On December 2022, the European Parliament put in place a strict 500-word limit to their “urgent” resolutions one human rights abuses in third countries, as part of their response to corruption allegations now known as Qatargate.
At RIDHE, we believe that although corruption needs to be seriously tacked by the European Parliament, a restriction on the number of words used in “urgent” resolution isn’t going to be efficient.
First of all, this word limit only applies to “urgent” resolutions which means that all other resolutions, including those on human rights, will continue to have no word limit. However, the resolution on human rights in Qatar deemed suspicious in regards to Qatargate wasn’t an urgent resolution.
Furthermore, human tights resolutions aren’t were corruption usually takes place. Although some foreign countries might want to prevent criticism of their human rights records, other actions such as votes on legislation, deals and cooperation agreements might trigger lobbying activities towards MEPs.
To add on, reducing the word count makes the victims of human rights violations invisible as their names have to be cut out of the resolution; doesn’t leave space to address the abusive legislations, policies or practices; and doesn’t allow all the important information to be included which will miss important points.
Furthermore, this words count only on human rights urgent resolutions puts in question the integrity of NGOs and potentially undermining the importance of the role civil society organisations play in contributing to EU policy-making.
By imposing this word count, the European Parliament is undermining the strength of the human rights urgency resolution, is aiding perpetrators of abuses to the detriment of the victims and is not doing anything to combat corruption.
At RIDHE, we urgent the European Parliament to reconsider their word limit and to continue helping civil society to promote human rights and protect victims of human rights violations.