“While writing the last pages of 2016, we look back and see over the last year a long list of challenges to democracy, pluralism, human rights and the rule of law on our continent,”, PACE President Pedro Agramunt said.
“Terrorism constituted a fundamental, multi-faceted danger. The refugee crisis triggered much debate about our European identity, values and our willingness to show solidarity. Conflicts still unresolved continued to cause major concerns and division in Europe. The wave of left and right-wing populism and rising nationalism affected our cohesion and our capacity to work together. Unfortunately, all these questions will also dominate our agenda in 2017”, he added.
“Our Assembly has a unique capacity to respond to the challenges of the 21st century.The founding fathers created the Council of Europe believing that Europe could only solve its problems by working together, improving mutual relations, promoting cooperation, fostering reconciliation and defining and achieving common goals. As parliamentarians, it is our duty to listen and talk, share thoughts and ideas, put recommendations forward and find solutions for the challenges ahead”, Mr Agramunt stated.
“In the new year to come, Europe can count on us to move forward in challenging time. I wish you all Season’s Greetings,” he concluded.