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PACE sets out its proposals for the Reykjavik Summit, urging ‘unity around common values’

Debate: The Reykjavik Summit of the Council of Europe: United around values in the face of extraordinary challenges. Presentation by Ms Fiona O'LOUGHLIN, Ireland, ALDE, rapporteur, AS/Pol

At a defining moment in European history, Council of Europe member states, at the highest political level, should “reaffirm their unity around common values and their unfaltering commitment to multilateralism based on international law”, PACE has said.

Approving a recommendation based on a report by Fiona O’Loughlin (Ireland, ALDE), the Assembly set out its proposals for the Reykjavik Summit, which is due to bring together Heads of State and Government from the 46 Council of Europe nations on 16-17 May.

Pointing out that Europe currently faced “extraordinary challenges”, the Assembly called on governments, among other things, to:

  • reaffirm the Council’s role as a beacon for human rights, democracy and the rule of law, and as a “community of values” with a pan-European vocation;

  • show unwavering support for Ukraine and play an active and leading role in creating an ad hoc tribunal to prosecute Russia’s political and military leadership for the crime of aggression, as well as supporting an international compensation mechanism;

  • strengthen the impact of the Council’s work on democracy, including by creating a “democracy checklist” for states and establishing a Council of Europe Commissioner for Democracy and the Rule of Law;

  • put the interests, concerns and expectations of people back at the forefront of the Council’s work, and mainstream a youth perspective in all its activities;

  • take the lead on environmental protection and tackling climate change, and support a framework to guarantee the right to clean, healthy and sustainable environment.

“The return of a large-scale war of aggression in Europe highlights that the solidity and resilience of European democracies, their respect for human rights and their adherence to the rule of law are the best guarantees for each other’s prosperity, security and peaceful future,” the Assembly concluded.