Obligations under EU Law and International Law
Chapter 7: The External Relations of the European Union, MNEs and Human Rights
7.1 INTRODUCTION Having examined the EU measures addressed directly to MNEs in Part II, Part III focuses on measures addressed to host States. It suggests that a possible option to promote MNEs’ respect for human rights in developing countries is to raise MNEs’ human rights standards in recipient countries. Governments in developing countries will in turn be encouraged to enforce human rights obligations on MNEs operating in their countries. In addition, the scrutiny of MNEs in developing countries could be enhanced by strengthening local NGOs and increasing awareness about the conduct of MNEs directly at the host State level. Great potential in both respects is offered by the instruments available to the external relations of the European Union. First, the EU counts on a well established network of diplomatic relations with a vast majority of developing countries in different geographical areas. The past five years have seen the evolution of relationships between the EU and developing countries in all regions of the world, many of them former colonies of the Member States. At the centre of these relationships has been a multifaceted and highly institutionalized system of developing cooperation with African Caribbean and Pacific States, the Mediterranean countries and the Asian and Latin American (ALA) countries, which include 92 of the world’s least developed countries.1 The EC maintains 127 overseas delegations and in return 164 states have established permanent diplomatic missions to the Community. Their main task is the management of trade and aid relations.2 A co-ordination role among the...
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