The Foreign Affairs Ministers of the Council of Europe member states
hold the Chair of the Committee of Ministers for a term of 6 months
At the end of each Session of the Committee of Ministers,
the Chairmanship falls to the next member state in the alphabetical
order of the English country names.
At the conclusion of the Session
of the Committee of Ministers on 6 November 2003 in Chisinau (Moldova),
the Netherlands assumed the Chairmanship of the Council of Europe’s
executive body for the next six months.
At the close of the 113th Session of the Committee of Ministers of
the Council of Europe, held in Moldova, Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, Foreign
Affairs Minister of the Netherlands, set out the priorities of the
programme for the Dutch Chairmanship of the Council of Europe over
the next six months.
On 3 December 2003, Dr Bernard Bot was appointed Foreign Minister of the Netherlands. In this capacity, he will be chairing the Council of Europe Committee of Ministers until 14 May 2004.
The programme of the Netherlands Chairmanship will be structured around three key themes:
- the defence of human rights and the effectiveness of monitoring
- integration and social cohesion
- the promotion of synergy between the Council of Europe and other
The Dutch Government will organise several events in the Netherlands
based on these themes, including:
- a conference on issues related to the European Court of Human
Rights in The Hague in December
- a congress on fundamental rights and intercultural society in
The Hague in November
- a meeting of the European Committee on Migration, Refugees and
Demography in Rotterdam in December
- a seminar on police ethics in March 2004
- a seminar on the implementation of human rights in Europe in spring
Convinced that synergy and the sharing of responsibilities between
international organisations create added value, the Netherlands
will organise a quadripartite Council of Europe/European Union meeting
in spring 2004, to discuss in particular the proposals of the Secretary
General of the Council of Europe, Walter Schwimmer, on the theme
of "Greater Europe - a Europe of Partners".
The Netherlands will hold the Chairmanship of the Council of Europe
until 14 May 2004.