Sunday, 13 May 2007

Understanding between EU and CoE

The Council of Europe signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the European Union on 11 May 2007.

The Memorandum of Understanding is a new framework for cooperation between the organisations, which share the same values: pluralist democracy, human rights and fundamental freedoms and the rule of law.

The Memorandum contains a number of the recommendations made by Jean-Claude Juncker in his report on the relations between the organisations.

The Council of Europe and the European Union will develop their relationship in all areas of common interest: human rights and fundamental freedoms, democracy and good governance, democratic stability, intercultural dialogue and cultural diversity, education, education, youth and promotion of human contacts as well as social cohesion.

The Council of Europe will remain the benchmark for human rights, the rule of law and democracy in Europe.

The Council of Europe norms will be cited as a reference in European Union documents in the fields of human rights and fundamental freedoms. Coherence with the relevant conventions of the Council of Europe will be ensured. This does not prevent Community and European Union law from providing more extensive protection.

The organisations are in agreement that early accession of the European Union to the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms would contribute greatly to coherence in the field of human rights in Europe.

The European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights is deemed to strengthen the respect for fundamental rights within European Union and European Community law. A bilateral cooperation agreement will be agreed.

The Council of Europe and the European Union will try to establish common standards for a Europe without dividing lines. They will strive to respond to challenges like terrorism, organised crime, corruption and money laundering.

Ralf Grahn