French Chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe [fr]
From 17 May to 27 November 2019, France will hold the Chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe. France’s goal as Chair is to strengthen the Council of Europe’s main acquis, established after 70 years of victories and progress, and to keep supporting societal change in Europe through unity and innovation.
The Council of Europe
The Council of Europe (https://www.coe.int/en) is the main human rights organization on the continent of Europe.
The Council of Europe, which was created in 1949, is the oldest European intergovernmental organization. Its founding members are Belgium, Denmark, France, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and the United Kingdom. Today, the Council of Europe has 47 Member States (https://www.coe.int/fr/web/about-us/our-member-states) including all of the countries of the European Union, representing more than 800 million Europeans.
All of the Council of Europe’s Member States have signed the European Convention on Human Rights, a treaty which seeks to protect human rights, democracy and the rule of law. The European Court of Human Rights monitors the implementation of the Convention in Member States.
The European Council has played a pioneering role in the fight to abolish the death penalty in Europe. It promotes press freedom and cultural diversity. It combats violence against women. In the area of health, it has introduced standards guaranteeing the quality of medicines and healthcare at European level.
The priorities of the French Chairmanship
The Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe, which will be chaired by France from 17 May to 27 November 2019, is considered the organization’s governing body. France intends setting three priorities for its Chairmanship:
• Strengthening the European system of human rights protection, in particular the European Court of Human Rights: emphasis will be placed on defending the most vulnerable people and bolstering the rights of children and social rights.
• Promoting equality and community: combating violence against women, racism and all forms of discrimination will be key priorities of the French Chairmanship.
• Addressing new challenges to human rights and the rule of law, first and foremost issues regarding digital technology and artificial intelligence, but also bioethics.
See also: the Permanent Representation of France to the Council of Europe: (https://conseil-europe.delegfrance.org/) (in French)
The priorities of the French Presidency explained by Jean-Baptiste Mattei, Permanent Representative of France to the Council of Europe (in French)