WELCOME BY MR MEVLÜT ÇAVUŞOĞLU,
PRESIDENT OF THE PARLIAMENTARY ASSEMBLY,
TO FEDERAL COUNCILLOR EVELINE WIDMER-SCHLUMPF,
HEAD OF THE FEDERAL DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE AND POLICE
(Strasbourg, Friday 29 April 2010, 15h20, Hemicycle)
I am pleased to welcome Federal Councillor Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf, the Head of the Federal Department of Justice & Police of Switzerland and to thank her for her readiness to take part in this important debate on the 'Effective implementation of the European Convention on Human Rights: the Interlaken process".
As all members of this Assembly are no doubt aware, one of the most important, if not the most important initiative of the Swiss Chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers has been the organisation of the Conference on the Future of the European Court of Human Rights, which was held in Interlaken on 18 & 19 February of this year.
I had the privilege, as President of the Assembly, of making one of the keynote speeches at the beginning of the Conference. The Chairman of the Legal Affairs & Human Rights Committee, Mr Pourgourides, the Committee's Rapporteur, Mrs Bemelmans-Videc, together with the Swiss members of the Assembly's parliamentary delegation also took part in this important event.
Indeed, the fact that over 30 ministers took part in this two-day conference sends an important political signal that member states of the Council of Europe are strongly committed to our unique human rights regional control mechanism.
At the end of the Conference, ministers adopted the "Interlaken Declaration" and a 7-point "Action Plan" in order to ensure the viability of our unique Convention control mechanism, the jewel in the crown of our Organisation.
It is therefore with great pleasure that I now give you the floor, Mrs Widmer-Schlumpf, to provide the Assembly with additional information about important decisions taken at Interlaken and the manner in which the Action Plan is to be implemented.