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The European Commission (EC) has adopted a number of Communications relating to human rights and democratisation in the last decade. This Communication does not seek to rewrite the fundamental policy. Rather it seeks to set this policy in the context of the Commission's overall strategic approach in external relations for the coming years. Changes in the external environment, as well as internal Commission reforms, require a re-focusing of human rights and democracy strategies, in particular to ensure that these issues permeate all Community policies, programmes and projects. Prioritisation, focus, delivery and impact are the main threads running throughout the document. The Commission wants to be judged on its performance in meeting the EU's policy goals. This Communication outlines a way forward.

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