This website is an archive of the work of Marietje Schaake in the European Parliament between 2009 and 2019. Marietje can be reached at

Plenary speech on institutional aspects of accession by the European Union to the ECHR

Marietje Schaake (ALDE) – Madam President, as we review the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, let us be reminded that its creation truly marks a success for liberal democracy and a commitment to effective international law. With all EU Member States ratifying to comply with the Rome Statute, we set out on the next chapter of meeting our ambitions and responsibilities in the field of human rights, peace and justice. A critical evaluation is important, but the ICC is already an important institution in ensuring that these fundamental values are not just European but universal. It is a last resort, as Commissioner Reding said, but an important one. The EU and Member States should continue their commitment to the ICC, or the principles it seeks to ensure, by adopting the EU guidelines on the ICC. It is a primary obligation to investigate and prosecute those who commit war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity. With the Lisbon Treaty, we are working towards an effective common foreign EU policy. The High Representative should actively promote the accession to the Rome Statute of other global players – China, India, Russia and important candidate Member States, such as Turkey – but, also, the long-term ally of the EU, the United States, should be engaged in a dialogue of contributing to global justice and should seriously consider joining its ally. As a Dutch European, I would like to reassure our citizens that the ‘Hague Invasion Act’ will never be invoked. The EU needs to work constructively with Turkey and the US to stop impunity in Iran, which is one of the most urgent cases of aggressors and where execution, rape and torture are brought upon citizens by their own government on a daily and systematic basis. We need to work on the true globalisation or universalisation of human rights, justice and the rule of law, and the ICC is an important instrument to meet this goal. Support for this Court needs to be globalised as well. The European Parliament has been working constructively and is united on this subject.