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PACE welcomes new strategic framework for the Council of Europe, urges member States to increase funding

PACE has welcomed the new four-year “strategic framework” agreed for the Council of Europe, as well as other reforms under way to enhance its effectiveness, and urged member States to strengthen their financial commitment to the Organisation.

Approving a report by Tiny Kox (Netherlands, UEL), on budgets and priorities of the Council of Europe for the period 2022-2025, the Assembly’s Standing Committee said the Council of Europe had “demonstrated its relevance” during the Covid-19 pandemic and urged a “real growth” budget instead of the current policy of zero real growth.

While video-conferencing had played a key role in enabling the Council of Europe to continue its work during the pandemic, such methods should be “complementary” to more normal working methods, the parliamentarians said: “It is important for the Council of Europe to continue to base the conduct of its activities on face-to-face meetings, which allow for rich and often fruitful exchanges, essential for the efficiency of a multilateral organisation.”

In a separate report on the budget of the Assembly for 2021-23, the Standing Committee urged additional resources for the Assembly as the Council of Europe’s political driving force and a pan-European forum for interparliamentary dialogue.