Celebration on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of Slovenia's membership to the Council of Europe
Strasbourg – Council of Europe is the oldest pan-European organization devoted to the protection of human rights, democracy and rule of law. The Council has 47 members, five observer countries and a number of others countries who are signatories to the various conventions at its disposal. The aim of the Organization is to create a common democratic and legal area on the European continent, in which the respect for fundamental principles such as human rights, democracy and the rule of law is guaranteed.
Slovenia applied for membership status on 29 January 1992, and acquired the status of a special guest in Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe on 3 February of the same year. This was also the first formal status of an independent Slovenia in international organizations. On 14 May 1993, it became a full member of the Council of Europe. Since its accession, Slovenia had become a signatory of more than 100 of the Council's conventions and took on a role of an active participant in the international community.
Slovenia is a strong advocate for the protection of human rights, rights of national minorities, Roma and travellers, rights of women and children, rights on the field of bioethics and biomedicine as well as a strong proponent of democracy, rule of law and human rights in South-Eastern Europe. It has continuously supported the reform of the Council of Europe and the European Court of Human Rights with the aim to adapt the organization for contemporary challenges. Special attention to above mentioned theme has also been given during the Slovenian chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe, which it held from 12th May to 18th November 2009. A number of Slovenians have been, or still are, closely involved in the work of various CoE bodies over the last 20 years.
Secretary General of Council of Europe Thorbjorn Jagland commended Slovenia on this jubilee in a video message, stating that our country is well known for its principled stance. The Organization expects Slovenia to remain an active member.
We will mark the 20th anniversary of Slovenian membership to the Council of Europe with a ceremony in Strasbourg on Monday, 10th June, with a concert of the Strasbourg Philharmonic Orchestra under the leadership of the Slovenian conductor Marko Letonja, that will perform Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony. The concert will be followed by a reception with high ranking invitees from the Council of Europe, European Court of Human Rights, European Parliament, diplomatic corps and the representatives of the city of Strasbourg and Alsace.
The President of the Republic of Slovenia Borut Pahor and Secretary General of Council of Europe Thorbjorn Jagland will be addressing the invitees at the reception.