“The Council of Europe today represents an irreplaceable forum for its 47 member states to maintain ongoing political dialogue,” said the Vice-president in charge of international activites of the French National Assembly, Carole Bureau-Bonnard, in a statement at the opening of the Standing Committee meeting today.
“It is certainly the Organisation that most effectively embodies the diversity of Europe and, if we compare it with the European Union, we see that it plays a different but quite complementary role,” she said.
She highlighted the particular context in which the meeting was taking place, namely the forthcoming election of the Secretary General of the Council of Europe and the European elections which, even though “they do not directly concern the Council of Europe, will nevertheless be decisive for the future of relations between the Council and the European Union”.
Lastly, she stressed that “more than ever, the question of resolving the crisis in relations between the Council of Europe and the Russian Federation requires everyone to be involved, if we are to avoid a bitter outcome for both the Organisation and the cause of human rights”.
“This context demonstrates the extent to which the Assembly is today confronted with a number of issues that are key for the future of the Organisation. You will therefore have an essential, and indeed vital role to play, and the Chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers cannot disregard this,” she concluded.