“Given the longstanding collaboration between Scouting and Guiding organisations and the Council of Europe in the youth field, and the educational goals of the event, the Secretary General is pleased to grant his patronage” – stated Mr Daniel Holtgen, Communications Director for the Council of Europe and Spokesperson of the Secretary General.
The Council of Europe is an international organisation based in Strasbourg. It was set up to promote democracy and protect human rights and the rule of law in Europe, it has the membership of 47 European nations.
With responsibility for the strategic planning and direction of the councils work programme and budget, the Secretary General is elected by the Parliamentary Assembly to lead the organisation for a five-year term. Mr Thorbjørn Jagland is the 13th Secretary General of the Council of Europe.
The work of The Council of Europe’s benefits extensively from contacts and co-operation with the dynamic elements of society, as represented by various NGOs. One of the main challenges currently facing the Organisation is to strengthen NGOs and civil society and to develop participatory democracy on a pan-European basis.
The Council of Europe advocates freedom of expression and of the media, freedom of assembly, equality, and the protection of minorities. It has launched campaigns on issues such as child protection, online hate speech, and the rights of the Roma, Europe’s largest minority. The Council of Europe helps member states fight corruption and terrorism and undertake necessary judicial reforms. Its group of constitutional experts, known as the Venice Commission, offers legal advice to countries throughout the world.
The Council of Europe promotes human rights through international conventions, such as the Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence and the Convention on Cybercrime. It monitors member states’ progress in these areas and makes recommendations through independent expert monitoring bodies. Council of Europe member states no longer apply the death penalty.