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Juncker favours strong Council of Europe in human rights domain

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Juncker favours strong Council of Europe in human rights domain

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In his report on the future relations between the 25-nation European Union and the 46-member Council of Europe, Luxembourg Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker has proposed reinforcing the Council as the continent’s primary human rights reference.

He told the Council’s Parliamentary Assembly in Strasbourg he would propose the EU sign the European Convention on Human Rights. It is one of the Council’s key tools. Each of the EU member states has signed it individually. Juncker said the EU signing should be independent of the ratification process of the EU constitution, which remains suspended.

He said the separate organisations should not consider themselves as rivals in the defence of human rights, and recommended the EU become a member of the Council of Europe after 2010. The EU Constitution gives the bloc a single legal entity but this can only become a reality once all the EU member states have approved it.