Report notes failings over Council of Europe

A parliamentary committee has generally praised Switzerland’s presidency of the Council of Europe last year, but says lessons should be drawn from various failings.

This content was published on March 31, 2011 - 11:11 and agencies

In a report released on Thursday, the committee pointed in particular to progress towards reforming the European Court of Human Rights during the Swiss presidency, which ran from November 2009 to May 2010.

On the critical side, it said decision-making had been slow because of the many levels of hierarchy within the Council presidency. But there was also “repeated friction” between different parts of the Swiss foreign ministry because roles had not been clearly defined, the committee found.

For the future it recommended that a plan should be worked out aimed at ensuring efficiency and defining the areas of work of different departments. Communication should also be improved, it said, pointing to a “rather weak” media coverage of the Swiss presidency.

The government has been asked to give its opinion on the report by September 20.

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