Anne Brasseur recalls WWII sacrifices, hails democracy as antidote to war

“Democracy is our strongest ally in reducing the risks of war,” said Anne Brasseur, the President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), speaking alongside other Council of Europe leaders at a special ceremony to mark the end of the Second World War in Europe.

In a speech at the Palais de l’Europe in Strasbourg, the President said working together to build and consolidate democracy, tolerance and living together was “the best tribute we can pay to the victims and heroes of the Second World War”.

She paid tribute to all those who sacrificed their lives in the conflict, adding that the peoples of eastern Europe – Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, Poland and the Balkan countries – endured an “especially heavy toll for our common peaceful future”.

The Council of Europe was itself “born from the ashes of war”, the President pointed out. “Our mission is all the more important as our collective memory fades and we endure on-going bloodshed in some of our member States.”