New Council of Europe guide to public debate on human rights and biomedicine

28 September 2020 Strasbourg, France

The Council of Europe has launched a new guide to assist member states in initiating and promoting dialogue with the public on the challenges posed by biomedical developments, both for individuals and society. Aimed primarily primarily at government officials, public authorities, national ethics...

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26 September: The European Day of Languages

25 September 2020 Strasbourg, France

At the Council of Europe’s initiative, the European Day of Languages has been celebrated every year since 2001 on 26 September - together with the European Commission. “The European Day of Languages gives us an opportunity to value and promote all languages and cultures in Europe. This year we...

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5-7 October: high-level online event on midterm results of the EU/CoE Partnership for Good Governance for Eastern Partnership countries

24 September 2020 Strasbourg, France

Strasbourg, 24 September 2020 – The midterm results of the second phase of the European Union and Council of Europe Partnership for Good Governance (PGG) launched in 2019 and the impact of the programme on the lives of people in the Eastern Partnership region will be the key focus of an online...

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Secretary General: Anti-money laundering controls should not be relaxed

16 September 2020 Strasbourg, France

Addressing MONEYVAL on the occasion of its 60th plenary meeting, Council of Europe Secretary General Marija Pejčinović Burić has stressed the importance of not relaxing anti-money laundering controls, which is taking place in some countries, and of strengthening effective compliance with...

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PACE monitors urge Georgian authorities to request Venice Commission opinion on changes to the process for appointing Supreme Court judges

18 September 2020 Strasbourg, France

The PACE co-rapporteurs for the monitoring of Georgia, Titus Corlatean (Romania, SOC) and Claude Kern (France, ALDE), have taken note of the amendments to the law on the Common Courts regarding the process for appointing Supreme Court judges proposed by the ruling majority. “In our previous...

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Secretary General: member states must work together to learn COVID-19 health crisis lessons

17 September 2020

Council of Europe Secretary General Marija Pejčinović Burić has called for increased multilateral cooperation among the organisation’s member states to draw lessons from the pandemic crisis and enhance preparedness for addressing health concerns on the basis of common principles and best...

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International Day of Democracy: statement by the President of the Congress

15 September 2020 Strasbourg, France

The President of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe, Anders Knape, made the following statement on the occasion of the International Day of Democracy: "If democracy is the foundation on which our common values are based, it is at the level closest to citizens,...

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Digital surveillance by intelligence services: states must take action to better protect individuals

Strasbourg, France 7 September 2020

In a joint statement the chair of the Council of Europe’s data protection “Convention 108” committee, Alessandra Pierucci, and the Council of Europe’s Data Protection Commissioner, Jean-Philippe Walter, have urged states to strengthen the protection of personal data in the context of digital...

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Implementing ECHR judgments: Latest decisions from the Committee of Ministers

4 September 2020 Strasbourg, France

The latest case-by-case decisions on the implementation of judgments and decisions from the European Court of Human Rights have been published by the Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers. The second part of the Committee’s latest regular human rights meeting took place in Strasbourg from...

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Secretary General honours Roma Holocaust victims

31 July 2020 Strasbourg, France

On 2 August 1944, the remaining Roma of the so-called “Zigeunerlager” (Gypsy camp) – some 3,000 men, women and children – were exterminated in the gas chambers of Auschwitz-Birkenau. The Roma Holocaust was an attempt by the Nazi regime and its supporters to exterminate the Romani people of...

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Why the media still lacks gender equality: new report

24 July 2020 Strasbourg, France

A new Council of Europe report points out that the “mindset and culture” in newsrooms must be “tackled”, with active participation from within the industry, in order for the media sector to “contribute at its fullest” to gender equality. Assessing legal and policy aspects of gender equality and...

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Multilateralism 2020: Secretary General publishes Annual Report

9 July 2020 Strasbourg, France

The Council of Europe has proven to be an essential, indispensable guardian of human rights during the Covid-19 pandemic. This is one of the main conclusions of a new report by the Secretary General covering the Council of Europe’s actions since the Helsinki Ministerial Meeting in May 2019 and...

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Sexual violence against children is an ongoing pandemic: 10th anniversary of Lanzarote Convention

1 July, 2020 Strasbourg, France

The Council of Europe’s Convention for the protection of children against sexual exploitation and sexual abuse (known as the “Lanzarote Convention”) celebrates its 10th anniversary since entering into force. “It is quite common these days to wish each other to ‘keep safe’. But millions of...

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PACE Georgia monitors welcome adoption of Constitutional amendments by the Georgian Parliament

29 June 2020 Strasbourg, France

PACE Georgia monitors welcome adoption of Constitutional amendments by the Georgian Parliament Strasbourg, 29.06.2020 - The co-rapporteurs of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) for the monitoring of Georgia, Titus Corlatean (Romania, SOC) and Claude Kern (France, ALDE),...

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Pushbacks and border violence against refugees must end

19 June 2020 Strasbourg, France

“On 20 June, World Refugee Day will spotlight the hardship that refugees endure. I pay tribute to the resilience of refugees and reiterate the call to protect them and uphold their rights”, said today the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Dunja Mijatović, ahead of World Refugee...

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New guide to international protection for victims of trafficking

19 June 2020 Strasbourg, France

Ahead of World Refugee Day on 20 June, the Group of Experts on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings (GRETA) has published a new guide on the entitlement of victims of trafficking, and people at risk of being trafficked, to international protection. The guide is intended to help national...

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Sanctions and measures without deprivation of liberty increasingly used in Europe: new survey

18 June 2020

European states are increasingly resorting to sanctions and measures which keep offenders in the community without deprivation of liberty, according to the 2019 SPACE II annual survey, carried out for the Council of Europe by the University of Lausanne. (Please see also the Key Findings) On 31...

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Preventing COVID-19: Council of Europe supports prison systems in Armenia, Georgia, Moldova, Montenegro and North Macedonia

09 June 2020

In response to the emergency of COVID-19 pandemic and to the need of providing urgent support to inmates and prison staff, in the context of its cooperation programmes, the Council of Europe has donated protective materials to five member States: Armenia, Georgia, Moldova, Montenegro and North...

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Beyond COVID-19, human rights can help save the planet

4 June 2020 Strasbourg, France

The Secretary General of the 47-nation Council of Europe, Marija Pejčinović Burić, the Chair of the Committee of Ministers and Alternate Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Hellenic Republic, Miltiadis Varvitsiotis, and the President of the Council of Europe’s Parliamentary Assembly, Rik Daems,...

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GRECO: new report urges public authorities to be exemplary and transparent

3 June 2020 Strasbourg, France

Governments and public-office holders should act in an exemplary way by respecting anti-corruption measures and transparency standards, said the Council of Europe anti-corruption body GRECO in its annual report. The report reviews the measures to prevent corruption taken in GRECO’s member states...

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Greece takes over the Chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers

15 May 2020 Strasbourg, France

Greece today took over the chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe from Georgia during a video-conference meeting with representatives of the 47 member states of the Organisation. The Georgian Foreign Minister, David Zalkaliani, presented the stocktaking of his...

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Hate mongering against LGBTI people has no place in today’s Europe

15 May 2020 Strasbourg, France

As we prepare to mark the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia, I call on all member states of the Council of Europe to take firm action against hate speech targeting LGBTI people, which is dangerously spreading across Europe. Hateful and prejudiced statements,...

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Young LGBTI persons must be protected against violence at home and in public, during this crisis and always

14 May 2020 Strasbourg, France

Statement by Secretary General Marija Pejčinović Burić ahead of the International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (IDAHOT) European states must do more to address the specific challenges faced by young LGBTI persons, especially in times of crisis, said Council of Europe Secretary...

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Call for tenders for the provision of local consultancy services in the area of access to justice and violence against women in Eastern Partnership countries

11 May 2020

The Council of Europe is launching a call for the provision of consultancy services on access to justice and violence against women in Eastern Partnership countries (Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus, Georgia, Republic of Moldova and Ukraine) in the framework of the EU/Council of Europe Partnership...

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Venice Commission 30th anniversary

8 May 2020 Strasbourg, France

Statement by Venice Commission President Gianni Buquicchio "On 10 May 1990, eighteen ambassadors of Council of Europe member states took the decision to establish the European Commission for Democracy through Law, better known as the Venice Commission. What looked at the time like the creation of...

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Georgia becomes the 41st member state of the Pompidou Group

05 MAY 2020

Georgia has decided to join the Pompidou Group as of 1 May, thus becoming its 41st member State. This decision is a follow up of the visit of the Executive Secretary to Tbilissi in February, where he participated in the conference “Rehabilitation of drug-dependent prisoners – why should you...

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Emergency powers - what standards?

Venice Commission - COVID19 On account of the current Covid-19 pandemic, national governments are taking exceptional measures to slow down the spread of the virus. On numerous occasions, the Venice Commission examined the limits of such emergency powers. The Commission has consistently underlined...

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Europe Day 5th May: Statement by Secretary General Marija Pejčinović Burić

5 May 2020 Strasbourg, France

“This Europe Day, we are all thinking about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic throughout our continent and around the world. Every individual has been touched by this crisis, but our greatest sympathies are with those who have lost friends or loved ones. At an institutional level, we are...

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Statement by David Zalkaliani, President of the Committee of Ministers and Minister for Foreign Affairs of Georgia

30 April 2020 Strasbourg, France

Ahead of World Press Freedom Day, David Zalkaliani, President of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe and Minister for Foreign Affairs of Georgia, made the following statement: “Freedom of expression, a free press and flow of reliable information are critical for the functioning of...

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Support a free, independent and safe press

30 April 2020 Strasbourg, France

“Free and quality journalism is an asset of democracy. The COVID-19 pandemic has reminded us of the essential role that journalists and media professionals play by providing reliable information, countering disinformation that may cause panic and keeping decision-makers accountable to the...

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Secretary General: Governments must protect essential role of journalists in democracy, especially in times of crisis

New report lists 142 serious attacks on journalists in 2019 In a statement issued ahead of World Press Freedom Day on 3 May, Council of Europe Secretary General Marija Pejčinović Burić calls on governments to avoid unduly restricting media freedom during the COVID-19 crisis. “Governments are...

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Learning from the pandemic to better fulfill the right to health

23/04/2020 Strasbourg, France

The COVID-19 pandemic has concentrated minds about the resilience of our health care systems and it is challenging member states’ health policies and their effectiveness. In addition, doctors, medical staff and health care staff are under unprecedented pressure. Do we have sufficient medical...

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Fighting COVID-19: Council of Europe values and standards must be upheld

22 April 2020 Strasbourg, France

David Zalkaliani, President of the Committee of Ministers and Minister for Foreign Affairs of Georgia, has expressed his satisfaction following the Committee of Ministers’ adoption of a Declaration on the COVID-19 pandemic. "During this very difficult time we are living through, I am pleased that...

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Office of the Directorate General of Programmes of the Council of Europe organises online Open Days

21 - 24 April 2020

With the 20 March 2020 Strasbourg Open Days cancelled, Office of the Directorate General of Programmes of the Council of Europe has decided to provide diplomatic Representations and others interested with the latest information through four online Open Days. Between 21 and 24 April more thematic...

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European Committee of Social Rights: the right to protection of health in times of pandemic

22 April 2020 Strasbourg, France

In a statement of interpretation on the right to protection of health (Article 11 of the European Social Charter) in times of pandemic, the European Committee of Social Rights endorses many measures adopted by states in response to COVID-19: “testing and tracing, physical distancing and...

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COVID-19 pandemic: GRECO warns of corruption risks

21 April 2020 Strasbourg, France

The Council of Europe’s Group of States against Corruption (GRECO) has published guidelines addressed to its 50 member states aimed at preventing corruption in the context of the health emergency caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. The guidelines, issued by GRECO’s president, Marin Mrčela, underline...

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Challenges to human rights have intensified in Europe

21 April 2020 Strasbourg, France

The Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Dunja Mijatović, published today her annual activity report covering 2019. The report provides an overall picture of the main problems, challenges and opportunities that European countries are facing in the field of human rights. “The image I...

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Council of Europe and UNHCR support member states in bringing refugee health workers into the fight against COVID-19

14 April 2020 Strasbourg, France

As many European countries continue to struggle with the unprecedented COVID-19 crisis, the Council of Europe and UNHCR, the United Nations Refugee Agency, are encouraging states to benefit from the support that refugee health professionals can provide to national health systems at this critical...

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Coronavirus: guidance to governments on respecting human rights, democracy and the rule of law

8 April 2020 Strasbourg, France

The Secretary General of the Council of Europe, Marija Pejčinović Burić, has issued a toolkit for governments across Europe on respecting human rights, democracy and the rule of law during the COVID-19 crisis. The Information Document was sent to all 47 Council of Europe member states yesterday....

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COVID-19 confinement: States must step up protection of children against sexual exploitation and abuse says Lanzarote committee

7 April 2020 Strasbourg, France

For far too many girls and boys, strict confinement in times of the COVID-19 risks increasing their vulnerability to violence, including sexual abuse and exploitation. Council of Europe member states must step up protection of children against sexual exploitation and abuse, offline and online,...

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New survey: Europe’s rate of imprisonment remained stable in 2019

7 April 2020 Strasbourg, France

Secretary General Pejčinović Burić calls on states to resort to alternatives to deprivation of liberty and to protect both the prison population and prison staff. The overall imprisonment rate – the number of inmates per 100,000 inhabitants- remained stable in Europe from 2018 to 2019, according...

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Stopping violence against women: welcome progress but obstacles remain

6 April 2020 Strasbourg, France

A new report from the Council of Europe’s Group of Experts on Action against Violence against Women and Domestic Violence (GREVIO) finds that while gender-based violence is now at the “forefront of public debate”, many Council of Europe member states should do more to end such violence. GREVIO,...

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Persons with disabilities must not be left behind in the response to the COVID-19 pandemic

4 April 2020 Strasbourg, France

As governments in Europe react to the rapid spread of the coronavirus through wide-reaching measures, they must not forget that a large proportion of their population is living with disabilities. Persons with disabilities are not only often at increased risk of serious health complications, but...

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Council of Europe launches free online training course on the European Convention on Human Rights

31 March 2020 Strasbourg, France

The 47-nation Council of Europe has launched an updated version of its free online “Introduction to the European Convention on Human Rights”, a 5-hour interactive training course aimed at legal professionals, public authorities, civil society and students. “Europe has the strongest system of...

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Communication in RMLs of utmost importance in global medical crises

25 March 2020 Strasbourg, France

Most countries in the world, including the Member States of the Council of Europe, are facing an unprecedented pandemic, the so-called coronavirus, or COVID-19. For a few weeks now, governments have been introducing, gradually and at different paces, a wide range of measures, ranging from basic...

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Social rights of children, families and migrants in danger across Europe: latest annual conclusions from the European Committee of Social Rights

24 March 2020 Strasbourg, France

The Committee has published 896 conclusions (289 cases of non-conformity, 453 cases of conformity and 154 “deferrals”: cases not assessed due to lack of information), in respect of 37 European countries (*). In the framework of the reporting procedure the ECSR assessed compliance with the...

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COVID-19: Anti-torture Committee issues statement of principles relating to the treatment of persons deprived of their liberty

20 March 2020 Strasbourg, France

The Council of Europe’s Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT) has published a statement of principles relating to the treatment of persons deprived of their liberty in the context of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. “The...

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Older persons need more support than ever in the age of the Covid-19 pandemic

20 March 2020

The ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak is especially dangerous for older persons and has a disproportionately negative impact on their right to health and other human rights. The European countries which put confinement measures into place in their fight against the virus have often asked...

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Statement by David Zalkaliani, President of the Committee of Ministers, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Georgia

International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination

20 March 2020 Strasbourg, France

“21 March marks the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. The Council of Europe can take pride in having established the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI), which has been working tirelessly to promote equality and combat discrimination for over 25...

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Political agreement between ruling majority and opposition offers a window of opportunity for Georgia

17 March 2020

“The political agreement between ruling majority and opposition on the 2020 parliamentary elections in Georgia, which we strongly welcomed in last week’s statement, offers a window of opportunity for Georgia’s democratic consolidation,” said the co-rapporteurs of the Parliamentary Assembly of the...

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