Press Release 108/2014
5 May 2014
Minister for Foreign Affairs Erkki Tuomioja will attend the meeting of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe in Vienna on 5–6 May. The meeting will discuss the situation in Ukraine and the state of human rights, democracy and the rule of law in Europe on the basis of a report published by the Council of Europe.
According to this report, human rights, democracy and the rule of law are currently facing the biggest crisis in Europe since the Cold War. Discrimination, racism and hate speech are major challenges to human rights in the member states. Corruption is another widespread problem.
According to the report, the activities of the Council of Europe should be made more effective in order to allow faster response capacity in emergency situations.
The report also raises the need to develop monitoring mechanisms to prevent violations of the freedoms of expression, assembly and association.
As to Ukraine, the ministers will discuss how to support the unity and stability of Ukraine and what role the Council of Europe could play in resolving the crisis.
“The strengths and mechanisms of the Council of Europe should be utilized as efficiently as possible. One important step is the launching of the work by the panel supporting the investigation of human rights violations during demonstrations. It is also positive that the Council of Europe has a concrete support package for starting immediate reforms of human rights and the rule of law in Ukraine,” Minister Tuomioja commented prior to the meeting.
Both Ukraine and Russia are members of the Council of Europe.
Additional information: Tarja Kangaskorte, Diplomatic Adviser to the Minister for Foreign Affairs, mobile tel. +358 40 181 9257