EU establishes European Day Against the Death Penalty

World Day

on 12 December 2007

The European Unions’s Council of justice ministers on December 7 approved the creation of a European Day Against the Death Penalty. The event will take place every year on October 10, in conjunction with the World Coalition-sponsored World Day Against the Death Penalty.
The move came after Polish voters elected a new governement last October. The previous Polish prime minister, Jaroslaw Kaczynski, had been blocking the EU initiative, arguing that the issue of capital punishment could not be considered separately from those of euthanasia and abortion.
Poland’s new Prime minister, Donald Tusk, has been eager to restore better co-operation with his country’s EU partners since he was sworn in on November 16.
On the death penalty front, this took the form of his justice minister’s lifting the Polish veto on the creation of the European Day Against the Death Penalty.
The EU, which imposes the abolition of the death penalty on all its member states, co-organised a conference in Lisbon with the World Coalition on October 10 last, despite the delay in the establishment of the full-scale European Day.

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