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Speaking to the Committee of Ministers in Helsinki, the President calls for a spirit of fraternity and co-operation

In her speech (French only) to the Committee of Ministers in Helsinki, the President of PACE today called for a spirit of fraternity and co-operation, "so that together we can make our Organisation even more united, stronger and more effective in fulfilling our political mission".

"In this year of the 70th anniversary of the Council of Europe, we have many reasons to be proud of what we have built," she said, noting in particular the creation of "a space of dialogue and co-operation for its 47 members" and "an unprecedented level of protection of human rights for all 830 million people".

At the same time, she warned of "serious challenges" facing the Council of Europe, recalling the importance of fulfilling the very purpose of the Organisation "to create a closer union among European states".

"It is clear that the situation in which a member State has stopped participating in the work of one of the statutory bodies and does not pay its financial contribution is not acceptable. We must therefore work to remedy this and everyone must fully contribute to the solution. Our respective decisions follow the same logic that, on the one hand, all member States must be represented in the statutory bodies and honour their financial obligations. And that, on the other hand, the two statutory bodies must act synergistically in the event of non-compliance by a member State with the standards defended by the Organisation," said Liliane Maury Pasquier.

In conclusion, she said that she had "noted that the Committee of Ministers would appreciate the participation of delegations from all member States in the June part-session of the Assembly. I hope that the two member States more particularly concerned will take the necessary steps to make this happen. For our part, we will discuss it in the Bureau of the Assembly next week and see what can be done to achieve it. I am convinced that we can do it if the political will is there."