Turin, Friday, 20 May 2022
Dear Mr President of the Committee of Ministers,
Madam Secretary General,
Mr Deputy Secretary General,
Ladies and gentlemen,
Last year, the Parliamentary Assembly formulated its opinion on the strategic priorities of the Council of Europe.
We did so,
in excellent cooperation with the Secretary General and the Committee of Ministers,
who I thank once again.
For our Assembly, the Council of Europe has to remain
Then - and only then - will the Council of Europe be able to function as a cornerstone of European political architecture.
Russia's unilateral war of aggression against Ukraine has only increased the urgent need to strengthen this multilateral architecture.
Our Assembly is convinced that Europe’s oldest and broadest treaty organisation could be and should be part of an effective and modern answer to the challenging questions of today and tomorrow.
But: concrete action is needed, now.
With the Secretary General, our Assembly therefore encourages you to begin preparations for a new, 4th Summit of Heads of State and Government, now.
This Summit should lead to a renewed, improved and reinforced Council of Europe
Let us be inspired by the way we reacted to Russia’s blatant violation of its obligations: immediately, decisively and in exemplary synergy.
We have shown that membership of the Council of Europe does not come for free, because membership offers the most valuable, vital and sustainable protection to our member States and to our citizens.
Our citizens - rightfully - demand from us a more secure and sustainable Europe.
Simple solutions will not be available.
We are politicians, not magicians.
But: if there is a will, there is a way to a more secure future for the citizens in our 46 member States.
Our Assembly offers its services to you in the preparation of this fundamental debate on the role of the Council of Europe, and therewith on the future of Europe.
Thank you for your invitation, I wish you wisdom and courage!