President urges parliamentarians to speak out on ‘dangers’ facing the Strasbourg Court

PACE President Anne Brasseur has urged Europe’s parliamentarians to speak out on the dangers facing the European Court of Human Rights, such as the non-implementation of a few judgments, and worrying misinformation about the case-law of the Court appearing in the media.

In an opening address to presidents of parliament from across Europe gathered in Oslo for a major biennial summit, jointly organised by PACE and the Storting, she said: “Parliamentarians have a responsibility to ensure that… they speak out and correct misinformation, that they lead the debate and do not to succumb to it”. She stressed that the role of the Convention “cannot be taken for granted”.

Ms Brasseur also addressed the conflict in Ukraine: “I cannot underestimate the dangers I see from the developing conflict in Ukraine and the involvement of Russia, including its annexation of the Crimea.” The dangers were not only military, but humanitarian, social and econonomic, she said, and would cause a “ripple effect” leading to further tensions. “This will affect all of us, unless we stand together to find solutions.”

Other speakers at the opening of the conference included the President of the Storting Olemic Thommessen, Council of Europe Secretary General Thorbjorn Jagland and Norway’s EU Minister Vidar Helgesen.

Around 60 Speakers will be taking the floor today and tomorrow on the conference themes of constitutional rights and freedom, sovereignty and security in Europe, and striking a balance between majority and opposition in a democracy.