The ceremony for the accession of the Principality of Monaco to the Council of Europe took place this afternoon in Strasbourg, and was welcomed by the leaders of the Organisation.
The Chairman of the Committee of Ministers, Norwegian Foreign Minister Jan Petersen, said: “With the accession of Monaco, the Council of Europe is closer than ever to the goal set up by its first Summit, in Vienna in 1993: to bring together, on an equal footing and in permanent structures, all European democratic countries. The Third Summit, in Warsaw next year, will give us the opportunity to celebrate Europe’s unity”.
After signing the European Convention on Human Rights and the European Social Charter, Prince Albert read a few lines of a written message from Prince Rainier of Monaco: “The admission of the Principality of Monaco to the Council of Europe is an object of legitimate satisfaction and pride to me personnally as it is to all my compatriots.
“I am glad that Monaco is accepted as part of an Organisation actuated by such high aspirations, enriched by the diversity of the peoples whom it represents”, he added.
Peter Schieder, President of the Parliamentary Assembly said: “The colourful and complex European jigsaw puzzle that we are putting together, with its varied yet closely interlocking pieces, is not yet complete. So we are extremely happy that today one of the last pieces in the puzzle is fitting into its rightful place, the forty-sixth to date, bringing the Council of Europe closer than ever to completion and fulfilment. As far as Monaco is concerned I am convinced that it will be nothing short of an exemplary member, a perfectly fitting piece of the puzzle”.
Council of Europe Secretary General Terry Davis said: “The accession we celebrate today puts an end to a regrettable absence. The geographical position, history, culture and traditions of Monaco make it an integral part of European civilisation. It shares Europe’s fundamental values, and it is natural, therefore, that Monaco should enter the Council of Europe.
“In joining us, Monaco is becoming part of – and contributing to – a shared European future. Not the future of an ‘old’ or ‘new’ Europe, but the future of one Europe,” added Mr Davis.
For more information, see our special file : http://www.coe.int/ Monaco or the website of the Conseil National de Monaco http://www.conseilnational.mc