10.10.2011 - The European Union and the Council of Europe reaffirm
their united opposition to the death penalty, and their commitment to its
We consider capital
punishment to be inhumane, and a violation of human dignity. Experience in
Europe has taught us that the death penalty does not prevent an increase in
violent crime, and nor does it bring justice to the victims of such crimes. Any
capital punishment resulting from a miscarriage of justice, from which no legal
system can be immune, represents irreversible loss of human life.
Since 1997 no execution
has taken place on the territory of our Member States (*).
to condemn the use of the death penalty in Belarus, the only country in Europe
still applying capital punishment. We urge Belarus to introduce a moratorium on
the use of the death penalty, with a view to its complete abolition.
We welcome the UNâ€™s
recent resolutions on the global moratorium on the use of the death penalty,
with a view to its complete abolition, supported by a wide coalition of States
from all regions of the world. The growing support granted to UN resolutions on
this matter in 2007, 2008 and 2010 confirms an increasing international trend
against the death penalty. At the same time, in acknowledging the growing number
of countries which have done away with the death penalty (the figure grew from
55 to 97, between 1993 and 2009), we cannot ignore the fact that 58 countries in
the world still retain the death penalty.
The Council of Europe counts 47
member countries, which include all 27 member countries of the European Union.
For more information see: www.coe.int / www.coe.ge