Wednesday 8 May 2024

75 Years Council of Europe and Civil Society

In the week in which the Council of Europe celebrates its 75th anniversary (founded on 5 May 1949) - a full and bilingual timeline is available here - two civil society initiatives were undertaken:

The first is the presentation to states of the 'Civil Society Evaluation of the Progress of Implementation of the Reykjavík Summit Commitments by the Council of Europe and Its Member States' one year after the Reykjavik Summit'. This document, compiled under the auspices of CURE (Campaign to Uphold Rights in Europe) is the outcome of a process (in which the founder of this blog also participated) in which both the steps taken so far by states to implement the Reykjavik Declaration were compiled as well as the steps that still need to be taken were identified. In terms of the issue of implementation of judgments of the Court, the document acknowledges some important progress on technical, budgetary and procedural matters, but simultaneously urges states not to lose sight of the core of the matter: 'ensuring a stronger political follow-up to cases of non-implementation' by the Committee of Ministers and CoE institutions.

Secondly, a group of over 400 civil society organisations have joined forces to call upon Council of Europe to add a protocol to the ECHR with a right to a clean, healthy, and sustainable environment, following upon a report adopted by PACE earlier last month. More organisations can join the call here.