From May – November 2022, Ireland will hold the Presidency of the Council of Europe (COE), its first time to hold such a prestigious mandate in twenty years. The AILG has a small but valued involvement through its role as parent body for the Irish delegation of Councillors to the Council of Europe’s local government forum – the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities (CLRAE).
In light of the above, the AILG National Executive Committee travelled to Strasbourg last week on a study trip to engage with the European organisation, which was founded in the wake of World War II
to uphold human rights, democracy and the rule of law in Europe.
Over the course of two days, the AILG delegation had a busy schedule of engagements with a number of key personnel including Minister Thomas Byrne, TD, Minister of State at the DFA, Judge Siofra
O’Leary, Vice President of the European Court of Human Rights and Mr Breffni O’Reilly, Irish Ambassador to the Council of Europe.
Executive Committee members Cllr. Joe Leddin and Cllr. Gráinne Maguire also met and spoke with youth groups at the Palais de l’Europe as part of a Council of Europe campaign to increase young people’s role in the process of revitalising participatory democracy in the Council of Europe.
Across our six-month Presidency term, Ireland will pursue three clear and complementary priorities, with the overarching aim of renewing ‘‘the conscience of Europe’’ in the wake of war on our continent. First, at a time of turmoil, we will reaffirm ‘Our Founding Freedoms’, by refocusing on human rights protection for civilians across Europe, above all through the vital work of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR).
Elected Members can learn more about the Irish Presidency of the COE via their website HERE.