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  • Faithful to my Homeland, the Republic of Poland

     

  • NEWS 2006-2010

  • Mr Chairman,

    Ladies and Gentlemen,

    Dear Colleagues,

    Let me, first of all; congratulate our friends from Montenegro, on the accesion to the Council of Europe. At this important moment, we all share your joy and pride.

    Two years after the Third Summit of the Council of Europe adopted its Action Plan, we still face the necessity of concentrating the organization's efforts and means on programs designed to consolidate the fundamental values and standards of the Council of Europe, namely advancement of democracy, the rule of law and protection of human rights. We are convinced that it is essential to conduct a thorough organizational and financial reform of the Council of Europe, including a review of structures and human resources. This would allow substantial economies, generating additional funds for programs and actions.

    We feel that the Committee of Ministers should adopt a higher profile in the process of elaborating  political positions. In particular, this  applies to issues of key importance to our organization, prominently including improvement of the situation in Belarus.  It is the only country that remains outside the Council of Europe  because of its failure to meet membership criteria. That is a challenge both to Belarus and the Council.

    The tightening of relations between the Council of Europe and the European Union is doubtless a crucial component of integrated European architecture. Having analyzed the exceptionally valuable report by Prime Minister Juncker, we should now set about implementing its recommendations. Poland has given particular support to the initiative connected with revision of the election procedures of the Council's Secretary General.

    The Memorandum of Understanding - which is ready for signing now -  with its clear reference to cooperation in the sphere the European Neighborhood Policy, constitutes an important move to upgrade relations between the Council of Europe and the European Union with a common goal of promoting democracy, citizens` participation and civil society, so much needed in some European countries.

    In connection with the issue raised by some speakers today, let me confirm Poland`s full support and confidence to the actions undertaken by Estonia that fully corresponded to the standards of the Council of Europe.

    Poland is at the same time against arbitrary attempts to ill-define the notion of extremism and to impose on others one-sided view of what constitutes extremism. We do not approve listing Poland in this context.

    Mister Chairman,

    Ladies and Gentlemen,

    Ensuring the effectiveness of the European Court of Human Rights is one of the greatest challenges for the European system of human rights protection. In order to confront that challenge, the Third Summit in Warsaw established a Group of Wise Persons, who were given the task of considering reforms of the system of the European Convention on human rights and fundamental freedoms. Poland wishes to congratulate the Group of Wise Persons on the results of their work.

    We feel it is essential to conduct a basic overhaul of the control mechanism of the Convention. In this context, Poland is pleased that its proposals submitted  at the Warsaw seminar last June have been endorsed by the Group of Wise Persons. I  encourage you to become acquainted with the report on that seminar.

    In this connection Poland supports extending the terms of reference of the Steering Committee for Human Rights (CDDH) to include the drafting of a protocol to the Convention. It would transfer the procedural provisions concerning the European Court of Human Rights to a statute, facilitating the introduction of any further procedural amendments to the Convention. Thus, further changes would not necessitate lengthy ratification of additional protocols, while statute amendments could be instituted by decision of the Committee of Ministers.

    Evolution of the European Court's case law on the admissibility criteria would be feasible even before Protocol 14 comes into force. This is especially valid with regard to the requirement of exhausting domestic remedies when the state has adopted special legislation to solve problems that lead to clone cases being lodged with the Court.  That would enhance the role of national authorities in the protection of human rights, true to the principle of subsidiarity, at the same time streamlining Court procedures.

    All these proposals require substantial courage and determination, which we should all demonstrate to preserve the viability of the European system of human rights protection.

    In conclusion, allow me to congratulate you, Mister Chairman, on the excellent job you have done. At the same time, I wish every success to the new Chairman, Serbian Colleague.

     

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