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Press Release - High-level political dialogue between the EU and the Council of Europe
20.11.2012, 14:10 (CET)
The EU and the Council of Europe met today, Tuesday, November 20 in Strasbourg, in the framework of the political dialogue meetings held regularly at high level to exchange views on important issues for both institutions.Cyprus’ Foreign Affairs Minister, Dr. Erato Kozakou-Marcoullis, represented the EU on behalf of the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Baroness Catherine Ashton.

Dr. Marcoullis held discussions with the Secretary General of the Council of Europe, Mr. Thorbjørn Jagland and Andorra’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Mr. Gilbert Saboya, who is the Chair of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe. Discussions focused on cooperation between the two institutions in the South Mediterranean, and on the issue of education for human rights and democracy.

The representatives of the two institutions reiterated their strong political support for democratic reforms in the region, in the interest of both the South Mediterranean and Europe, and their willingness to continue jointly to provide assistance to this end. In particular this was highlighted in relation to constitutional reform, the holding of free and fair elections, the protection and promotion of human rights, as well as the reform of the judiciary.

Dr.Marcoullis, Mr. Saboya and Mr. Jagland also  stressed that cooperation between the EU and the Council of Europe is strong  at all levels, including on recent developments taking place in neighbouring countries of the South Mediterranean.

During the discussions, the importance of the contribution of human rights education to the development of democracy and social cohesion was underlined and, in this context, the initiatives planned over the next six months in this area by the Andorran Chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe were welcomed; in particular awareness raising and training activities for young people.

The EU and the Council of Europe expressed their intentions to step up further the mutual support in areas of common interest and concern, thus continuing to build upon the 2007 Memorandum of Understanding, their framework for cooperation and political dialogue.

Dr.Marcoullis, Mr. Saboya and Mr. Jagland also reiterated the importance they continue to attach to the ongoing process of EU accession to the European Convention on Human Rights and their commitment to maintaining sustained efforts with a view to a rapid and successful conclusion of those negotiations."

Communications Officer
Charis Christodoulidou

Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Email: cchristodoulidou@mfa.gov.cy
Telephone: +357 22401165

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