Council of Europe – six decades devoted to promotion of democracy tenets

Romania’s Chamber of Deputies marked the 60th anniversary of the Council of Europe (CoE), through a meeting when Speaker Roberta Anastase, deputy speaker Adrian Nastase and other parliamentarians and guests delivered speeches, while the president of the Romanian Parliament’s Delegation to the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly Dep. Cezar Preda was the event’s moderator.

Messages were conveyed on behalf of President Traian Basescu and of the Council of Europe General Secretary Terry Davis, the latter also congratulating the Romanian people on the special occasion of the 60th anniversary of the CoE, which Romania joined in 1993. The messages were read by presidential advisor Peter Eckstein Covacs and the general director of the General Directorate for Democracy and Political Affairs Jean Louis Laurens respectively.

Deputy speaker Adrian Nastase said that the current economic crisis had to be overcome democratically and that was an important stake not only for the Government, or the political class, but also for the whole population.

Nastase stressed the importance the Council of Europe continued to have and whose merits had not to be minimized. ‘ As a CoE member, Romania has never hesitated in front of the question about the European road. As the Foreign Minister of Romania’s first post-communist Government, I know how important joining the Council of Europe was. I also know the huge benefits this accession brought to our country (…) Since 1993 we all have known that each year has taken us ever closer to the fulfillment of our destiny as a European state (…) The Council of Europe with its instruments and expertise, so necessary for our development has been watching the democratization of our country, the consolidation of the legal framework of the protection of the human rights and national minorities and the administration and legal reforms in Romania,’ Nastase stressed.

Romania encourages the actions by the Council of Europe and the CoE Parliamentary Assembly as watchdogs of democracy and we appreciate their prompt response to the situation in the Republic of Moldova, reads President Basescu’s address.

According to President Base scu CoE’s expertise in democracy and building the state of law is an appropriate instrument for monitoring and penalizing the authorities’ slippages on their own citizens.

‘One of the basic tenets of the building of a democratic society is providing the necessary framework for the observance of the basic human rights and liberties to enable the free affirmation of the human personality. This is also one of the most difficult challenges of our times, as the recent events in the Republic of Moldova showed,’ stressed Romania’s President, adding that over the time, the Council of Europe has developed the culture of peace and cooperation on the European continent and through the will of its member states it became a guardian of the democratic security.

Joining the Council of Europe meant a substantial expertise contribution that Romania needed to begin the reform of the entire society starting from the Constitution’s revision, the justice and the institutional reform to the relation between the majority and the minorities to the status of the regional languages and the minorities’. Thus the Council of Europe was part in the home reforms in Romania,’ President Basescu said.

The Council of Europe stays an important partner in the improvement of the Romanian democracy’s framework, opined Romania’s permanent Ambassador to the Council of Europe Stelian Stoian, stressing that the organization plays the role of an unifying element among the incumbent political governments and Romania’s delegation to PACE adjusts itself very well crossing the political ideological barriers.

Ambassador Stoian also mentioned that it is in Romania’s interest that the neighboring countries Ukraine, the Republic of Moldova, the states of the South Caucasus become democratic and join the EU. Likewise, the protection of the Romanian communities living in the neighboring countries is a priority.
Romania must show Europe it is willing to participate in what democracy in Europe means, Deputy Cezar Preda concluded in the end of the meeting.

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