Democracy, pluralism, respect for human rights, civil liberties, the rule of law and core labour standards are essential prerequisites for political stability. These classic European values are furthermore paramount for peaceful and sustained social and economic development. The ENP encourages protection of fundamental human and social rights:
- freedom of media and expression,
- rights of minorities and children,
- gender equality,
- trade union rights and other core labour standards, and
- the fight against torture and prevention of ill treatment.
The EU provides support and expertise to help the neighbouring countries prepare and implement key reforms.
In some cases, partner countries have already entered into international and regional conventions or bilateral agreements with the EU concerning human rights or political reform. Such tracts will continue under the ENP Action plans. These are monitored via joint committees of EU and partner countries.
In line with promoting the European Union’s fundamental values, particular priority is given to the staging of free and fair democratic elections in partner countries. The EU provides support and expertise to help its partners prepare and implement electoral laws, decentralisation and strengthened administrative capacity. It also seeks to stimulate capacity for rule of law via the reform of civil and criminal codes in addition to judicial and penitentiary systems.