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PACE President, ending visit to Germany, highlights ‘urgent need’ to strengthen the Council of Europe

Tiny Kox, the President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), paid an official visit to Germany on 6-8 July 2022, where he held in-depth discussions on the urgent need to strengthen the role of the Council of Europe as the continent’s reference organisation for promoting democracy, human rights and the rule of law.

The continuous relevance of the Council of Europe, and its necessity for Europe in the current context, were highlighted during meetings with the Speaker of the German Bundestag Bärbel Bas, the Minister of State for Europe and Climate Dr Anna Lührmann, the State Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Justice Dr Angelika Schlunck and other counterparts.

During these and other meetings, the President and his German interlocutors shared the view that the Fourth Summit of the Heads of State and Government of the Council of Europe member States should reassert this relevance and appropriately review the Organisation’s mandate and capacity to be able to respond effectively to the new challenges facing Europe.

President Kox expressed his gratitude to the German government and Bundestag for their consistent support of the Council of Europe, which was particularly strong in the months following the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine, as well as for the substantial contribution to the Organisation’s budget.

Discussions were also held on what practical assistance that can be provided by Germany and the Council of Europe to the Ukrainian authorities to ensure the effective and rapid investigation and prosecution of war crimes committed during Russia’s aggression against Ukraine.

The programme of the visit also included meetings with the Bundestag’s Committee on Foreign Affairs and its Chair Michael Roth, the Bundestag’s Committee on Human Rights and Humanitarian Aid and its Chair Renata Alt, the Chairpersons and representatives of parliamentary groups in the Bundestag, the German delegation to PACE, the Director of the German Institute for Human Rights Professor Beate Rudolf, and the President of the Friedrich Ebert Foundation Martin Schulz, as well as youth representatives.

Mr Kox also visited the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe.