Wien, 3. February 2010 Press release

Plassnik: "Spain’s EU Presidency a driving force for women’s policy"

Special envoy reminds of urgent need for European emergency call number for victims of violence

Vienna, 3 February 2010 – "Already in the first month, Spain’s EU Presidency has already proven a positive encouragement for us women in Europe. Madrid is acting as a driving force for women’s policy and is working on the implementation of defined plans with impressive commitment", said Ursula Plassnik, the Foreign Ministry's Special Envoy for International Women's Issues.

"Spain is determined to use efficient measures to curb violence against women. To do so, the EU Presidency needs strong support from its EU partners“, Plassnik added. "Of prime importance is the introduction of a single telephone hotline throughout the entire European Union, which will provide advice and assistance to women who fall victims to violence. There is need for quick action in implementing this plan. Bureaucratic obstacles or delays for technical reasons are not plausible in the information age. The universal European emergency call number has proven successful and can be used as a technological point of reference."

"It is also welcome that the EU Presidency is placing a particular focus on gender mainstreaming. The gender equality principle is to become part of the European Strategy 2020 in accordance with the corresponding decisions of the European Council in March. The objective is the enforcement of equality in all areas of the labour market", stressed Plassnik.

The Special Envoy concluded: "Women, however, are also an eminently important topic of global foreign policy. The Spanish EU Council Presidency is therefore particularly committed to the promotion of women in the areas of sustainable development and peacekeeping. The 27 EU Member States are encouraged to look beyond Europe and to work toward achieving a long overdue progress in implementing UN resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security. The 10-year anniversary of this groundbreaking UN resolution is a good opportunity to give this topic its due attention on a European level."

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