King to give speech at Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe

On Thursday 23 June His Majesty the King will pay a working visit to the Council of Europe in Strasbourg. During the visit he will deliver a speech to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. Minister for Legal Protection Franc Weerwind will be joining the King on the visit.

The Council of Europe was founded in 1949 to promote and protect the principles of human rights, the rule of law and democracy in Europe. It has 46 member states and its main bodies are the Committee of Ministers, made up of the foreign ministers of the member states, and the Parliamentary Assembly, consisting of over 300 members of the 46 national parliaments. The Council of Europe also has several other bodies, the most well-known of which is the European Court of Human Rights. The Court oversees the implementation of the European Convention on Human Rights. Through its bodies and conventions the Council of Europe seeks to create a common legal space on the European continent and to thereby strengthen unity between its member states.

King Willem-Alexander and Mr Weerwind will be received at the Palais de l’Europe on Thursday morning by the President of the Parliamentary Assembly and member of the Dutch Senate, Tiny Kox, the Secretary General of the Assembly, Despina Chatzivassiliou-Tsovilis, and the Secretary General of the Council of Europe, Marija Pejčinović Burić. They will then meet with the President of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities and the King’s Commissioner in the province of Flevoland, Leendert Verbeek, and the Commissioner for Human Rights, Dunja Mijatović. The King will address the Parliamentary Assembly shortly after midday.

In the afternoon the King and his minister will speak with representatives of the Platform for the Protection of Journalism and Safety of Journalists. By reporting on violations of and threats to press freedom and publicising these online, the Platform urges member states to respond to and take action against these violations.

The programme will continue at the European Court of Human Rights with a meeting with the Court’s President Robert Spano, Dutch judge Jolien Schukking and Registrar of the Court Marialena Tsirli, followed by a short tour.

The visit to the Council of Europe will conclude at the European Youth Centre (EYC). The EYC is part of the Council of Europe and facilitates training courses and educational projects for young people from all over Europe about human rights, citizenship and democratic values. Young people will speak with the King and Mr Weerwind about their involvement in the Council of Europe’s work and two youth campaigns.

Government Information Service, no. 161