Policy Areas

Norway seeks to strengthen the cooperation between the EU and the Council of Europe


The current Chairman of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe, Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Jan Petersen, addressed the Parliamentary Assembly in Strasbourg 5 October. Among other issues such as the fight against terrorism and the reform of the European Court of Human Rights, Mr. Petersen stressed the need to strengthen cooperation between European organisations.

There is no lack of important tasks to take on and there is certainly enough work for both the Council of Europe, the OSCE and the EU”, he said and continued: ”The aim for these organisations should be to complement each other rather than to compete. Only through constructive dialogue will we be able to solve the problems we are still facing”.

One of the main priorities of the Norwegian Chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe since May 2004, has been to strengthen the dialogue between the Council of Europe, the OSCE and the EU, and not least the practical co-operation between these bodies. The organisations should focus on those areas where they have best competence, and complement each other and create synergies. It is important for the Council of Europe to focus its efforts on areas where it can do a better job, and where it can complement the work of other international organisations, primarily in pursuing its core objectives. Human rights, Promotion of the rule of law, Democracy-building and Conflict prevention are examples of areas where the Council of Europe has such special expertise. Previous month, Norway organised a seminar in Oslo on “The Council of Europe – Politics and Practice”, aimed at reflecting on the role of the different organisations in a changing European landscape.

To read the whole statement, please click on the link on the right side of this page

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Norwegian Foreign Minister, Jan Petersen