Council of Europe Secretary General Marija Pejčinović Burić has delivered a keynote speech on Covid-19 policies and their impact on human rights at a webinar organised on 27 April 2021 by the Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS). Other speakers at the online event included:
- Salla Saastamoinen, Acting Director-General, DG Justice and Consumers, European Commission
- Birgit Van Hout, Regional Representative for Europe, UN Human Rights Regional Office for Europe
- Michael O’Flaherty, Director, European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights
- Christope Poirel, Director of Human Rights, Council of Europe
- Tineke Strik, Member of the European Parliament
The discussion was moderated by CEPS Chief Executive Officer Karel Lannoo and hosted by Sergio Carrera, Senior CEPS Research Fellow and Head of the Justice and Home Affairs unit. The Council of Europe published a toolkit for member states on respecting democracy, the rule of law and human rights during the Covid-19 pandemic in April 2020. In April 2021, the organisation – often referred to as Europe’s human rights watchdog – issued further guidance to governments specifically concerning “vaccine passports”. Several parts of the Council of Europe have also published guidelines on how to tackle the many different challenges posed by the pandemic, including protecting women’s rights, fighting corruption and maintaining the effective functioning of the judiciary.