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  • NEWS 2006-2010

  • Grażyna Bernatowicz, Undersecretary of State at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Poland participated in the 120th session of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg. On that occasion she also met Secretary General of the Council of Europe, Mr Thorbjørn Jagland, to hold a brief exchange on issues related to the cooperation between Poland and the CoE.

    The Committe of Ministers of the Council of Europe gathered in Strasbourg with Mrs Micheline Calmy-Rey, Head of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs of Switzerland in the chair.

    Minister Bernatowicz in her speech delivered at the meeting observed inter alia:

    In Poland's opinion, the Council of Europe has indeed its unique sphere of competence. It has also an important role to play, in particular to prevent artificial divisions between the EU and non-EU States, not only with regard to those who do not seek the membership in the Union in the foreseeable future. Europe divided between the EU and non-EU area would be an unfortunate development. The added value of the Council of Europe lies in creating ground for partner-like dialogue and cooperation between all European countries. In this context, Poland welcomes the participation of the Council of Europe in the Eastern Partnership initiative of the European Union.

    The Ministers adopted a number of decisions intended to provide follow-up to the Declaration and Action Plan adopted unanimously at their conference at Interlaken in February 2010 on the future of the European Court of Human Rights.

    In particular, they invited the Secretary General to make proposals by December 2010 as to the possible means of providing comprehensive and objective information to potential applicants to the Court on the Convention and the Court's case-law. They also instructed their Deputies to step up efforts to make the supervision of execution of the judgments of the Court more effective and transparent and to bring this work to a conclusion by the end of the year. Lastly, they adopted a Recommendation on Education for Democratic Citizenship and Human Rights Education.

    The Ministers examined action taken by the Council of Europe following the conflict in Georgia.

    Following the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty, Ministers welcomed the commitment of the European Union to accede to the European Convention on Human Rights. They called for the early completion of negotiations and a rapid accession. Whilst welcoming the substantial progress in co-operation between the Council of Europe and the European Union in a number of areas, they also called for stronger synergies, in particular in the context of implementation of the EU's Stockholm programme. The Secretary General reported to them on the progress of his own initiatives to reform the Organisation.

    In this context Minister Bernatowicz noted:

    "With the possibility of EU accession to the European Convention on Human Rights, Europe stands a unique chance of creating a comprehensive European system of human rights protection". ... "The relations with the European Union constitute an element of a larger process of re-definition of the role of the Council of Europe in a rapidly changing international environment. Poland gives its strong support to the process of reform of the Council of Europe initiated by the Secretary General."

    Discussion during the informal working lunch centred around the situation in Bosnia-Herzegovina and action taken by the Council of Europe, in particular following the December 2009 judgment of the European Court of Human Rights in the case of Sedjić and Finci. The Chair and Vice-Chair made a statement on this occasion.

    Finally, Ministers welcomed progress made in the preparation of a Council of Europe Convention on the Counterfeiting of Medical Products and expressed the hope that work could be completed rapidly with a view to opening the Convention for signature before the end of 2010.

    At the close of the session, ''the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia'' took over from Switzerland the chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers for the next six months. Mrs Calmy-Rey reported on the results of Switzerland's six-month chairmanship. Antonio Miloshoski, Minister of Foreign Affairs of "the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia" presented his country's priorities for the next six months.

    File ''Session''

    Chairmanship website

    Website of the Swiss chairmanship





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