Zsolt Németh, the head of Hungarian parliament’s foreign affairs committee, has said the Council of Europe should play a leading role in improving Europe’s worsening security situation.
Following the winter session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), Németh told MTI by phone from Strasbourg that he had been elected president of the PACE’s political committee on Tuesday. He said his speech to the assembly on Thursday had focused on Europe’s “worrying” security situation caused by tensions on the Ukraine-Russia border, increased security risks in the Balkan region as well as the situations in Belarus and Kazakhstan. Given how often the CoE references democratic security and democratic stability, it is important that the pan-European organization exercise its authority in the region to help resolve the situation, he said. “We consider it important for the Council of Europe to strengthen its relationship with the European Union, as there is room for closer cooperation when it comes to the EU’s enlargement policy and the Council of Europe’s activities related to security,” Németh said. He said it was important that the international community devote special attention to the issue of national minorities with the help of the CoE, arguing that almost all new conflicts had a national or ethnic dimension to them. He said though the CoE had the means to help de-escalate tensions, these needed be more flexible and should be applied quicker if the organisation was to become a leader in preventing and settling conflicts.
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