Estonia to take over Council of Europe chairmanship
Foreign Minister Marina Kaljurand (independent) will take part in a meeting of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe on Tuesday and Wednesday. The meeting is taking place in Sofia, as Bulgaria is about to hand over the council’s chairmanship to Estonia.
Topics to be discussed are the future of democracy in Europe, the human rights situation, the rule of law in Europe, and other challenges facing the continent. At the meeting Estonia will also take over the chairmanship of the Council of Europe.
Kaljurand will meet President Rosen Plevneliev of Bulgaria as well as the country's foreign minister and vice prime minister. Meetings with the foreign ministers of Serbia and Georgia are also on her schedule.
Estonia became a member of the Council of Europe in 1993. As the Ministry of Foreign Affairs states, the Council’s work has influenced Estonia’s own policy decisions, and it is the country’s aspiration to make its second chairmanship “reflect in the Council of Europe the same spirit of leadership and inspiration which our country has benefited from in the past 23 years.”
The priorities of the Estonian chairmanship are human rights and the rule of law in the Internet, gender equality, and children’s rights.
As part of its program, Estonia will support the EuroDIG 2016 conference in Brussels taking place on Jun. 9-10 this year, together with Germany host a conference on Internet freedom in Strasbourg on Sep. 8-9, host the 3rd Council of Europe Platform Exchange Seminar “Culture 4D: Digitisation, Data, Disruptions, Diversity” in Tallinn on Sep. 29-30, and celebrate the 15th anniversary of the Council of Europe’s Convention on Cybercrime at the Octopus conference in Strasbourg on Nov. 16-18.
It will also host a conference on gender equality in Tallinn on Jun. 30 and Jul. 1, participate in the Estonian Human Rights Institute’s Conference on Children’s Rights with a focus on the digital world and migration, and run an event with UNICEF at the plenary session of the United Nations’ General Assembly plenary meeting in September.