“Today we celebrate Europe Day.
Being the Chair of the Committee Ministers on Europe Day in 2018 affords me two opportunities: first, to congratulate and express my support for all those who work every day to champion and take forward fundamental rights, democracy and the rule of law in Europe and, second, to call for vigilance in ensuring that there is no backtracking on these principles, and thus guarantee Europe’s peace and prosperity in keeping with the goal we set ourselves in 1949.
On 5 May 1949, the Council of Europe was founded to bring peace and prosperity to Europe after two world wars had cast their deadly shadow across the continent.
To achieve this, the 47 member States of the Council of Europe have undertaken both to respect individual freedoms and fundamental rights and to be guided on the principles of democracy and the rule of law.
Much progress has been made since 1949 and the Council of Europe has demonstrated its potential to develop new legal standards and respond to new challenges to protect and promote these principles.
But much remains to be done. New conflicts have arisen in Europe and others endure. There are also too many people who still live in poverty or suffer from injustice, discrimination or infringements of their dignity or their civil and political rights.”