The EU’s Role in Fighting Global Imbalances

The EU’s Role in Fighting Global Imbalances

Edited by Antonina Bakardjieva Engelbrekt, Moa Mårtensson, Lars Oxelheim and Thomas Persson

The EU’s Role in Fighting Global Imbalances looks at the role of the European Union in addressing some of the greatest challenges of our time: poverty, protectionism, climate change, and human trafficking. Contributions from ten leading scholars in the fields of economics, law, and political science provide in-depth analyses of three key dimensions of EU foreign policy, namely: the internal challenges facing the EU, as its 28 member countries struggle to coordinate their actions; the external challenges facing the EU on the global arena, in areas where global imbalances are particularly pervasive, and where measures taken by the Union can have an important impact; and the EU´s performance on the global arena, in the eyes of other key actors. Based on a broad and interdisciplinary understanding of the concept of global imbalances, this book argues that these challenges follow from pervasive global imbalances, which at root are economic, political, and legal in character.

Chapter 7: Can the European Union use agreements to even out the global imbalance in the protection of human rights?

Andreas Moberg

Subjects: politics and public policy, european politics and policy, public policy


Respect for human rights is held up as an obvious presumption for all member states of the United Nations (UN). At the same time, the significant discrepancy in the level of protection accorded the human rights of individuals in different states is one of the greatest imbalances in the world today. In our modern global society, only 40 per cent of the world’s population live in states that are designated as ‘free’ according to Freedom House (2015). According to the World Bank’s forecast for 2015, 11.5 per cent of the world population will be below the international poverty lines, which means that they need to get by on less than the equivalent of 1.25 dollars a day (World Bank, 2015). International NGOs like Human Rights Watch report almost daily about the incredible differences in living conditions found among the world’s population, in terms of the protection accorded human rights (Human Rights Watch, 2015). Addressing the lack of protection for human rights and the lack of respect for democratic principles is a core issue for those who seek to even out these global imbalances.

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