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Current affairs debate on the follow-up to the Reykjavik Summit

Current affairs debate

“With the Reykjavik declaration, the heads of State and Government have provided a new direction for the Council of Europe for the years to come, acknowledging its impact in fostering greater unity between its members States, and its central role in the evolving European multicultural architecture. This is a recognition of the Organisation’s role in promoting democratic security as the bedrock of peace and prosperity”, Fiona O’Loughlin (Ireland, ALDE) said at the opening of a current affairs debate on ‘The follow-up to the Reykjavik Summit’.

“Now, we all have a job to do to translate the Summit vision into concrete results. The Assembly should play its part through its parliamentary deliberations, its monitoring procedure, its inter-parliamentary cooperation activities and networks and its interaction with the Committee of Ministers”, she added.

Addressing the Standing Committee, Aoife Nolan, President of the European Committee of Social Rights, underlined that “the Reykjavik Declaration puts social rights front and centre in its vision for the Council of Europe. Where social rights – where Charter rights – are not secured then the door is opened to democratic backsliding”.

PACE overall, she added, has a “crucial role to play with regard to promoting and ensuring the effective protection of Charter rights at the international level. And at the same time parliamentarians have a vital part to play at the national level as Charter and social rights advocates and champions at home.” By pushing for implementation of the Committee’s conclusions and decisions by governments, “parliamentarians can contribute directly to the achievement of social rights on the ground in Europe”, she concluded.

At the end of the current affairs debate, Standing Committee members adopted the declaration “The Reykjavik Summit: a strong message of unity, common purpose and unwavering resolve to be followed up by action”.