Rights of people with disabilities in Europe: a new strategy based on ability rather than disability

Nicosia (Filoxenia Conference Centre) , 

The Council of Europe will launch its new Disability Strategy 2017-2023 at a conference which will discuss equality and non-discrimination, awareness-raising, accessibility, equal recognition before the law and protection against all forms of violence. The conference is organised as part of the Cypriot Chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers and will be hosted by the Cypriot Ministry of Welfare, Labour and Social Insurance. Commissioner for Human Rights, Nils Muižnieks, will give a keynote speech at the conference.

More informationPress release - Contact: Estelle Steiner, tel. +33 3 88 41 33 35; mobile +33 6 08 46 01 57

Conference on Building diverse communities based on shared values – the Intercultural cities approach

Limassol (Cyprus) , 

Organised under the Cypriot Chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers, the conference will engage international and Cypriot stakeholders in a discussion on the added value of the Intercultural integration approach to promoting human rights, democracy and other key European values in diverse societies. The event will include a round table with mayors from the Intercultural cities’ network, and workshops to review different approaches and define common guidelines for local policies.

Contact: Giuseppe Zaffuto, tel. +33 3 90 21 56 04

Congress Session: migration, citizen participation and local and regional democracy in Europe

Strasbourg , 

Debates on the role of local authorities facing migration and reception of unaccompanied child migrants in European cities will be among the highlights of the session of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities. The members of the Congress will also discuss the situation in Turkey following the Congress fact-finding mission. This session will be an opportunity to review the implementation of the European Charter of Local Self-Government by the 47 member states through a comparative analysis of its implementation and a report on the recurring issues identified in assessments following Congress monitoring and election observation missions (reference period 2010-2016).

Guest speakers will include Ioannis Kasoulides, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Cyprus and Chairman of the Committee of Ministers, Mihhail Korb, Minister of Public Administration of Estonia, Eduardo Cabrita, Assistant Minister to the Prime Minister of Portugal, Jari Partanen, State Secretary for the Ministry of Local Government and Public Reforms of Finland, Stefan Buontempo, Parliamentary Secretary for Local Government of Malta and Thorbjørn Jagland, Secretary General of the Council of Europe. Commissioner for Human Rights, Nils Muižnieks, will give a speech on Developments in human rights at local and regional levels. Ambassador Tomáš Boček, Special Representative of the Secretary General on Migration and Refugees, will speak during the debate “From reception to integration: the role of local and regional authorities facing migration”.

More information - Contact: Can Fişek, tel. +33 3 88 41 30 41


27 March, Strasbourg (10am, Agora, Room G02)
The Council of Europe and the Office des Sports de Strasbourg will organise a press conference to present the 2017 edition of the Strasbourg race (12-14 May).

27-28 March, Istanbul
The European and Mediterranean Major Hazards Agreement (EUR-OPA) will co-organise the 2017 European Forum for Disaster Risk Reduction with the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) and the European Commission. Claudia Luciani, Director of Democratic Governance will make an address at the opening ceremony and contribute to the High-Level Session. A session on Migration, Disaster Risk Reduction and Resilience, organised by EUR-OPA will gather high level representatives from international organisations, NGOs, academics and other stakeholders working in this field. EUR-OPA programme of activities and its contribution to the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030 will be also presented.
More information - Contact: Giuseppe Zaffuto, tel. +33 3 90 21 56 04

27-28 March, Russian Federation
PACE President, Pedro Agramunt, will take part in the plenary session of the Inter-parliamentary Assembly of the Commonwealth of Independent States (IPA-CIS) in Saint Petersburg on 27 March. The next day, he will participate in a parliamentary conference on combating international terrorism, co-organised by the IPA-CIS and the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly. On the fringe of these events, the President is due to participate in a joint meeting of the ad hoc Sub-Committee of the PACE Political Affairs Committee and the IPA-CIS Permanent Commission on Political Issues and International Co-operation, as well as to hold high-level bilateral meetings.
More information

27-29 March, Budapest (European Youth Centre)
Policy discussions on advancing democratic citizenship through innovative forms of youth participation; autonomy of young people and their access to rights; promoting inclusive and peaceful societies, as well as a thematic debate on co-management, are on the agenda of the Joint Council on Youth (CMJ) meeting. The Council of Youth will also finalise its proposals for the youth sector priorities for 2018-2019, and will exchange opinions on the Council of Europe youth strategy 2020-2030.
Contact: Tatiana Baeva, tel. +33 3 88 41 21 41

27-30 March, Tunisia
PACE rapporteur George Loucaides will make a fact-finding visit to Tunis, in connection with the preparation of his report on political transition in Tunisia. During his visit, Mr Loucaides is due to meet, in particular, the President of the Assembly of the Representatives of the People, the Ministers of Foreign Affairs, the Interior and Justice, and the Minister for Constitutional Bodies, Civil Society and Human Rights.
More information

28 March, Brussels
European Commission First Vice-President Frans Timmermans, the Special Representative of the Council of Europe Secretary General for Roma issues, Valeriu Nicolae, and the CoE’s Director General for Democracy, Snežana Samardžič-Marković will be among speakers at a high-level seminar on the joint EU/CoE Roma mediator programme ROMED to discuss the outcome of this 6-year initiative on effective mediation and empowerment of Roma communities, as well as future cooperation on Roma integration.
Contact: Andrew Cutting, tel. +32 485 21 72 02

28 March, Strasbourg
The European Court of Human Rights will notify in writing 16 judgments concerning Croatia, Georgia, the Republic of Moldova, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Turkey and Ukraine.
More information - ECHR website, tel. +33 3 90 21 42 08

28-30 March, Georgia
Boriss Cilevičs and Kerstin Lundgren, PACE co-rapporteurs for the monitoring of Georgia, will visit the country to further assess the honouring of its obligations and commitments to the Council of Europe.

29-30 March, Malta
PACE President, Pedro Agramunt, will make an official visit to the country, during which he will meet, in particular, the President of the Republic, the Prime Minister, the Speaker of the Parliament, the Foreign Minister, and the Deputy prime Minister and Minister for European Affairs. He will also address the Congress of the European People’s Party Group (EPP Group).

29-30 March, Strasbourg (Agora, room G01)
The Council of Europe and the PluriCourts academic network will organise a seminar to examine the place of the European Convention on Human Rights in the European and international legal order. The event will be the starting point in the intergovernmental work to be carried out by the Committee of Experts on the system of the European Convention on Human Rights (DH-SYSC).
Draft Programme - More information

29-31 March, Strasbourg
The European Committee on Crime Problems (CDPC) will discuss the draft Council of Europe Convention on Offences relating to Cultural Property with a view to its approval. The treaty will be then submitted for final adoption to the Committee of Ministers at the Ministerial Session on 19 May in Nicosia, Cyprus. The convention is the first international treaty focusing on measures to criminalise the illicit destruction and trafficking of cultural property. Deputy Secretary General Gabriella Battaini-Dragoni will close the meeting.
Contact: Jaime Rodriguez, tel. +33 3 90 21 47 04

30 March, Strasbourg (Palais de l’Europe, Room 1)
Ambassador Wolfgang Ischinger, Chairman of the Munich Security Conference, will introduce the tenth Council of Europe debate on Democratic Security which will address the protection of democracy in the digital age.
More information

30 March, Strasbourg
The European Court of Human Rights will hold a Grand Chamber judgment in the case of Nagmetov v. Russia at a public hearing (11 a.m.).
The case concerned the death, on 25 April 2006, of the applicant’s son, Murad Nagmetov, as a result of injuries sustained when a tear-gas grenade was fired to disperse a public gathering.
More information - ECHR website, tel. +33 3 90 21 42 08

30 March, Strasbourg
The European Court of Human Rights will notify in writing 62 judgments and/or decisions concerning Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Italy, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, ‘the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia’, Turkey and the United Kingdom.
More information - ECHR website, tel. +33 3 90 21 42 08

30-31 March, Florence (Italy)
Secretary General Thorbjørn Jagland will take part in the G7 Ministerial meeting on Culture: Protection of artistic and cultural heritage in crisis areas.
Contacts: Daniel Höltgen, mobile +33 6 68 29 87 51; Giuseppe Zaffuto, tel. +33 3 90 21 56 04

30 March-3 April, Serbia
A 12-member PACE delegation, led by Ingebjørg Godskesen, will travel to the country to observe the conduct of the presidential election on 2 April, alongside observers from the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR).

30 March-3 April, Armenia
A 22-member PACE delegation, led by Liliane Maury-Pasquier, will travel to the country to observe the conduct of the parliamentary elections, on 2 April, alongside observers from the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly, the European Parliament and the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR).

Contacts Contacts

Council of Europe Media Relations Division:


+33 3 88 41 25 60