The situation of human rights and fundamental freedoms in Azerbaijan has been deteriorating as the country has raised its profile in the energy sector. The EU has been criticized for not sufficiently applying the principle of conditionality to Azerbaijan. This brief challenges the narrative that the EU is dependent on Azerbaijan in terms of energy supply, questions the relevance of conditionality in energy relations in a context when the EU’s leverage has decreased with Azerbaijan’s emancipation as an independent player in the energy world where market liberalization and move towards depoliticization has become key for enhancing the energy security of consumers. It further elaborates on how to support democracy for stability by disentangling interests from human rights policies with a long-term engagement on the societal level supported by enhanced political dialogue that reconciles at both levels respect for sovereignty and human rights culture.
EU-Azerbaijani Relations: Thinking of a Culture of Human Rights in a Partnership Relation