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Danish Prime Minister urges further reform of the European Convention

Danish Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen has called for further reform of the European Convention on Human Rights – and urged member States to apply it more effectively at national level.

Addressing PACE at its plenary session in Strasbourg, the Prime Minister said it was necessary to “reform in order to preserve” the Convention.

Problems included inadequate national implementation of the Court’s rulings, questions over the interpretation of the Convention and the challenge of the case-load of the Court, he said.

“Denmark has always been a strong supporter of the European human rights system – this is why our main priority is its reform,” he pointed out.

He called for an open and ongoing debate about how to assure the relevance and effectiveness of the Convention system. “No-one has an interest in a Convention system that is perceived as out of sync by member States or the broad public. This requires an effort from all sides.”

He also urged greater action at national level to uphold the Convention. “We should not forget that it is the member States who are the primary protectors of Convention rights – and in doing so, they should be given reasonable room for manoeuvre, a margin of appreciation, subject of course to the supervision of the Court.”

“The Council of Europe and the European Court of Human Rights are true jewels,” Mr Rasmussen concluded. “It is our job to make them shine.”