Proposal to Positively Implement the Democratic Clause in the Global Agreement Between Mexico and the European Union

26 November 2002

Core Proposals, Brussels, Belgium, 26 November 2002

1. The Agreement on Economic Partnership, Political Co-ordination and Co-operation between Mexico and the European Union entered into force on October 1, 2000. This Agreement seeks to go beyond economic liberalization and therefore the establishment of communication with civil society and political dialogue become a priority.

2. The Parties (EU & Mexico government) incorporated the democratic clause into the Agreement through Article 1, through other congruent provisions of the preamble and other articles that discuss human rights and democratic principles. The legally binding nature of the democratic clause should be highlighted, in which human rights ARE AN ESSENTIAL ELEMENT OF THE AGREEMENT, as is established in the text itself, and which should be developed positively and affirmatively from an integral and complementary perspective of human rights, taking their indivisibility into account.

3.The EU as well as Mexico have expressed their reiterated commitment to human rights. In the case of the EU, these should be treated as a priority and at a high level, as was expressed in the Declaration of the Joint Council on July 25, 2001. It should be requested that this importance given to human rights be specified and be treated in an obligatory manner in all of the meetings of the Councils and committees that emerge from the Agreement.

4.Based on the human rights obligations that were decided upon by the parties of the Agreement, it is proposed that a Joint Consultative Committee (JCC) be established- made up of representatives of civil society organizations who have experience and have worked on the issues of human rights, union organizations, etc. who could be represented on a rotating basis-, with the participation of the ombudsmen from both parties.

5. Based on the commitments established in the Agreement, in the preamble and in the mentioned articles, especially article 39, referring to co-operation with regard to human rights and democracy and article 43, which establishes the evolutionary clause, it is possible to give an affirmative content to the democratic clause, establishing the obligation of annual reports by the States, based on their international obligations regarding human rights and the obligations under this agreement, with observations about the implementation of recommendations in order to overcome the problems that may exist in terms of human rights violations and impunity.

The reports should be countered with alternative reports from the specialized civil society organisations and the reports of the Social Observatory. The JCC will do the follow-up and make the pertinent recommendations, receive individual communications in relation to the effects of the dynamics of the bilateral relations, including investments, in order to provide follow-up to them, transmit them to the respective authorities and present recommendations to the parties.

6.On the issue of funding, it is proposed that the possibility of an obligatory contribution as a percentage of the economic benefits that arise from the implementation of the Agreement or specific contributions by the executive branches of both parties, be explored.