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European Commission

Press release

Brussels, 1 April 2014

New cooperation agreement between the Commission and Council of Europe on human rights, democracy and rule of law

The European Commission and the 47-nation Council of Europe (CoE) have today signed a “Statement of Intent” putting in place a new framework for cooperation in the EU Enlargement and Neighbourhood Regions for the period 2014-2020.

The agreement will enable the two organisations to work together in a more strategic and result-focused manner to help promote human rights, democracy and the rule of law in the EU Enlargement and Neighbourhood Regions based on the Council of Europe’s binding international conventions, monitoring bodies and assistance programmes.

The statement was signed in Brussels today by EU Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy, Štefan Füle, and the Secretary General of the Council of Europe, Thorbjørn Jagland.

“The Council of Europe is a very important partner for the EU, and I welcome today's agreement. I am confident that this new framework will provide the grounds for deeper collaboration between our two organisations for the benefit of our partner countries in the EU Enlargement and Neighbourhood regions” said Commissioner Füle.

“The Council of Europe and the EU are distinct organisations, but we share the same values. Today’s agreement will further cement our existing co-operation by providing substantial assistance to democracy, human rights and rule of law projects in countries engaged in key reforms,” said Secretary General Jagland.

This administrative agreement sets out working methods for cooperation through joint programmes in the EU Enlargement Region (Turkey and the Western Balkans), countries covered by the EU’s Eastern Partnership programme (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine) and also countries in the Southern Mediterranean region (initially Morocco and Tunisia).

For more information

Website of EU Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle:

Website of DG Development and Cooperation - EuropeAid – Cooperation with International Organisations:

Statement of Intent:

Contacts :

Peter Stano (+32 2 295 74 84)

Anca Paduraru (+32 2 296 64 30)

Council of Europe: Andrew Cutting (+32 485 217 202)

For the public: Europe Direct by phone 00 800 6 7 8 9 10 11 or by e­mail

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