been one of the most significant results of European integration. The right Norwegians and other Europeans enjoy under the EEA and Schengen agreements to cross borders, live, work, study and have a family in other European countries has made our countries richer — in both economic and cultural terms.

The Government will defend these rights and freedoms by ensuring equal treatment of EEA citizens in Norway. Correspondingly, Norwegian citizens in other EEA countries should be able to enjoy the same fundamental rights and freedoms as the citizens of those countries. The UK is due to leave the EU in In situations where the fundamental rights and freedoms set out in the EEA and Schengen agreements could have negative implications for the security or welfare of Norwegian citizens, the Government will seek to find balanced solutions. These should be proportional and, as far as possible, should take both considerations into account, within the framework provided by our agreements with the EU.

The temporary reintroduction of border control at the internal borders of the Schengen area and the payment of social security benefits acquired in Norway to people resident abroad are two examples of situations when it will be necessary to find a balanced solution. Promoting respect for human rights is one of the main goals of the Government's foreign policy. In the Government's view, the EU's accession to the European Convention on Human Rights would help to strengthen human rights, as it would create a coherent legal framework for human rights protection throughout Europe.

We will intensify our efforts to promote civil and political rights, including in our neighbouring areas. Safeguarding the rule of law is crucial. Economic, social and cultural rights must be respected — in Europe too. Everyone has a right to a basic education, decent living conditions, and access to basic health services. The right to health, both at the global level and in Europe, is a priority area for the Government. Norway is leading a work package on migration and health under the EU Health Programme. The Government will maintain Norway's leading role in European efforts to combat antibiotic resistance, which poses a serious threat to public health in Europe.

We are also continuing to play an active role in promoting ambitious European legislation on the production and use of chemicals, to ensure a non-toxic environment for all people living in Europe. NGOs often give a voice to groups that would otherwise not have been heard in political decision-making processes. A strong civil society and independent media are prerequisites for a vibrant, well-functioning democracy. In a number of European countries, NGOs are facing legal, financial or physical threats. In some countries, legislation and negative rhetoric are being used systematically to target civil society and thus restrict freedom of opinion.

The Government will continue its economic and political support for civil society in Europe, both within and outside the EU.

Socio-cultural and Educational Cooperation between the EU and Asia | SpringerLink

The Government requires that all Norwegian funding for civil society in other countries is managed by an independent fund operator. A free Europe means that all European countries are governed by the rule of law, with equality before the law and an independent judiciary. This is not only right as a matter of principle, it is also important in economic terms, since European countries need to have confidence in each other's legal and political systems if their close economic cooperation is to work.

If one country disregards these principles, all countries may be negatively affected.

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In cooperation with the EU, the Government will seek to influence governments that are adopting legislative amendments and other measures that are not consistent with the principles of the rule of law and the European Convention on Human Rights. The Government is particularly concerned that justice sector reforms in some EU member states may increase political control over the judiciary.

We share the European Commission's concern that the cumulative effect of judicial reforms of this kind could be to sideline the EU's core values — values that Norway shares and that the Government will work with the EU and the Council of Europe to safeguard and strengthen. The EU, like Norway, is a staunch defender of a rules-based world order. Together, we react to violations of international law. And together, we are continuing to develop rules-based international cooperation.

Territorial integrity and political independence are fundamental principles of international law. In a free Europe, no country's borders should be violated. In a free Europe, all countries should be able to choose their own future course, including their ties to organisations such as the EU and Nato. The Government will support the EU's efforts to defend these principles. For example, we are aligning ourselves with EU restrictive measures in response to Russia's illegal annexation of Crimea and other violations of international law in eastern Ukraine.

The Law of the Sea is an international convention that is particularly significant for Norway, given our long coastline, the importance of our fisheries and oil and gas industry, and our traditions as a maritime nation. Under the Law of the Sea, Norway has the exclusive right to manage the natural resources in its sea areas, which include the Economic Zone of Norway, the fisheries zone around Jan Mayen, the fisheries protection zone around Svalbard, and the whole of the Norwegian continental shelf. We will work systematically to provide information to EU institutions and member states with a view to ensuring that there is a common understanding of these principles.

Global tools

Economic strength is essential to safeguard our security, promote our values, and maintain a sustainable welfare society. An economically strong Europe depends on a well-functioning internal market, as does economic growth in Norway. In the period up to the next general election, the Government will focus on three main objectives in its economic cooperation with the EU with a view to promoting an economically strong Europe.

These are: open, rules-based trade in the internal market and globally; a well-regulated labour market; and a forward-looking business sector. The EEA Agreement has expanded the 'home market' for the Norwegian business sector, giving it access to a market of million rather than 5 million people. Within the sectors that it covers, the Agreement has made it possible to trade throughout the EEA with a minimum of obstacles.

EU main activities

Common rules on state aid and competition, combined with uniform and effective enforcement of those rules, ensure predictability and a level playing field for companies operating in the EEA. This is crucial for Norway's economic interests, for Norwegian consumers, and for the state of the environment in Europe.

'The Relationship Between the European Court of Human Rights and National Constitutional Courts?'

The Government will take its share of the responsibility for making sure that the EEA internal market functions well and that it benefits the Norwegian business sector. We will also seek to ensure that the rules are in line with Norwegian priorities, for example in terms of environmental standards, consumer protection, food safety and workers' rights. Secondly, we will help to ensure that relevant EU legislation is incorporated into the EEA Agreement and that our national rules are in line with our obligations under the Agreement.

Unreasonable delays in incorporating new legislation into the EEA Agreement create unnecessary uncertainty and extra work for businesses. In the worst case, the result may be exclusion from the market even though equivalent domestic legislation is in place.

Re-Orienting the Fundamentals: Human Rights and New Connections in EU-Asia Relations Re-Orienting the Fundamentals: Human Rights and New Connections in EU-Asia Relations
Re-Orienting the Fundamentals: Human Rights and New Connections in EU-Asia Relations Re-Orienting the Fundamentals: Human Rights and New Connections in EU-Asia Relations
Re-Orienting the Fundamentals: Human Rights and New Connections in EU-Asia Relations Re-Orienting the Fundamentals: Human Rights and New Connections in EU-Asia Relations
Re-Orienting the Fundamentals: Human Rights and New Connections in EU-Asia Relations Re-Orienting the Fundamentals: Human Rights and New Connections in EU-Asia Relations
Re-Orienting the Fundamentals: Human Rights and New Connections in EU-Asia Relations Re-Orienting the Fundamentals: Human Rights and New Connections in EU-Asia Relations

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