2012 edition

  • Joint Declaration by Thorbjørn Jagland, Secretary General of the Council of Europe, and Catherine Ashton, European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy

Capital punishment is inhumane and unnecessary. Experience has also shown that it does not serve as a deterrent to crime. No legal system is flawless; any miscarriage of justice could lead to the tragic loss of an innocent life.

Abolition of the death penalty throughout Europe, and beyond, is an objective common to all our member states. No execution has taken place in our member states in the last fifteen years.

The European Union and the Council of Europe encourage all European States which have not yet abolished the death penalty de jure under all circumstances, to do so by ratifying the relevant protocols to the European Convention on Human Rights. (more...)

  • Declaration of the Committee of Ministers

On this 10 October 2012, European and World Day against the death penalty, and in support of the joint statement of Mr Thorbjørn Jagland, Secretary General of the Council of Europe and Ms Catherine Ashton, High Representative of the European Union for foreign affairs and security policy, the Committee of Ministers wishes to reaffirm its unequivocal opposition to the death penalty, in all places and in all circumstances.

It welcomes the fact that no more executions are carried out on the territory of the member States of the Council of Europe. It encourages countries which still apply the death penalty, including those holding observer status with the Council of Europe, to immediately apply a moratorium on executions as a first step towards abolition.

The Committee of Ministers calls on all countries in Europe and beyond to support the Resolution on a moratorium on the use of the death penalty which will be put to vote at the 67th session of the United Nations General Assembly in December 2012.

The declaration was adopted by the Committee of Ministers on 10 October 2012 at the 1152nd meeting of the Ministers' Deputies.