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Council of Europe to discuss support for Ukraine and defence of European values at its ministerial meeting

Ministry for Foreign Affairs
Publication date 16.5.2024 10.14 | Published in English on 16.5.2024 at 10.20
Press release

The 133rd Session of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe will be held in Strasbourg, France, on 16–17 May. State Secretary Pasi Rajala will represent Finland at the meeting. In connection with the event, the 75th anniversary of the organisation will be celebrated.

At the Council of Europe’s annual meeting of foreign ministers, the organisation’s 46 member states will discuss the implementation of the decisions made at the Council of Europe Summit in May 2023 and outline the organisation’s future activities. At the summit in Reykjavik, the member states reaffirmed their commitment to the organisation’s core values — the promotion of human rights, democracy and the rule of law— and to supporting Ukraine.

Russia was expelled from the Council of Europe after it launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine. Since then, the organisation’s activities have focused on supporting Ukraine and ensuring Russia’s accountability. The Register of Damage for Ukraine established by the Council of Europe registers evidence and claims for damage caused by Russia in Ukraine. In addition, the Council of Europe promotes the establishment of a compensation mechanism that would make decisions on the claims and the establishment of a Special Tribunal for the Crime of Aggression.

The Council of Europe has an important role in setting human rights standards and in impacting national legislation through an extensive treaty system, in particular the European Convention on Human Rights. The European Court of Human Rights and other Council of Europe treaty bodiesoversee the implementation of the Conventions. The ministers will discuss the adoption of a the framework convention on artificial intelligence and human rights, which represents a significant step forward in international regulation in the field of artificial intelligence.

Meeting to celebrate the organisation’s 75th anniversary

The Council of Europe is the oldest political cooperation organisation in Europe. This year also marks the 35th  anniversary of Finland becoming a full member of the Council of Europe in 1989. Over the three decades, Finland has developed its legal system and legislation in line with the standards of the Council of Europe. Finland’s membership has therefore had a wide impact on the lives and rights of the Finnish people. Finland will continue its unwavering support for Ukraine in the Council of Europe. Finland will provide 4 million euros in funding for the Council of Europe’s Action Plan for Ukraine in 2024–2025.

“Ukrainians have every right to choose the European way, which means respect for human rights, democracy and the rule of law. Russia has no right to try to prevent this through its illegal aggression against Ukraine. The Council of Europe is doing valuable work in supporting Ukraine and seeking to ensure Russia’s accountability,” State Secretary Pasi Rajala says.


  • Marjaana Ettala, Desk Officer, Unit for Human Rights Policy, tel. +358 295 350 764
  • Tarja Kangaskorte, Director, Unit for Human Rights Policy, tel. +358 295 350 292
  • The email addresses of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs are in the format [email protected].