Secretary General of the Council of Europe – renewed challenges to institutions

May 15, 2018

Secretary General, Thorbjørn Jagland, published the 5th annual report “State of Democracy, Human Rights and Rule of Law. Role of institutions. Threats to institutions”.

Report assesses the key building blocks of democratic security across Council of Europe member states: independent judiciaries, freedom of expression, freedom of assembly and association, the functioning of democratic institutions and inclusive societies.

This year the report draws attention to the role of institutions in Europe and to the attempts to undermine them both at the European level and at the level of member states. In the last year’s report,  challenges posed by the rise of populism were outlined the question how strong Europe’s
checks and balances are was raised. But this year’s report draws attention to its disturbing outcomes.

According to Secretary General, our Human rights, democracy and the rule of law depend on the institutions that give them form. But for populists, who invoke the proclaimed “will of the people”, these institutional checks and balances on power are often seen as an obstacle that should be subverted.

In his report, the Secretary General invites all Council of Europe member states to recommit, in the interest of every European, to shared values, as reflected in the European Convention on Human Rights.