11 Recommendations for the Council of Europe Summit

The 4th Summit of Heads of State and Government of the Council of Europe will be held under the Icelandic Presidency of the Committee of Ministers in Reykjavik, Iceland, on 16 and 17 May 2023 in response to Russia’s brutal war of aggression against Ukraine. The Council of Europe Summit will also provide an opportunity to address the threats and challenges for democracy and human rights in Europe and beyond.

Ahead of the Council of Europe Summit, the European Movement International (EMI) puts forward the following recommendations:

• Strengthen the institutions in the Council of Europe, especially those that promote rule of law and anti-corruption, notably the Venice Commission and the Group of States against Corruption (GRECO);
• Organise the Summit of Heads of State and Government of the Council of Europe on a more regular basis with the participation of organised civil society;
• Ensure the successful conclusion of the negotiations for the accession of the European Union to the European Convention on Human Rights before the 2024 European Parliament election;
• Ensure the full ratification and implementation of the Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence Against Women and Domestic Violence (Istanbul Convention);
• Increase the funding and budgetary resources of the Council of Europe;
• Reinforce the role of the parliamentary assembly (PACE) by enlarging its scope and giving it a concrete right of initiative;
• Enhance cooperation with organised civil society by deepening its participation in the work of the Council of Europe and integrating it in the decision-making process. Support knowledge and capacity building on Council of Europe’s issues among established networks of civil society organisations in Europe and promote formal and informal networking and knowledge sharing opportunities on the work of the Council of Europe;
• Improve access for citizens, civil society organisations and human rights defenders to systems of complaints;
• Establish a special war tribunal to prosecute war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by Russia during the war in Ukraine;
• Support the reconstruction of Ukraine by creating the tools necessary for war reparations for Ukraine;
• Renew the Council of Europe’s efforts in the European Union (EU)’s enlargement process.

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