“The EU accession to the European Convention on Human Rights remains a priority, but is still also an obligation, due to the Treaty of Lisbon. It's very clear. You can count on my personal commitment in this regard,” today said Didier Reynders, European Commissioner for Justice, addressing the Parliamentary Assembly.
We must “still find a way to deal with the issue of human rights protection in the common foreign and security policy,” he underlined. “Discussions are ongoing on this matter in the Council. You know any solution would require unanimity, so we are trying to convince member state by member state to agree on a solution. I ask, of course, all the partners in the Council of Europe to try to think about sometimes innovative or creative solutions to also find such unanimity on all sides in the Council,” he added.
It will be a very important signal for both organisations, he stated. “I am confident that we are progressing in the right direction, so we need to add the final touch to be sure that we will have the 46 plus one final agreement on this. Be assured that I and the entire Commission want to solve the last issue as soon as possible,” Mr Reynders said.
The European Justice Commissioner underlined that the Council of Europe's expertise was crucial for the European Union’s rule of law policy: “Our work with the Council of Europe in promoting the rule of law is also essential in all co-operation with third countries, including those that seek to join the European Union.” For example, he added, “the alignment of views between the European Commission and the Venice Commission is an asset, an important asset, to support justice reforms”.