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Tiny Kox: ‘Confronted by barbarism, let us stand united in defence of European principles and ideals’

On the occasion of Europe Day, Tiny Kox, the President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), made the following statement:

“At a moment when our continent is experiencing the 21st century’s darkest episode, it is more necessary than ever to pay tribute to the great minds that came together in the aftermath of the Second World War to say ‘Never again!’

For the crushing of the principles that guided the creation of the Council of Europe is happening right now in the heart of the continent, with the Russian Federation’s brutal aggression against Ukraine.

It is our duty, as parliamentarians, to do everything we can to ensure that peace is restored to Ukraine, that this state regains its national sovereignty and territorial integrity, and that the war crimes committed by the Russian forces do not go unpunished. To achieve these goals, we must show courage and political leadership, making effective use of multilateralism and parliamentary diplomacy, mutual respect and dialogue.

Peace and prosperity on our continent must be based on the protection, promotion and development of the rule of law, human rights and democracy. The aim of the Council of Europe, when it was founded, was ‘to achieve a greater unity between its members for the purpose of safeguarding and realising the ideals and principles which are their common heritage’. It is now up to all of us Europeans, when confronted with barbarism, to stand united in defence of those principles and ideals.”

The PACE President made the statement in Rome, where he was attending the meeting of the PACE Culture Committee at the Italian Chamber of Deputies in Rome.