Council of Europe Secretary General Thorbjørn Jagland will be in Vatican City on Thursday on an official visit to the Holy See for an audience with Pope Francis. Meetings are scheduled with Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher, Secretary for Relations with States and other members of the Curia. The purpose of the visit is to take stock of the long-standing, successful co-operation between the Council of Europe and the Holy See, and to discuss areas and perspectives for further collaboration.
The Holy See became an official observer state to the Council of Europe in 1970. It has ratified nine Conventions including the European Cultural Convention and the Convention on the Protection of the Archaeological Heritage. The Holy See is a member of the Council of Europe’s Cultural Routes, the Venice Commission, Moneyval, Lisbon North-South Centre and the Council of Europe Development Bank. It also participates as observer in several committees, including in ECRI, the European Commission against racism and intolerance.
Pope Francis received Thorbjørn Jagland in a private audience on 20th September 2014. He visited the Council of Europe in Strasbourg on 25th November 2014.
Pope John-Paul II visited the Council of Europe in October 1988, on the eve of the Organisation’s 40th anniversary.