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The European Commission has declared the need for a period of reflection after Opinion 2/13 of the European Court of Justice has stopped the European Union from signing up to the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). Mindful of its legal duty under Article 6(2) TEU to achieve the EU’s accession to the Convention, the Commission considers itself still empowered by the Council decision of June 2010 to continue negotiations in due course with the Council of Europe. But the political reaction is muted: some EU member states would like to knock the matter into the long grass; and the European Parliament has not yet found its voice. In truth, nobody can relish the thought of re-opening negotiations at this juncture on the Draft Accession Agreement with either Russia or Turkey, both of whose leaders appear to have abandoned the democratic rule of law and turned against Western values.
Yet the […]

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