“We can take pride in having created a common legal area for 47 member states in which common legal standards are adopted, promoted and upheld,” said the Secretary General of the Council of Europe, Marija Pejčinović Burić, in an address to Congress members at their session in Strasbourg, France, on 29 October 2019.
Among the Council of Europe’s body of legal standards, which includes the European Convention on Human Rights and over 220 conventions, the European Charter of Local Self-Government is one of the key treaties because it has been ratified by the 47 member states. The Congress has sole responsibility for ensuring its proper application through regular monitoring conducted every five years.
“It is vital that, as we move forward, the Council of Europe remains the benchmark for the promotion and protection of human rights, democracy and the rule of law in Europe,” said Ms Pejčinović Burić.
Against the background of the negative trends emerging in some states, she referred to the opportunities offered by the development of artificial intelligence and welcomed the commitment of the Congress, which has made it one of its priorities for 2021-2024.
“The Committee of Ministers, the Parliamentary Assembly and the Congress work side-by-side as guardians of human rights and democracy in their respective areas of responsibility”, she said with reference to the Helsinki Ministerial Summit.
“In the longer term, it is necessary for the Committee of Ministers to agree on new measures to ensure the financial stability and sustainability of the Council of Europe,” she said in conclusion.
** 37th Session of the Congress **