The European Union has carried out its own human rights diplomacy although it is comprised of plural nation states and has unique political powers. The track records show that it could act as a human rights promoter in the United Nations which is organized globally. It has also attempted to stress democracy and human rights norms by introducing conditionalities in many different kinds of bilateral relations.
The specific historical progress which has achieved a lasting peace among the European nations and the collective consciousness which can be called a “European identity” can be considered as sources for such diplomatic practice peculiar to the EU. Its image as a civilian power and the active approach including the abolition of the death penalty and the making of the Charter of Fundamental Rights also would be good examples for sources that justify the EU diplomacy to prompt human rights. It seems the EU has furnished these sources over many years. The EU is an organization for international integration laying a special emphasis on economic affairs while leaving political multipolarity. Such structure can be seen as a foundation which brings these sources up.
Moreover, this article indicates that there would be some factors which limit the EU diplomacy to promote norms of human rights. Such factors could include a wide variety of double standard, intolerance for non-European countries and unsatisfactory internal records of human rights protection.
The viewpoint of these sources and factors provides an opportunity to consider the EU’s previous practices, although most available policies to effectual such practice may run out. Therefore it will be added to concern that how the EU as an institution can specialize good practices and continue them.
2013 The European Union Studies Association - Japan