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'What is happening in the southern Mediterranean concerns us all'

Jean-Claude Mignon: “What is happening in the South Mediterranean concerns us all”

At the end of his official visit to Portugal, the President of the PACE pointed to the need for a deeper North-South dialogue, emphasising the role played by Portugal in improving the dialogue on the future of the States of the South Mediterranean.

“What is happening in the South Mediterranean concerns us all. It is our duty and our responsibility to help the countries of the South Mediterranean in their process of democratic development. It is sometimes difficult, as we know, since the democratic transitions in our neighbourhood encounter certain obstacles.

That is precisely why we need dialogue. We should be able to engage in a highly respectful comparison of our ideas. Portugal actively helps to promote such dialogue and exchange, and I welcome this”, said Jean-Claude Mignon.

At the end of his discussion with the Minister of Justice, the President also welcomed the adoption of an ambitious rehabilitation plan for prisoners, which was a courageous step.

During his visit, Jean-Claude Mignon met the President of the Assembly of the Republic, the Minister of Justice and the Secretary of State for Portuguese Communities, as well as the leaders of parliamentary groups, the members of the Committee on Foreign Affairs and Portuguese Communities, and the chair of the Portuguese delegation to the PACE.

The President, on 6 November, addressed the 2013 Lisbon Forum, held by the Council of Europe’s North-South Centre, and on 8 November, he addressed the conference organised by the PACE Political Affairs Committee on “Political changes in the South Mediterranean and the Middle East: the role of representative institutions”. The President emphasised the importance of these special platforms for discussion and exchange between North and South.

“Our role as representatives of the continent’s oldest organisation is to place its expertise at the service of the countries of the South Mediterranean, taking account of the specific characteristics of each one, and remembering that what happens as they move resolutely towards democracy concerns us all”, he said.