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The five other candidates for the post of Special Representative for Human Rights

(BRUSSELS2) The “27” foreign ministers did not adopt a special representative for Human Rights on Monday. And for good reason, this one has not yet been designated. Auditions are taking place these days. Besides Stavros Lambrinidis, who is the favorite candidate of several groups in the European Parliament, we actually have different candidates, who present different qualities or characteristics: 2 women and 3 men. In alphabetical order :

A Lithuanian, Laima Andrikienė.

Born in 1958, is currently a MEP, member of the Union for the Fatherland (EPP) and rapporteur on the issue of Human Rights. She is involved in particular in denouncing the fate of opponents in Cuba.

A graduate in economics and mathematics from Vilnius University, then a doctor in economics (1986), she also studied at the University of Manchester (1988-89) and at Georgetown University (1996). She started as an engineer in the computer center of the research institute for agricultural economics (1980-1983) then a researcher at the same institute (1983-1989). Assistant to the Deputy Prime Minister of Lithuania (1989-1990), she became a deputy in the Seimas (the Lithuanian Diet) in 1992, a position she held until 2000. In 2002, she became an associate professor at the University of Lithuania. Lithuanian law and director of the Institute for European Policy (until 2004). Several times minister: Industry and Commerce (1996), European Affairs (1996-1998), she first belonged to Sajudis (1988-1993) then participated in the founding of another movement, the Union for the Fatherland

A Czech, Jan Jarab, a veteran of the Velvet Revolution, he was in charge of the youth movement. He then worked in the office of Commissioner Spidla, in charge of questions of exclusion, discrimination, social policy and health. He is today regional representative of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.

A doctor, he distinguished himself during the Velvet Revolution by being the “young” spokesperson for the movement. He then participated in several NGOs, notably HOST (movement for tolerance and citizen solidarity) of which he was a founder, which focused on attracting racist acts and violence against Roma and immigrants, as well as abuse of power in the Czech Republic. He joined the government's human rights department, then was appointed Commissioner for Human Rights of the Czech Republic, a position he held until October 2004. He notably developed anti-discrimination legislation and establishment of a PACS for same-sex couples. He is also a writer continuing in the lineage of the main Czech politicians, published an essay “Šíleně pomalá revoluce” (gentle revolution)

A Dane,  Moorten Kjerum, currently director of the European Agency for Fundamental Rights (since June 2008).

He was the founding director of the Danish Institute for Human Rights, to which he gave 17 years of his life and helped to give it international stature. A recognized expert in the implementation of human rights, he was a member of the United Nations Committee for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination and president of the International Coordination Committee of National Human Rights Institutions.

A Finn, Astrid Thors, now an MEP. A member of the Swedish People's Party, she was Minister of Migration and European Affairs from 2010 to 2011 in the second Vanhanen cabinet.

Born in 1957, graduated in law, lawyer at the Court from 1983 to 1986, she was political advisor to the Ministers of Justice Christopher Taxell and of Defense Ole Norrback (1986-1989), assistant to the municipal secretary of the city of 'Helsinki (1989), Deputy Director of the Association of Swedish Municipalities in Finland (1989-1993), Director of the Finnish Association of Local and Regional Authorities (1993-2002). A member of Parliament from 1996 to 2004, she was youth president of the Swedish People's Party (1981-1993) and vice-president of the Swedish People's Party (1992-2000).

A French, Francois Zimeray, current Ambassador for Human Rights. A man of experience but who also speaks frankly.

Born in 1961, mayor of Petit-Quevilly, known to be close to Fabius, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, he has been the ambassador for human rights since 2008. he is also a lawyer. A job that allows him to get involved in certain causes: the defense of victims of the Khmer Rouge or political opponents in Laos. A job which develops in him a strength of conviction which he will then use in the European Parliament. Elected in 1999, he gained a reputation for determined positions. If he defends the peace camp in Israel or the Palestinian moderates, goes to Gaza twice, he also does not hesitate to accuse the Palestinian Authority of embezzlement of European funds, asking for the opening of an investigation . He founded the Medbridge Strategy Center association which aims to promote dialogue between European and Middle Eastern officials. In 2004, the PS will not give him the nomination for the renewal of the Europeans. Zimeray then mobilized for Darfur. In 2007 he was in the refugee camps in Chad with Bernard Henry-Lévy. And in 2008 he was appointed ambassador for human rights. Recently he denounced the “Syrian Guernica” of the “gang of barbarians of Damascus”.

Depending on the personality chosen, we will know more about the real vocation given by the High Representative, the European Union and the European Parliament. The position of Special Representative for Human Rights is, above all, a “speaking” position.

Nicolas Gros Verheyde

Chief editor of the B2 site. Graduated in European law from the University of Paris I Pantheon Sorbonne and listener to the 65th session of the IHEDN (Institut des Hautes Etudes de la Défense Nationale. Journalist since 1989, founded B2 - Bruxelles2 in 2008. EU/NATO correspondent in Brussels for Sud-Ouest (previously West-France and France-Soir).