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EU reaffirms position against the death penalty

World Day against the Death Penalty - EU reaffirms its position against the death penalty

The EU reaffirms its longstanding position against the use of the death penalty in all circumstances. The Union considers that abolishing the death penalty contributes to the enhancement of human dignity and the progressive development of human rights.

The EU and the NGO World Coalition Against the Death Penalty are working towards the abolition of the death penalty. We seek to encourage public debate, to strengthen public opposition and to put pressure on those countries, which still practise the death penalty to stop executions.

The political commitment of the EU is matched by substantial financial support for concrete projects under the European Initiative for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR). The European Commission Communication on the European Union's Role in Promoting Human Rights and Democratisation of 8 May 2001 identified the abolition of the death penalty as one of the thematic priorities for assistance under the EIDHR.

In 2002, approx. €4.9 million was allocated to projects aiming at raising public awareness in retentionist countries through public education, outreach to influence public opinion, studies on how states' death penalty systems comply with minimum standards, informing and supporting strategies for replacing the death penalty and efforts for securing the access of death row inmates to appropriate levels of legal support and training for lawyers.

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