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Ref. DC 086(2016)

Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers meets in Sofia

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Strasbourg, 12.05.2016 - The Ministers for Foreign Affairs of the Council of Europe’s 47 member states will meet in Sofia on 18 May.

The session will be chaired by Daniel Mitov, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Bulgaria and Chairman of the Committee of Ministers. It will begin at 9.30 am CET. Rossen Plevneliev, President of the Republic of Bulgaria, will address the session at its opening.

The items on the draft agenda to be adopted by the ministers at the opening of the session will be:  

- Democratic security for all in Europe in challenging times:

·         Secretary General’s report on the state of democracy, human rights and the rule of law: a security imperative for Europe

·         Tackling violent extremism and radicalisation leading to terrorism

·         Responding to the refugee crisis

·         The key role of democracy, human rights and the rule of law in conflict resolution

- Securing the long-term effectiveness of the system of the European Convention on Human Rights

- Council of Europe policy towards neighbouring regions

- Cooperation with the European Union.

At the end of the session, Minister Mitov will present the stocktaking of Bulgaria’s chairmanship over the past six months and will hand-over the Chairmanship to Marina Kaljurand, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Estonia, who will present the priorities of her country’s chairmanship.

press briefing with Ministers Daniel Mitov and Marina Kaljurand and Thorbjørn Jagland, Secretary General of the Council of Europe, will be held after the session, at approximately 3 pm.

Minister Mitov and Secretary General Jagland will also speak at a press conference to present the General Policy Recommendation on Combatting Hate Speech developed by the Council of Europe anti-discrimination body, the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI), from 4.15 to 5.00 pm.

Interviews may be organised on the spot.

Further information for the press

Accreditation:

Media representatives wishing to cover the event should be accredited in advance. Accreditation can be requested by sending a completed Media Accreditation Form to info@mfa.bg by 6.00 p.m. on Friday 13 May 2016.

The accredited media representatives are invited to receive their name badges from 8.30 to 9.00 a.m. on Wednesday 18 May in Sofia Hotel Balkan (5, Sveta Nedelya Square).

The discussions are held in camera. Nevertheless, at the opening of the meeting and at the moment of the handover of the chairmanship, accredited photographers and cameramen will be allowed in the meeting room.

A group photo will also be taken at the end of the session (at approx.1.15 pm).

For further information, please consult our special files : Council of Europe Committee of Ministers - Chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers - Special press file on the ministerial session

Press contacts:

Council of Europe :

Daniel Höltgen, Spokesperson of the Secretary General, Tel. +33 6 68 29 87 51

Can Fişek, Spokesperson/Media officer, +33 6 75 65 03 41

Bulgarian Ministry for Foreign Affairs : Presscenter, Phone: +359 2 948 22 18