10 years of the EU-CoE Joint Programmes: Synergies for the future
"The Council of Europe and the European Union were products of the same idea, the same spirit, and the same ambition. They mobilised the energy and commitment of the same founding fathers of Europe."
Jean-Claude Juncker, A sole Ambition for the European Continent
14 March 2017 the European Union Delegation to the Council of Europe organized a High-Level Conference in order to celebrate the 10th Anniversary of the pivotal partnership between the EU and the Council of Europe (CoE). These two institutions share the same values of Democracy, Human Rights and the Rule of Law, and therefore signed the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in 2007.
Ambassador Jari Vilén opened the Conference by welcoming more than 200 guests to the event and by addressing 'The CoE is a moral compass for the EU and conversely.' He expressed his gladness to celebrate this positive achievement, especially in the midst of constant challenges that both institutions, the EU and the CoE, are facing.
During her speech Deputy Secretary General of the CoE, Gabriella Battaini-Dragoni said that the EU is the CoE's main financial and political partner. Since these two institutions both face the same challenges together, it is an instinct for them to support each other to respond to those challenges. The last decade has witnessed an ever closer cooperation between the EU and the CoE, especially on the issue of the death penalty, she said.
Since the signature of the MoU in 2007 until the end of 2016, 194 Joint Programmes were implemented by the CoE and were significantly funded by the EU with the total of €271 million: 84,4% of the total budget.
In these challenging times, when the EU's and the CoE's values are being questioned and tested by the rise of populism, extremism and xenophobia, the Joint Programmes are of greater importance than ever, Deputy Secretary General addressed.
The EU Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy & Enlargement Negotiation, Johannes Hahn, emphasized how important it is for both these institutions to coordinate their political messages and to work together to create a strong impact as their actions have a stronger impact together.
After the keynote speeches the Director of the Office of the Directorate General of Programmes Verena Taylor and the Director Neighbourhood East, DG NEAR Lawrence Meredith presented the implementation of the EU – CoE Programmes in practice.
The EU Delegation to the Council of Europe would like to thank all the guests, who participated in our event and celebrated the 10th Anniversary of MoU with us.