Aktuelles > EM Germany Newsletter CW 20/2023 | Council of Europe in Focus

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EM Germany Newsletter CW 20/2023 | Council of Europe in Focus

Why is the German Chancellor on a distant island with an unknown institution? The Ukrainian struggle for freedom brings the heads of state and government of the Council of Europe and thus also Olaf Scholz there!

However, the fact that the summit is taking place is completely unknown. Because, as the representative CIVEY survey commissioned by us shows, until recently only 5.5% of Germans knew that the summit was even taking place in Reykjavik. Worse still, as our chart of the month makes clear, around 30% of Germans have no idea at all about the Council of Europe. Over one third even claims the institution belongs to the EU, and only about 10% know that Turkey is a member of the Council of Europe, whose dream of democratic change has not yet been completely shattered due to the runoff election. 

It is regrettable that the Council of Europe in particular is far less well known in Germany than the primary elections in the USA. After all, the Strasbourg institution has been providing a foundation for democracy and human rights for 74 years, and thus as a counter to authoritarian regimes. It offers an exemplary legal framework and initiatives, for example, for young people, history education and protection for women against domestic violence. It is high time to re-read the London Statute of the Council of Europe of May 5, 1949.

The Council of Europe annoys authoritarian, anti-parliamentary and corrupt regimes. Unfortunately, until the recent Russian war of aggression, the Council of Europe was mistreated and underfunded by its member states. Russia was also given the opportunity by Berlin and Paris for far too long to backstab the institution. But here, too, Germany turned a corner and is now strengthening the Council of Europe in an exemplary manner. 

German European policy must build on these first steps. Especially after the far too late exclusion of Russia, concrete steps must now follow to reform the Council of Europe’s ability to act and to strengthen the synergies between the EU and the Council of Europe. The EM Germany has contributed to the consultation process for the summit with concrete recommendations and will not cease to campaign for the strengthening of the Council of Europe in a liberal-democratic integration landscape.


Bernd Hüttemann


EM Germany News

EM Germany Secretary General in interview with Deutschlandfunk | Today the Heads of State and Government of the Council of Europe meet for the 4th Summit. Secretary General of the EM Germany Bernd Hüttemann stressed in an interview with Katharina Peetz in „Europa Heute“ (Deutschlandfunk) on the summit of the Council of Europe in Iceland that the momentum of the summit must be used to strengthen the Council of Europe in the long term. Because the Council of Europe and its focus on the people and their rights in Europe, is indispensable in the times of Ukraine’s struggle for freedom. | More (in German)

Majority of Germans are unfamiliar with the Council of Europe despite its important role | With a view to the Council of Europe Summit on May 16 and 17, Bernd Hüttemann presented the results of an EM Germany-survey on the European institution at a press briefing. Commenting on the results, the Secretary General stressed how important it is to make the Summit more permanent. The Council of Europe supports democracy and human rights in Europe. For the first time in 18 years, there is an opportunity to promote its visibility and strengthen its role.  | More (in German)

EBD President on Europe Day | On Europe Day, Dr. Linn Selle comments on the German Chancellor’s speech in the European Parliament. She said that it was good that the Chancellor was committed to reforming the European Council, „but unfortunately a clear commitment to a strong European Parliament with a right of initiative, a binding system of top-level mandates and a uniform EU electoral law was missing“, according to the President. | More (in German)

Award ceremony Women of Europe 2023 | On 08 May 2023, the EM Germany awarded the Women of Europe 2023 Prize to the author, artist and activist Yevgenia Belorusets. The speeches focused on the Russian war of aggression on Ukraine and the connection with the day of 8 May, the commemoration of the end of the Second World War. A welcome by President Dr. Linn Selle was followed by eulogies by Ukrainian Ambassador to Germany H.E. Oleksii Makeiev. The Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee Michael Roth MdB quoted the laureate: „Now is the time to act bravely and to find strong, effective means against the aggressor. In my imagination, a hundred variants are already playing out how all this can stop, how the war can end.“ The laureates of previous years, who were also present, solemnly welcomed Belorusets into their ranks. | More (in German)

EM Germany Meeting with Omid Nouripour on European Election | Secretary General Bernd Hüttemann and President Dr. Linn Selle met earlier this month with Green Party Co-Chair Omid Nouripour MdB to discuss the upcoming European election and the promotion of pluralism. | More (in German)

EM Germany Background Discussion and Consultation on the Council of Europe Summit | At the EM Germany Background Discussion on the fourth Council of Europe Summit, President Dr. Linn Selle presented the EM Germany’s expectations for the Summit. Frank Schwabe MdB, Head of the German Delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, gave insights into the positions of the Members of Parliament on the Summit starting today. H.E. Ambassador Jutta Gisela Frasch, Permanent Representative of the Federal Republic of Germany to the Council of Europe, also gave the participants insights into the current negotiations on the summit documents. | More (in German)

Upcoming Events

23.05.2023 | EM Germany Briefing  – Chairmanship of Latvia in the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe with Dr. Inese Lībiņa-Egnere, Minister of Justice of the Republic of Latvia, Dr. Anna Lührmann MdB, Minister of State for Europe and Climate at the Federal Foreign Office, and Patrick Lobis, Deputy Head of the Representation of the European Commission in Germany.

14.06.2023 | EM Germany De-Briefing EPSCO with Florian Schierle, European Affairs Officer at the Federal Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs (BMAS), and Johanna Wöran, Deputy Head of the EU Unit at the Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth (BMFSFJ).

03.07.2023 | EM Germany General Assembly with Wolfgang Schmidt, Head of the Federal Chancellery and Federal Minister for Special Tasks.

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