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Interview with Alvaro Gil-Robles, Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights

8 March 2005

Question : Mr Gil-Robles, what are your hopes and expectations for the Warsaw Summit?

Alvaro Gil-Robles: For me the Warsaw Summit will be a historic moment in the future of Europe, because it will address the question “what are the pillars on which we wish to build Europe, the greater political Europe?”

For me one of these pillars is preserving the fundamental values from which this great adventure of the 1950s springs and which are enshrined in the European Convention on Human Rights, the Human Rights Charter and the European Constitution.

Warsaw must therefore be the opportunity for the Heads of State and Government to recognise that in Europe in the years ahead nothing can be achieved without these values and that they are the best way of advancing the European message: there are economic and other issues too, but it is the Council of Europe that is ideally placed to carry out this great task, not alone but together with the European Union and the other European institutions.

The fifty-year patrimony of the Council of Europe is something which is very important and which cannot be ignored. It is the heart of the future, the heart of the message that we can leave to our children and to other countries around us, which need the visionary experience of the democratic construction of Europe.