Addressing a plenary session of the Austrian National Council dedicated to the 70th anniversary of the Council of Europe, PACE President Liliane Maury Pasquier paid tribute to Austria’s commitment to the Organisation's work and recalled the major fruits of this successful co-operation.
“Since becoming the fifteenth member of our organisation in 1956, Austria has proved to be a solid partner of the Council of Europe, and a staunch defender of democratic values across the continent. The very fact that the National Council has decided to mark the 70th anniversary of the Council of Europe with this solemn ceremony itself speaks of the importance Austria attaches to our organisation, our values and our Convention system,” she said.
(Photo: Parlamentsdirektion / Thomas Topf)
Praising the core contribution of Austria to the work of the Council of Europe, the PACE President recognised that “bringing out the best from its geographical situation and cultural identity, Austria is a stabilising factor for Europe, striving for the formula of a 'greater Europe' and contributing, over the years, to building bridges and strengthening further co-operation among our member countries. We should be proud of what we have all achieved: the construction of 'our Common European Home', bringing together 47 member States under one roof, on the basis of legally binding standards and commonly shared values: human rights, democracy and the rule of law.”
Ms Maury Pasquier also evoked the highly-esteemed Austrians who helped mould the organisation and invested their efforts to see it firmly established as Europe’s moral compass. Among these, she highlighted former PACE Presidents Karl Czernetz (1975-1978), and Peter Schieder (2002-2005) whom she described as “two strong believers in the European project, who strove to nurture a culture of dialogue and co-operation among all our member States”.
During her visit, the President met with Wolfgang Sobotka, Speaker of the Austrian National Council, Clemens Jabloner, Vice-Chancellor and Minister of Constitutional Affairs, Reforms, Deregulation and Justice, as well as the Austrian national delegation to PACE.