Human Rights as a Cross-cutting Issue
The European Union takes account of human rights protection in all policy areas. The EU Foreign Ministers regularly discuss the approach to topical human rights questions. EU treaties with third countries (e.g. association and partnership agreements) always contain clauses with an undertaking to cooperation on human rights questions. The integration of human rights in the EU’s Security and Defence Policy is a further focus. The aim is to ensure that all EU missions systematically take account of human rights protection through the involvement of human rights experts in all EU peace missions and through special training of military personnel. With reference to UN Security Council resolution 1325, which calls for the involvement of women in peace processes and missions and measures to protect women and girls in conflict and post-conflict situations, the EU endeavours to involve women and women’s rights issues in peace missions. In January 2007 on the basis of an Austrian initiative human rights were explicitly included in the mandates of all EU special representatives in the various crisis regions. The special representatives now have a clear mandate to allow for the human rights situation and particularly the situation of women and children in their work in the crisis region.