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'We must shoulder our responsibilities to defend the common interests of all Europeans'

“The part-session which we are starting today is taking place in extraordinary circumstances. Our Organisation is going through a crisis which has serious implications for the European human rights protection system and for the stability and sustainability of our own institutions,” the PACE President stressed at the opening of the session.

“We must therefore find a way to move forward. We all have the same objective: to defend the common interests of 830 million Europeans who expect to be able to enjoy – without any exclusion whatsoever – the protection of the European Convention on Human Rights. Let us always keep this in mind,” Liliane Maury Pasquier said.

“In taking our decisions today, we must all remember the origins of the crisis we are experiencing because there are incontrovertible facts which the Assembly can neither ignore nor accept. We are therefore going to continue to defend with conviction and determination our positions and the principles of international law that are so important to us. At the same time, we must also shoulder our institutional and political responsibilities,” she stressed.

In conclusion, the President recalled that in this year when the Council of Europe is celebrating its 70th anniversary, “it is our duty to do all we can to ensure that our Organisation can continue to promote a closer union between the nations and peoples of Europe and the values on which it is founded: peace, dignity and human rights, democracy and the rule of law.”