Council of Europe Political Affairs Committee Meeting in Paris

Chairwoman Hautala addressed the Council of Europe Political Affairs Committee on 18 November concerning the impact of Lisbon Treaty on the European Parliament and the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly. [:]


Main focus in the talks was the nearing EU accession to the European Convention on Human Rights, the cooperation between the parliamentary bodies of the two institutions, the European Parliament and the Parliamentary Assembly and that of the main institutions, the EU and Council of Europe, in the European human rights field.


The cooperation between Subcommittee on Human Rights and the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe is close. Only two months ago Ms Hautala took part in the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights meeting, in Tbilisi in September 2010. Subcommittee has, furthermore, established close relations with other Council of Europe branches. Meetings have been held with the European Court of Human Rights, Council of Europe Committee for the Prevention of Torture and a hearing has been held with the Commissioner for Human Rights, Mr Thomas Hammerberg.


Chairwoman would however like to see this cooperation developed even further in the future. She stressed that the cooperation must be not only BE committed on both sides but also pragmatic. Exchange of information and best practices is crucial and overlaps must be avoided.


Developing cooperation further is of critical importance as the EU moves closer towards joining the European Convention on Human Rights and subjects itself to the jurisdiction of the European Court of Human Rights. Chairwoman Hautala underlined, however, that joining the Convention in itself would not suffice. The EU should also join the additional protocols concerning the protection of rights which are not covered by the Convention.


The negotiations between the Council of Europe concerning the accession are ongoing and are expected to be concluded in the first part of 2011.