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Call for a stronger strategic partnership between the Council of Europe and the EU

In the context of Russia's aggression against Ukraine and its exclusion from the Council of Europe, the Political Affairs Committee has stressed the importance of strengthening the strategic partnership between the Council of Europe and the EU, “on the basis of their shared values and commitment to promoting peace and stability on the European continent and supporting multilateralism worldwide”.

The report by Titus Corlăţean (Romania, SOC), adopted unanimously by the committee, recalled that the entry into force of the Treaty of Lisbon in 2009, which placed respect for the rule of law and human rights – the core mandate of the Council of Europe – at the forefront of EU policies, had created new opportunities for co-operation between the two organisations.

The committee therefore proposed that the EU strengthen political dialogue, synergy and technical consultation with the Council of Europe on issues of democratic security and the rule of law, while avoiding duplication of activities and the emergence of diverging legal standards in Europe. It encouraged the EU to pursue the negotiations for its accession to the European Convention on Human Rights, which will “guarantee coherence between EU law and the Convention system and lead to a single legal space”.

The committee also called on the European Parliament to intensify co-ordination with PACE in areas such as promoting peace and security in Europe, parliamentary diplomacy in support of multilateralism, reversing the backsliding of democracy, and preventing threats to the rule of law.

Finally, the committee recommended that the Committee of Ministers “consider organising a 4th Summit of Council of Europe heads of State and Government, with the participation of EU representatives”, in order to reaffirm the relevance of the Council of Europe as the reference organisation for promoting democracy, human rights and the rule of law.