Luxembourg, 27 October 2009 – As Chairman of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe, the Slovenian Foreign Minister, Samuel Žbogar, participated today in Luxembourg in a quadripartite meeting between the European Union and the Council of Europe. The agenda for the meeting, which took place in the context of the EU General Affairs and External Relations Council (GAERC), included three items: Georgia, Moldova, and Belarus.
The European Union was represented by the Swedish EU Council Presidency and the European Commission, and the Council of Europe by Slovenian Foreign Minister in his capacity as Chairman of the Committee of Ministers Samuel Žbogar and the new Secretary General, Thorbjørn Jagland. The two delegations discussed cooperation and the complementarity of the two organisations in relation to the three countries. As regards Belarus, Minister Žbogar emphasised that the country needs to draw closer to Europe via both the Council of Europe and the EU. The two sides also agreed that it is necessary to help the new Moldovan authorities to establish democracy and the rule of law.
Cooperation between the European Union and the Council of Europe is good, said Minister Žbogar, noting that the latter organisation is also looking forward to the implementation of the Lisbon Treaty, whereby the European Union will be able to accede to the European Convention on Human Rights.