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Your Taxpayer Euros at Work

Nile Gardiner writes in the London Telegraph:

Why on earth are British taxpayers being forced to fund European Union lobbying for policy campaigns in the United States? Furthermore, why is the EU directly interfering in domestic political debates in America, and so far without Congressional oversight? As the research detailed below demonstrates, the EU's European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR) is spending millions of Euros on US-based campaigns against the death penalty. An extraordinary development.

The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which the United States and all European countries are parties, permits the death penalty under certain conditions, all of which the United States complies with.  The Europeans have agreed among themselves not to have the death penalty, but their agreement with us (and a lot of other countries) permits it, so our having it is not legitimately any of their business.

But why shouldn't the taxpayers of Europe pay for advocacy on a subject that is none of Europe's business.  It's not like they have any financial problems over there, do they?


“…so our having it is not legitimately any of their business”.

Er, no. It is indeed their business when human rights abuses are involved.

The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights is a bad excuse to expect Europeans to shut up, bow their heads and saunter aimlessly into the night.

By permitting the death penalty upon meeting certain conditions (which we meet), the convention they agreed to effectively says the death penalty as administered here is not a human rights abuse.

With all due respect, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights might not have been ratified by death penalty jurisdictions had it explicitly forbidden the use of capital punishment. The Covenant’s gross deficiency is a necessary evil in order to protect against a plethora of other human rights violations from being committed.

The Covenant does not excuse Europe from doing everything within its power to ameliorate the Covenant’s gross deficiencies and bring pressure to bear on the United States and other human rights violators that continue to sanction executions.

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