At the first civil society event of the CURE Campaign, held on 19 May in Turin, experts from human rights NGOs and academics discussed the effectiveness of the Council of Europe. The day before the Council’s annual ministerial meeting on 20 May in the northern Italian city, civil society representatives spoke about the Council’s role as the chief defender of human rights, the rule of law and democracy in Europe. In their opinion, the organisation should strengthen the measures of influence on governments that do not fulfill their obligations.

The full implementation of the European Convention on Human Rights and the extensive system of standards developed by the Council requires deep reflection. The general public interested in these standards should be involved in discussions about their effective implementation. Members of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) should also play a more active role in defending the standards of the Council in their country.

PACE also called for a process of reflection and strengthening of the Council after the start of the war in Ukraine and the exclusion of Russia from the organisation. As long as Belarus and Russia are outside the Council, democratically minded groups from these countries should also be given opportunities for meaningful engagement with the organisation.