Council of Europe

The significance of the Council of Europe for foreign and security policy is essentially based on its geographical coverage and capacity to prevent crises. The Council's core idea is that a state governed by the rule of law that respects democracy and human rights is stable and capable of solving even serious conflicts without falling into a crisis or a war.

Finland wants to develop the Council of Europe as an umbrella organisation for the whole Europe, which works in close cooperation with the European Union and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE).

The organisation has decided that all its functions must support the promotion of democracy, human rights and the rule of law. This is fully in line with Finland's objectives.

Finland endorses the fact that the Council of Europe concentrates on its core tasks and has consistently sought to strengthen the organisation's human rights role and to contribute to the operation of the European Court of Human Rights.

Finland supports measures that ensure the proper functioning of the Council of Europe's independent monitoring mechanisms and the activities of the Commissioner for Human Rights.

Finland has been among the ones in the front line in nearly all topical human rights issues that have been raised in the Council of Europe, especially in the promotion and development of matters related to the most disadvantaged groups, women, children, the Roma, and sexual and gender minorities.

Finland has also supported these specific sectors in the Council of Europe's activities by means of voluntary contributions.

Furthermore, Finland has underlined the role of civil society organisations (CSOs) and better opportunities for them to take part in the activities of the Council of Europe. Finland defends the Council of Europe's active role in the resolution of the Ukraine crisis.