Finland is a ‘calm and steady hand’ at Council of Europe helm, says President

In a turbulent Europe, PACE President Liliane Maury Pasquier has welcomed the “calm and steady hand” of Finland at the helm of the Council of Europe during the Finnish Presidency of the organisation.

Speaking at the end of an official visit to Finland, she said: “Over the last three days in Helsinki I have appreciated the ‘sense and sensibility’ of my Finnish interlocutors. I look forward to supporting the Finnish priorities of strengthening Europe’s system of human rights and the rule of law, promoting equality and women’s rights, and the focus on openness and inclusiveness and on young people and the prevention of radicalisation.”

She continued: “I was able to hold discussions with the Speaker of the Parliament, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and met with the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Finnish Parliament. We discussed approaches to current international challenges, including strategies to promote dialogue with countries where human rights challenges risk affecting the Council of Europe’s values of democracy, human rights and the rule of law.”

“I was particularly pleased to be able to launch, in the setting of the Finnish Parliament, the hashtag initiative focusing on combating sexism, harassment and violence against women in parliaments in Europe, #Not In My Parliament, with the Speaker of the Finnish Parliament.”

“All European parliaments must send a clear message of zero tolerance for intimidation, sexist behaviour, harassment and gender-based violence, wherever it occurs. This initiative can also be an encouragement for others outside parliaments. Why not #NotInMyTown, #NotInMyUniversity, #NotInMyTeam, and so on?”