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Post: Troubled Council of Europe meets in Iceland


Scholz, Macron, Meloni: Dozens of heads of state and government are meeting today for the Council of Europe. Without Russia – and the Council could lose even more members.

For only the fourth time in the Council of Europe’s more than 70-year history, heads of state and government will meet for the summit on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

The guest list is tough: Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD), French President Emmanuel Macron, Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, as well as EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and many more want human rights and more support in Reykjavik, Iceland. Ukraine

It was foretold that the first summit in nearly 20 years should be a starting point for the reorientation of the Council of Europe. Council of Europe 2.0 is urgently needed because the organization has an image problem. Almost no one knows about the institution.

Council of Europe is on the rocks

The organization is currently on very shaky ground. Russia was suspended last year for its war of aggression against Ukraine, and the country later resigned from the Council to avoid exclusion.

  • The summit now aims to signal unity, as there are other shaky candidates in the Council of Europe whose resolve is uncertain.

    This is mainly due to the decisions of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), which is subordinate to the Council of Europe. For example, it can fine member states that do not respect the human rights convention.

    Relations with Türkiye deteriorated

    Relations with the member state Turkey have therefore become more and more contradictory in recent years. The government under Recep Tayyip Erdogan has significantly expanded its influence over the judiciary in recent years and has jailed many of its critics. The ECtHR has often criticized its decisions as foreign and unlawful influence.

    Strasbourg institution filed a violation lawsuit against Turkey due to non-implementation of the decisions and related human rights violations.

    But Erdogan could be history by the end of the month. Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, whose opponent is the social democrat CHP, promises change in the presidential run-off elections to be held on 28 May. He wants to make the judiciary independent again in the country.

    This also means adhering to the ECtHR rulings,” he said. But it seems more likely 20 years later that Erdogan will not happen overnight.

    [Aktuelle Meldungen zu den Wahlen in der Türkei finden Sie in unserem Liveblog.]

    Brexit supporters want to exit human rights treaty

    The UK also has problems with ECtHR decisions. The conservative British government’s anger was fueled by the fact that the European Court of Human Rights banned deportation flights with illegally entering migrants at the last second in 2022.

    Brexit supporters in Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s Tory party are now demanding that the democratically elected British government, not “unelected European judges”, be allowed to make the final decision.

    The right-wing Tory wing has repeatedly demanded that Great Britain withdraw from the human rights treaty if Strasbourg does not agree to compromise.

    Council of Europe plans damage registration for Ukraine

    Under these circumstances, one of the topics of the two-day summit will be the independence of the judiciary and the re-commitment of member states to the human rights convention.

    But the focus is also better support for Ukraine. The most important point will be the planned damage record. This is aimed at documenting war damage in Ukraine so that Russia can be held responsible.

    [Aktuelle Meldungen zu Russlands Angriff auf die Ukraine finden Sie jederzeit in unserem Liveblog]

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Source: ZDF

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