Following this morning’s hearing, the European Parliament Subcommittee on Human Rights Chairwoman Heidi Hautala welcomes Baroness Ashton’s public commitment to place human rights at the core of the EU foreign policy. [:]
Baroness Ashton stated her belief in quiet diplomacy in human rights. Heidi Hautala says, however, that what is now needed most of all in relation to countries where human rights are systematically abused, such as in China and Russia, is vocal and public support for human rights and democracy. Chairwoman Hautala accepted Baroness Ashton’s statement that she will, when necessary, step into the forefront and publicly raise human rights issues.
Chairwoman Hautala stresses that Baroness Ashton must now show that she is capable of presenting her vision on the role of EU in the global arena of foreign relations and her strategy and goals concerning human rights in that field.
Chairwoman Hautala expects that Baroness Ashton, in fulfilling her duties as High Representative, will work closely with the Parliament and its Subcommittee on Human Rights. She expects a strong commitment in defence of human rights in all aspects of the EU external policy, to be demonstrated through consistent action cutting across all policies, including trade and development. This must also be fully reflected in the new External Action Service of the EU.