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Venice Commission: New reform in Poland further undermines judicial independence

Venice Commission 16 January 2020 Strasbourg

In an urgent Opinion issued today, the Council of Europe’s Venice Commission, together with the organisation’s Directorate General of Human Rights and Rule of Law, concludes that the amendments to laws on the judiciary passed by the lower house of the Polish parliament (Sejm) on 20 December 2019...

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Syrian doctor who ran underground children’s hospital receives Wallenberg prize

Raoul Wallenberg Prize 15 January 2020 Strasbourg

Dr. Amani Ballour, a paediatrician from Syria who ran an underground hospital in Eastern Ghouta in 2012-2018 and is now a refugee in Turkey, has been awarded the Council of Europe’s Raoul Wallenberg Prize for her personal courage, bravery and commitment in saving hundreds of lives during the...

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Psycho-neurological institutions in Ukraine: CPT report recommends more care in the community

European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT) 14 January 2020 Strasbourg

The Council of Europe’s anti-torture committee (CPT) has made a series of recommendations after visiting three psycho-neurological centres (“internats”) in two regions of Ukraine in April 2019. The committee calls on the Ukrainian authorities to accelerate the closing of such large-capacity...

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Secretary General meets Croatian PM Plenković

Secretary General 13 January 2020 Strasbourg

Croatia’s Prime Minister Andrej Plenković and Secretary General Marija Pejčinović Burić met today in Strasbourg. They agreed to maximise synergies between the European Union and the Council of Europe and to boost cooperation between the two organisations, in the interest of Europe's citizens.

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Kazakhstan becomes GRECO´s 50th member state

Group of States against Corruption (GRECO) 13 January 2020 Strasbourg

On 1 January 2020, Kazakhstan became GRECO’s 50th member state. As result, GRECO’s membership now spans over three continents - Europe, America and Asia-, covering a population close to 1,2 billion people. As a consequence, a delegation of Kazakhstan will participate in GRECO´s dynamic process of...

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Italy: more measures needed to protect women from violence

Group of Experts on Action against Violence against Women and Domestic Violence (GREVIO) 13 January 2020 Strasbourg

A new report from GREVIO, the Council of Europe’s expert group on violence against women, has urged the Italian authorities to enact more measures to protect women from violence. While welcoming some innovative new laws, notably regarding stalking, providing paid leave for victims of violence and...

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Fight against corruption: France must do better

GRECO 9 January 2020 Strasbourg

In a report published today, GRECO, the Council of Europe’s anti-corruption body, calls on France to improve the effectiveness and practical application of measures to prevent corruption within the executive (President of the Republic, ministers, private office members and senior civil servants)...

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Armenia joins the Council of Europe’s drug policy expert body, Pompidou Group

Co-operation Group to Combat Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking in Drugs 8 January 2020 Strasbourg

Armenia has become the 40th member of the Council of Europe’s Co-operation Group to Combat Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking in Drugs (Pompidou Group). The Government’s decision takes effect from 1 January 2020. Paruyr Hovhannisyan, Permanent Representative of Armenia to the Council of Europe,...

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Marija Pejčinović Burić meets the Holy See’s Monsignor Paul Richard Gallagher

Secretary General 7 January 2020 Strasbourg

Secretary General Marija Pejčinović Burić met with Monsignor Paul Richard Gallagher, Secretary for Relations with States of the Holy See, to pay tribute to the 50th anniversary of the Holy See’s observer status at the Council of Europe. She welcomed the Holy See’s long standing commitment to the...

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Denmark needs to improve conditions in migration detention centres

Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CPT) 7 January 2020 Strasbourg

A report from the Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CPT) has called on Denmark to improve conditions in two centres where migrants are detained. It also recommended improvements in two prisons, as well as better procedures for prolonged restraint of psychiatric patients, and more access to...

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