This panel discussion will examine the role the EU can play in responding to the development of repressive laws and practices across the former Soviet Union, including “foreign agents” laws and other restrictions on NGO activities, laws restricting LGBTI rights, security sector cooperation, limits on freedom of assembly, and crackdowns on media and internet freedom.
Panelists will discuss not only the role played by regional institutions such as the Commonwealth of Independent States, Eurasian Economic Union, and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization in the promotion of such laws, but the ways in which repressive governments in the former Soviet Union work to influence how the European Union and international institutions such as the Council of Europe, the UN, Interpol, EITI, and international financial institutions respond to human rights abuses in the post-Soviet space.
The discussion will be based on the findings of two Foreign Policy Centre reports in this Exporting Repression series: Institutionally Blind? International Organisations and Human Rights Abuses in the Former Soviet Union and the forthcoming Sharing Worst Practice: How Countries and Institutions in the Former Soviet Union Help Create Legal Tools of Repression. Free copies of these publications will be available at this event.
- Heidi Hautala is a member of the European Parliament, the Delegation to the EU–Armenia and EU–Azerbaijan Parliamentary Cooperation Committees, the EU–Georgia Parliamentary Association Committee, and the Group of the Greens/European Free Alliance.
- Fernando Andresen Guimarães is the acting director for Europe East at the European External Action Service.
- Tinatin Tsertsvadze is an international advocacy manager at the International Partnership for Human Rights.
- Kate Levine is a lawyer at the European Human Rights Advocacy Centre.
- Adam Hug is the policy director of the Foreign Policy Centre.
- Richard Howitt (chair) is a member of the European Parliament and is the Socialist & Democrat Group human rights spokesperson.
European Endowment for Democracy, Avenue des Gaulois 29, 1040 Brussels, Belgium