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Numerous dignitaries of all nationalities and beliefs have been the honoured guests of the Council of Europe. These men and women, often instrumental in the implementation of political, social and cultural initiatives, illustrate the dynamism and values which, since the 1950s, have governed the work of the Council of Europe


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Anna Lindh [1957 - 2003]

Minister for Foreign Affairs of Sweden

11 May 2001

quoteMembership of the Council of Europe entails great responsibilitiesquote

Her speech:

...The Council of Europe of 43 is, indeed, different from the Council of Europe of 25, ten years ago. The challenges are different and greater. So are our responsibilities to meet them. The efforts of the Secretary-General towards reform and setting priorities have the full support of the EU. The main task of the Council of Europe is now to uphold, develop and ensure implementation of our common standards and principles.

Membership of the Council of Europe entails great responsibilities. Responsibilities towards the citizens of the state concerned and towards other member States and Council institutions. We all carry the responsibility of safeguarding our common values.

The European Court of Human Rights plays a central role in making the provisions of the Convention for the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms a reality for the people of Europe. The effective functioning of the Court must be guaranteed despite and because of a foreseeable increasing number of cases presented to the Court. In this spirit, the Member States are ready to consider all means, including a possible reform of the procedure before the Court, in order to ensure the efficiency of the mechanisms of the Convention...