Standing Committee marks 40 years of Spain's membership in the Council of Europe

"40 years ago, Spain chose to embrace democracy after several decades of dictatorship and at the same time embraced with genuine commitment the values and principles which the Council of Europe represents. Democracy in Spain has been a success and the process of Spanish democratic transition has served as a model for many countries, " PACE President Pedro Agramunt stressed in his opening speech of the Standing Committee meeting in Madrid today which marks the 40th anniversary of the country's membership of the Council of Europe.

The Speaker of the Senate, Pío García Escudero stressed in his speech before the Standing Committee the important role played by the Council of Europe as a defender of democratic principles. "Today we face serious difficulties which I am sure are high on your agenda. But we must not be pessimistic and we should not give in a defensive approach. Isolationism and fragmentation of our societies which are open, pluralistic and multipolar is the worst scenario. Democracy doesn' fall out of the sky and major sacrifies have to be made. The Spanish people know this all to well and we are prepared to cooperate with you."

"Our work will conclude tomorrow with the laying of flowers to mark European Day of Remembrance of Victims of Terrorism. The Assembly wishes to be a part of this commemoration by paying due tribute to all such victims and, in line with the aim pursued by the #NoHateNoFear initiative, we shall seek to defeat fear and hatred," the PACE President concluded.