Gernot Erler, Minister of State at the Federal Foreign Office, will be taking part in the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe tomorrow (Tuesday, 12 May). The session in Madrid is being held at the invitation of the Spanish Chairmanship to mark the pan-European organization's 60th anniversary.
The Council of Europe, which is committed first and foremost to the protection of human rights as well as the promotion of democracy and the rule of law, has 47 European member states; only Belarus and Kosovo have not yet acceded. The Committee of Ministers will focus on the reform measures aimed at lightening the burden on the European Court of Human Rights and relations between the EU and the Council of Europe.
Before his departure, Minister of State Erler emphasized the Council of Europe's outstanding role as the oldest European intergovernmental organization involved in the process of European integration.