Statement by the Presidency of the EU
The Presidency of the EU would like to welcome the final report of the Wise Persons and thank the Wise Persons for their important work as well as their chairperson Mr. Rodriguez Iglesias for his presentation.
The Wise Persons’ report and their recommendations on possible reform measures address the very essential issue of the long term effectiveness of the European Court of Human Rights control mechanism. Being one of the core institutions of the Council of Europe, the Court and its well-functioning is one of our central concerns. In view of the ever increasing caseload of the Court there is an urgent need for measures safeguarding the effectiveness and credibility of this key institution for human rights protection in Europe.
It is therefore important to analyse and discuss the Wise Persons’ report on expert level without delay to be able to consider the appropriate follow-up as soon as possible. However, the entering into force of Protocol 14 seems to be a pre-requisite for any further measures aiming at reforming the Court system.
In this context the Presidency would like to make the following statement:
“The Presidency has noted with concern the vote in the Russian State Duma rejecting the ratification of Protocol 14 to the European Convention on Human Rights, which – for the time being – has put on hold the essential and long-overdue efficiency and capacity increases of the European Court of Human Rights. The Presidency is concerned about the consequences the Duma decision might have on the reform process of the European Court of Human Rights - including the possible follow up of the just presented Wise Persons’ Report.
The Presidency underlines that a non-ratification of Protocol 14 would run contrary to the commitments of member states to increase the effectiveness of the Convention system as expressed in the Warsaw Summit Declaration and the Ministerial Declaration in May 2006. The Presidency also refers to the EU-Troika Demarche in Moscow on this issue, which was carried out the day after the Duma decision and underlines the importance of an immediate entry into force of Protocol 14 for the proper functioning of the ECHR system.
The Presidency asks the Russian Delegation to outline how the Russian Government intends to proceed with the ratification.”