The Campaign to Uphold Rights in Europe (CURE) was launched at the winter session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) on January 26.
Founders of the CURE are 14 civil society organizations from different countries. One of them is the Election Monitoring and Democracy Training Center (Azerbaijan).
It should be reminded that in the twentieth century, the Council of Europe managed to make significant progress in building a united Europe based on common values, says the statement of the founders.
According to the founders, member states have no systematic interaction on such issues as the prevention of human rights violations and the rule of law.
Therefore, the influence of the Council of Europe, including the Committee of Ministers, on serious and systematic violations is very limited. This leaves victims vulnerable and leads to impunity.
Besides, there are serious issues around the enforcement of ECtHR judgments by a number of member states which undermines the whole system of protection.
“In addition to these chronic issues, a number of crises have shaken the Council of Europe and its authority calling into question its ability to effectively perform its mission in countries with authoritarian governments, such as Azerbaijan, Russia and Turkey,” the statement said.
For these reasons, CURE’s activities will focus on the issues as follows:
– More effective implementation of the European Convention on Human Rights and response to violations of Council of Europe norms and standards;
– Respond to cases where key ECHR judgments have been ignored and Committee of Ministers decisions have not been implemented by member-states;
– Influence member-states that systematically fail to comply with their obligations to the Council of Europe;
– Draw the Council of Europe’s attention to anti-democratic trends in Europe.
Note that CURE will strive to make the Council of Europe a dynamic, transparent, sustainable organisation that promotes and guarantees rights and freedoms, the rule of law and democracy;
The ECtHR must operate more efficiently, adopt its decisions without serious delays;
Effective mechanisms for rapid response to crisis situations and reprisals should be available and applied;
The Council of Europe must have effective integrity mechanisms to protect itself against corruption and unethical behavior;
Civil society must be seen as an equal partner in the development of the Council of Europe’s positions and decisions.
The permanent secretariat of CURE will be based in Strasbourg. Its founding members are as follows: Bulgarian Helsinki Committee (Bulgaria); Center for Civil Liberties (Ukraine); Center for International Protection (France); Civil Rights Defenders (Sweden); EU-Russia Civil Forum (international network, secretariat in Berlin); FIDH – International Federation for Human Rights; Memorial Human Rights Center (Russia); International Commission of Jurists (Secretariat in Geneva); Moscow Helsinki Group (Russia); Netherlands Helsinki Committee (Netherlands); Norwegian Helsinki Committee (Norway); Public Verdict Foundation (Russia), YUCOM – Lawyers’ Committee for Human Rights (Serbia) and Election Monitoring and Democracy Training Center (Azerbaijan).
* EMDTC is an organization engaged in promoting free elections; protecting political freedoms and forming democratic institutions in Azerbaijan.