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Marianne Mikko kõne Euroopa Nõukogu Parlamentaarses Assamblees

Wednesday, 10.04.2019, 20:24 / SEISUKOHAD / RSS

Dear Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

I would like to focus today on our common values in the Council of Europe. Already before the birth of the Council of Europe, Sir Winston Churchill expressed his strong conviction that Europe should be stable and united like one big family. Let us remind that the Council of Europe was formed in 1949 to achieve greater unity between its member states for the purpose of safeguarding and realizing the common ideals and principles. What has become of that?

We have one enfant terrible who wants to divide us. Now we are dealing with one country’s question in such a way that we are not able to see the bigger picture. Instead of gaining any real benefit, we just damage and violate something precious such as our organization with great goals to support and persistently respect human rights. We have a crucial moment where we need to ask ourselves are we not starting to slowly cut off the branches of a tall tree we have been growing for so many years?

On the eve of the 70th anniversary, we have to be strategic rather than tactical. Creating a truly new procedure, with representatives of the Committee of Ministers, the PACE and the Secretary-General, can be only complimentary in addition to our valuable heritage what the PACE already has in the statute. We have to notice that this statute with many strengths has held already for many decades by helping to unite 47 member states representing more than 800 million persons. This is definitely a waterproof document and our organization is a good club where many countries wish to belong to. Do we really wish to build new walls to our solid ground?

Human rights, democracy, the rule of law – these common principles will not be enough ensured if we act tactically instead of being strategic. Are we not currently just enthusiastic about the whole process by simply not evaluating the final outcome?
We do not want to throw our baby out with the bathwater, do we? Instead of using our existing statutory rights, are we not introducing new variables into this equation? In doing so, we will not harm the only human rights organization on our continent? As the Head of Estonia’s delegation, I can confirm that our main goal is to stand up for European values.

Which organization in Europe would fight more for the rule of law, democracy and human rights, if not the oldest international parliamentary assembly, already the 70 years old Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe? How would the founding fathers perceive us who emphasized the need to stand up for common European values? Or let’s ask in other way: how will be us, members of the PACE here and now interpreted by our next generations? Are we creators or destroyers? This is the question we need to propose to ourselves. After all, noblesse oblige.

Thank you for your attention.