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The Assembly sets out its vision of the Council of Europe's strategic priorities

“The Council of Europe’s overall priority is to remain the pillar of democratic security, the guarantor of human rights and rule of law, as well as platform for genuine multilateralism in Europe”, the Assembly said today setting out its vision of the Council of Europe's strategic priorities for the coming years.

Adopting a resolution based on the report prepared by Tiny Kox (Netherlands, UEL), the parliamentarians underlined that the authority of the European Court of Human Rights “must be upheld by all member States” and its effectiveness “further improved”, notably by “enhancing the execution of its judgements”.

The accession of the EU to the European Convention of Human Rights is a strategic priority, they said, since it will “strengthen the credibility of the European Union and the relevance of the Council of Europe and the Convention for all its citizens and its member States”.

The Organisation’s position as a unique leader in the areas of the protection of social and economic rights, equality, inclusion and respect of human dignity must be further reinforced, the adopted text states. In this respect, the Assembly strongly regretted “any attempts to weaken the international framework to protect human rights put in place by the Council of Europe conventions”.

The parliamentarians said the Council of Europe has to promote a contemporary and holistic vision of human rights, including new generation rights, and deemed it of high importance to work notably towards “new legal instruments aimed at ensuring the right to a safe, healthy and sustainable environment for present and future generations, and making it a legal obligation”.

Increasing challenges to freedom of expression and freedom of assembly “need to be responded with firm action”, they said, as well as providing adequate responses to challenges related with the emergence of new technologies, in particular artificial intelligence.

The Assembly members concluded that it is a strategic priority to carry out its work independently but, where possible, “in effective complementarity” with the activities of the Committee of Ministers and the intergovernmental part of the Organisation.