Thursday, March 3, 2011

Even I'm speechless

But not for long. Still, momentarily, this piece by Nile Gardiner silenced me.

It would appear that the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (err, what?) is giving millions of euros, which they do not find on trees, to American anti-death penalty campaigns. Oh goody. Not only they are using our money for purposes hardly intended, they are also interfering with the domestic politics of another country. Indeed, they are interfering with individual State politics within the United States. This is, of course, the sophisticated soft diplomacy of the EU that is so different from American interference in other people's affairs. Oh, I suppose that was only true under President Bush.

Apparently, this organization's key objectives are:
Enhancing respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms in countries and regions where they are most at risk;

Strengthening the role of civil society in promoting human rights and democratic reform, in supporting the peaceful conciliation of group interests and in consolidating political participation and representation;

Supporting actions in areas covered by EU Guidelines: dialogue on Human rights, human rights defenders, the death penalty, torture, children and armed conflicts and violence against women;

Supporting and strengthening the international and regional framework for the protection of human rights, justice, the rule of law and the promotion of democracy;

building confidence in and enhancing the reliability and transparency of democratic electoral processes, in particular through monitoring electoral processes.
The United States being a particularly bad example of all these bad things, in the EIDHR's estimation.

Nile Gardiner gives some details:
Here is a list of US recipients of EU EIDHR aid in 2009, which amounted to €2,624,395 ($3,643,951). The recipients of EU aid include the rather wealthy American Bar Association, whose annual budget approached $150 million in 2008.

American Bar Association Fund for Justice and Education: EU grant: €708,162 ($983, 277)
Project: The Death Penalty Assessments Project: Toward a Nationwide Moratorium on Executions

Death Penalty Information Center: EU grant: €193,443 ($268,585)
Project: Changing the Course of the Death Penalty Debate. A proposal for public opinion research, message development, and communications of capital punishment in the US.

The National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty: EU grant: €305,974 ($424,829)
Project: National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty Intensive Assistance Program

Reprieve LBG: EU grant: €526,816 ($731,591) (some of these funds also went to “European countries”) Project: Engaging Europe in the fight for US abolition

Murder Victim’s Families for Human Rights Non-Profit Corporation: EU grant: €495,000 ($686,608) (some of these funds also went to other countries, including Japan and Taiwan). Project: Voices of Victims Against the Death Penalty

Witness to Innocence Protection: EU grant: €395,000 ($548,538)
Project: American DREAM Campaign
Time to ask a few questions on both sides of the Pond, methinks. (Oh and the issue here is not the death penalty as such. I am not expressing any views on that.)


  1. The EU tried to intercede in a Texas execution in 2007. Gov.Rick Perry said:

    "230 years ago, our forefathers fought a war to throw off the yoke of a European monarch and gain the freedom of self-determination.

    "Texans long ago decided that the death penalty is a just and appropriate punishment for the most horrible crimes committed against our citizens," Black said. "While we respect our friends in Europe, welcome their investment in our state and appreciate their interest in our laws, Texans are doing just fine governing Texas."

    I think the a complete ban on capital punishment is a sign of lack of moral fiber on the ruling class of a society. The US is still a going concern, while Europe has a no future with the current unreformable regime.

  2. Robert Black, Perry's spokesman, quoted. Sorry for the elision.

  3. Yes I remember Renminbi. In fact, I blogged about it on EURef at the time.