Lady Ashton fails to do the Nobel thing

Published on 10 December 2010 at 12:16

Catherine Ashton, had “a perfect opportunity to protest against China’s brazen stance on the Nobel Prize”, observes Dagens Nyheter. Had she attended the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to dissident Liu Xiaobo on 10 December in Oslo, the EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs could have demonstrated that “Europe won’t acquiesce as the Chinese regime seeks to gag human rights defenders”.

Brussels’ excuse is that Catherine Ashton was not invited, but the Swedish paper won’t buy it: “The only thing that kept her from going to Norway was her desire to please the greatest number.” “The message is plain”, observes Dagens Nyheter: “her showing up at Oslo’s town hall would have put a serious dent in relations with China.” Representatives of all EU member states were there at the ceremony, to be sure, but she should have been there too: “In her capacity as European diplomacy chief, Catherine Ashton could easily have joined the group and shed her usual excess of caution to stand up for the rights of Liu Xiaobo. If the EU itself won’t defend the values that unite it, how can states do so in their dealings with the world’s premier dictatorship?”

Are you a news organisation, a business, an association or a foundation? Check out our bespoke editorial and translation services.

Support independent European journalism

European democracy needs independent media. Voxeurop needs you. Join our community!

On the same topic