Call for strong EEAS Human Rights policy

On 23rd March the European Parliament Committee on Foreign Affairs held an Exchange of views with Catherine Ashton[:], Vice-President of the Commission/High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy on the setting-up of the European External Action Service (EEAS). Chairwoman Hautala asked the High Representative how she will ensure that there will be effective human rights structure in place in the European External Action so that there will be coherent and consistend EU human rights policy. High representative Ashton assured Chairwoman Hautala that there will be distinct human rights structure in place in the External Action Service and that she will aim for the EU human rights policies to see better results. She underlined that human rights must be built into everything, and that mainstreaming of human rights throughout the External Action Service is how we must understand these rights. High representative noted that she remains unconvinced of the functioning and effectivenes of the EU human rights doalogues and noted that perhaps EU should get smarter about its human rights strategies in such challenging terrain. We must choose the issues we focus on better to drive the progress further, she suggested.