Joint Statement on Europe Day

As delivered at the Permanent Council, Vienna, 9 May 2024

Madam Chair,

I am making this statement in my national capacity and also on behalf of…………….

On May 5 this year, we celebrated Europe Day as the 75th anniversary of the founding of the Council of Europe – a milestone for our continent.

In 1949, the Council of Europe’s mission was to rebuild our continent in the aftermath of the devastating Second World War and to promote social and economic progress. Since then, it has matured into a central pan-European institution for the promotion of human rights, the rule of law and democracy.

Our promise of “Never again war” and the declared political goal of the Council of Europe to create peaceful coexistence and a prosperous continent gave rise to the Treaties of Rome and what later became the European Union, in turn making an important contribution to the promotion of peace, human rights, democracy and rule of law.

Madam Chair,

In the past two years, however, we have unfortunately witnessed how these principles have been undermined. Russia’s war against Ukraine is a serious violation of international law and poses a particular threat to the security and prosperity of our continent. At the same time, the war is a clear reminder that our fundamental values cannot be taken for granted and must be protected by our joint action.

The values associated with Europe Day are an integral pillar of the OSCE. Through political dialog and sustained work, our organization has contributed to the promotion of stability, freedom, human rights and democracy in Europe. As we approach the 50th anniversary of the Helsinki Final Act and are navigating in this period of uncertainty, we must uphold these principles. Let us make use of the OSCE to facilitate exchanges between participating States and to manage and prevent crises and conflicts. 

Madam Chair,

We will continue to defend our fundamental values such as human rights, democracy and the rule of law, and to work for a Europe at peace. As the history of the Council of Europe shows, something promising can emerge from even the bleakest of situations.

Thank you, Madam Chair.