Speech by Minister of Foreign Affairs of Denmark, Mr Anders Samuelsen, at the flag raising ceremony 15 Novermber 2017

Ladies and gentlemen,

It is indeed a great pleasure for me to address you – now formally - in my capacity as Chair of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe.

First, I would like, on behalf of the Committee of Ministers, to thank my Czech colleague, Mr. Lubomír Zaorálek for the hard work you and your team   - back home as well as here in Strasbourg - have done during the last six months.

I would also like to thank the major of Strasbourg, mr. Roland Ries, for organizing this special and solemn event.

Strasbourg is not just a European city it is a city of Europeans. A city, that is inclusive, and open, which makes it a perfect home for the Council of Europe and the European Parliament. I was a regular guest here in my time as a member of the European Parliament more than 10 years ago. The beauty and hospitality of your great city made a deep impression on me.  

It is hard to imagine a better setting to defend and protect human rights, democracy and the rule of law. I would like to use this occasion to thank the city of Strasbourg for this.

Also my deepest appreciation to the Secretary General, mr. Thorbjørn Jagland, whom I am very much looking forward to collaborate with during our chairmanship.

Let me assure you mr. Secretary General, that we will do what we can to assist the Council of Europe in solving the current challenges. And to preserve and protect the fundamental values on which the Council of Europe is build.

You can count on our support, like we count on yours.  

Lastly, I am very happy to draw your attention to our cultural programme. The next six months will not only be about our very important work in the Committee of Ministers, but will also be about Danish culture – and hygge!

During the next couple of month’s a wide range of cultural events will unfold as part of our Chairmanship in Strasbourg.

I hope you will all enjoy this varied range of events, which I think reflects well the diversity of the Danish cultural heritage.

Among our events, I would like to mention our very talented saxophonist, Mette Rasmussen, who is playing this Saturday at the Jazz Festival. As well as the Danish National Girls’ Choir who will perform in the Cathedral on the 23 January. Finally yet importantly, a wide range of Danish authors will have residencies in the Médiatheque André Malraux during spring next year.

We look forward to bringing a bit of Denmark to your wonderful city.

I thank you for your attention.