The European Union and Azerbaijan held consultations on justice, freedom, security and human rights and democracy. The seventh EU-Azerbaijan Subcommittee on Justice, Freedom, Security and Human Rights and Democracy took place on 5 and 6 February in Baku.

The meeting allowed for a constructive and open dialogue and provided an opportunity to take stock of developments since the last Subcommittee held in October 2017. In preparing the Subcommittee, the EU met with and listened to the views of representatives of civil society organisations.

The first day focused on issues related to rule of law, judiciary and judicial cooperation as well as migration, asylum, border management issues, and the prevention of organised crime. Particular focus was paid to the independence, quality and efficiency of the judiciary.

The second day saw discussions on human rights policy in both Azerbaijan and the EU. Particular attention was paid to persisting challenges to freedom of assembly, association and expression and a number of individual cases were raised. The EU and Azerbaijan also discussed cooperation in regional and international multilateral fora on the protection of human rights, notably within the Council of Europe, OSCE and UN frameworks.

The EU and Azerbaijan will continue to engage on the areas covered by this subcommittee.

The Azerbaijani Delegation was headed by Mahmud Mammad-Guliyev, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and the EU Delegation was headed by Richard Tibbels, Head of the European External Action Service Eastern Partnership Bilateral Relations Division.