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THIRD SUMMIT IN WARSAW
The Third Summit of Heads of State and Government of 46 Member States of the Council of Europe on 16-17 May 2005, was a culminating point of the six-month Polish chairmanship of the Council of Europe. Heads of State and Government who gathered in Warsaw under the chairmanship of President of Poland, Aleksander Kwaśniewski, adopted the Warsaw Declaration and Action Plan for the Council of Europe, defining the mission of the Organisation for the years ahead.
Although summits are not a permanent institution of the Council of Europe, they are called upon if exceptional reasons require so. In the 60-year history of the Council of Europe, only three such events have taken place: in Vienna, Strasbourg and most recently in Warsaw.
The First Summit in Vienna in 1993 entrusted the Council of Europe with the function of a sui generis school of democracy for new Member States who joined the Organisation after 1989 and gave it a role of a forum for dialogue between countries of both sides of the dismantled Iron Curtain. The Second Summit held in Strasbourg in 1997 established a new important institution – the CoE Commissioner for Human Rights.
The decision to hold the Third Summit in Warsaw in 2005 permitted to define new aims and tasks of the Council of Europe in the new political reality that emerged after the biggest enlargement of the European Union in 2004. The Third Summit also determined the CoE's relations with other international organisations and specified its role in the 21st century Europe.