Council of Europe

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Council of Europe: Kosovo ante portas?

Since declaring independence in 2008, Kosovo has made the recognition of its statehood and the related issue of its membership in international organizations a priority of its foreign policy. After the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe recommended on 16 April 2024, by 131 votes in favour, 29 against and 11 abstentions, that Kosovo be invited to become a member of the Council of Europe, a final decision on this might soon be taken by the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe even if it seems that some member States of the Council of Europe France have requested the postponement of the decision on the admission of Kosovo in the organization. Any final decision on the question of admission must in any event be made by a 2/3 majority of the governments of the by now 46 member States of the Council of Europe represented in the Committee of Ministers. From the point of view of the Parliamentary Assembly, one, if not the main objective of such…

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Summit of Fire and Ice 4th: Council of Europe Summit, Reykjavík

Iceland is known as “the land of fire and ice.”  Its dramatic volcanoes are constantly and rapidly shaping a new complexion in the north-west European island state, whilst its seemingly unchanging glaciers slowly and stubbornly carve through the landscape. Fire and ice are words that also come to mind when one reflects on the historic…

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For Propaganda Without Disinformation: Draft EU Regulation on Political Advertising

Right now, the EU stands ready to adopt a set of strict rules in yet another area of free expression: political advertising in the online and traditional media. This blog examines the draft proposal made by the Commission, and subsequently adopted by the Council and the Parliament, and how it focuses on stopping disinformation in political advertising, especially…

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The Gender of Treaty Withdrawal: Lessons from the Istanbul Convention

In the early hours of 20 March 2021 the Turkish Official Gazette announced—in a one sentence statement that offered no explanation—that the President Erdoğan had decided to withdraw from the Istanbul Convention, the Council of Europe treaty on preventing and combating violence against women. Two days later, the Communication Directorate of the President offered this justification: “The…

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Setting the Cat amongst Pigeons: Kosovo’s Application for Membership of the Council of Europe

Kosovo is one of the few places in Europe not party to the European Convention on Human Rights due to a legacy conflict with Serbia. Kosovo declared independence in 2008 after a bloody war followed by a period of international administration, but this is strongly disputed by Serbia which claims exclusive sovereignty over the entire territory. The conflict…

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