Jagland stresses commitment to Neighbourhood policy

Secretary General Thorbjørn Jagland wants the Council of Europe to play a stronger role in promoting democracy in neighbouring countries.

At the 121st Session of the Committee of Ministers, held on 11 May in Istanbul, he stressed the link between a Neighbourhood Policy with countries of the South Mediterranean, North Africa and Central Asia and the reform of the Council of Europe.

Jagland said: ''Action against new or re-emerging threats such as terrorism, human trafficking, money laundering, cybercrime and corruption – which are all a priority of the reform – can only be fully effective if we involve our neighbourhood.''

The Secretary General told ministers that he wanted the organisation to be more ''action oriented'' and focused on strenghthening social cohesion in member states.

He pointed to European Court of Human Rights reform, EU accession to the European Convention on Human Rights, better use of resources and a streamlining of the organisation’s monitoring mechanisms, as key features of his reform.

- Speech