A new Council of Europe summit to revitalise democracy, the rule of law and human rights in Europe

A draft recommendation on the basis of a report by Tiny Kox, chairman of the Group of the Unified European Left has been unanimously adopted by the Committee on Rules of Procedure, Immunities and Institutional Affairs, calling on the Committee of Ministers and the Secretary General of the Council of Europe to “add the future of the Council of Europe convention-based system to the agenda of the upcoming Council of Europe summit.

The report shows in which way the convention-based system has substantially helped to improve the functioning of democratic institutions in Europe, to develop the rule of law throughout Europe and to protect and promote the rights of all European citizens and inhabitants for almost 70 years.

Mr. Kox underlines that “this unique common heritage must be recognised, asserted, defended and, as necessary, further developed, to the benefit of all European citizens and inhabitants – and others to whom these conventions are or could be applied”.

Therefore, a summit of the Heads of state or Government of the 47 member states would be an opportunity to discuss how to improve and enhance and thus modernise the Council of Europe convention system, especially in the current geopolitical constellation where democracy, the rule of law and human rights values are severely “under pressure”.

The Council of Europe remains one of the main confidence building structures of the European architecture and increased government support for its work and increased domestic efforts to secure respect for the undertakings made will be essential for its ability to help member states overcome present challenges.

The report extensively discusses the role of the different Council of Europe’s bodies and the main instruments of the Organization, namely its conventions. Mr. Kox stated that the effectiveness of the European Court of Human Rights, the assistance programmes, monitoring mechanisms, the European Social Charter and relations between other European organizations and in particular the EU should be part of high level discussions and the agenda of the forthcoming summit, adding to it that the role of the Parliamentary Assembly as political engine should be of great importance in the whole process.

The draft recommendation will be put to a vote by the Parliamentary Assembly at its next plenary sitting (Strasbourg, 9-13 October 2017).

Press release by Committee on Rules of Procedure, Immunities and Institutional Affairs
Adopted report