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President warns of Convention collapse if states ‘pick and choose’ Strasbourg Court rulings

PACE President Pedro Agramunt has warned that the European Convention on Human Rights – which he described as the “gold standard” of human rights protection – could collapse if states “pick and choose” which judgments of the Strasbourg Court they are ready to accept.

Addressing Council of Europe Foreign Ministers in Sofia, the President said the Convention established the fundamental “rules of the game” for a pan-European family of nations. “We need to reaffirm our commitment to upholding the Convention system and to realising our common objectives for there to be peace, security and stability on the continent.”

Mr Agramunt said the Council’s core values of human rights, democracy and the rule of law were today being challenged. “Unfortunately, today we have all too often forgotten how to put aside our own interests for the common good.”

He pledged the Assembly’s support for the ambitious programme to address these challenges outlined in the Council of Europe Secretary General’s recent report on the state of democracy, human rights and the rule of law, as well the proposal for a new summit of Council of Europe heads of state and government.