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12th Seimas (2016–2020)

Andrius Kubilius, Member of the Seimas, and ambassadors discussed priorities of the programme for the election of the Secretary General of the Council of Europe

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Lithuania hosted a meeting for the ambassadors of the member states of the Council of Europe residing in Lithuania to officially introduce the candidature of Mr Andrius Kubilius, Member of the Seimas, for the election of the next Secretary General of the Council of Europe. During the event, Mr Kubilius presented his vision and priorities of the work of the Council of Europe.

Mr Kubilius stressed that the Council of Europe was the leading institution aimed at creating, implementing and protecting, throughout the European continent, the fundamental standards of the European values of human rights, democracy and the rule of law. The organisation has developed major instruments, such as the Venice Commission and the European Court of Human Rights, for upholding human rights and the rule of law. We need to find ways to enhance the institutional component in the protection of democracy, which would allow member states to withstand populism, radicalism and other challenges to democracy. In order to ensure that the organisation is effective, transparent and suited to the challenges of our time, it is important to pursue the reforms already started by the Council of Europe and strengthen the visibility and standing of the organisation. The Council of Europe has accumulated exceptional intellectual capital to lead the way in such areas as human rights and protection of the right to privacy on the threshold of an era of new technologies.

In presenting the candidature of Mr Kubilius, Linas Linkevičius, Minister of Foreign Affairs, emphasised excellent leadership qualities and management skills of the Lithuanian candidate, as well as his ability to find compromises, which are crucial for a Secretary General of the Council of Europe in addressing the challenges facing the organisation. ‘Andrius Kubilius, who was twice Prime Minister of the Republic of Lithuania during particularly difficult periods for our country, not only brings with him a wealth of political experience but also boasts a strategic vision which is particularly important for the Council of Europe in taking on today’s challenges,’ the Minister said. 

When referring to the future of the Council of Europe, Andrius Kubilius took note that the core mission of the organisation, which was established in the aftermath of the Second World War, was underpinned by values.

‘The experience of destruction of the war in Europe and unshakable conviction that democracies do not go to war against each other, that the authorities cannot usurp the rights of their citizens, and that all people have the right to enjoy equally fundamental rights and freedoms provided a powerful impetus for setting up an organisation to serve the very purpose of fostering and protecting fundamental values. The problems remain relevant like they were 70 years ago. No one could deny that a number of European countries face challenges to democracy. We want our generation and the ones to come to live in a Europe that is peaceful, united and free. The Council of Europe, therefore, needs to be a viable, effective and authoritative body not only today but also for decades to come,’ underlined the candidate for the post of Secretary General of the Council of Europe.  

The Council of Europe, marking its 70th founding anniversary this year, was established back in 1949 as a European political organisation that seeks to promote common democratic principles throughout Europe based on the European Convention on Human Rights and other international documents and protect human rights, democracy and the rule of law. The Council of Europe was the first international European organisation that Lithuania joined soon after the restoration of its independence. Lithuania’s membership of the Council of Europe constituted a remarkable political achievement. The political support of the organisation has always been of utmost importance for Lithuania, as the Council of Europe has never recognised the occupation and annexation of the Baltic States by the Soviet Union. Today, the Council of Europe brings together 47 member states.  

The Secretary General of the Council of Europe is elected every five years. The post-holder is responsible for the strategic planning of the Council of Europe’s work programme, implementation of the budget, execution of the decisions taken by the Committee of Ministers, and oversight of the day-to-day management of the organisation and Secretariat. The Committee of Ministers adopts an annual Intergovernmental Programme of Activities, which is drafted by the Secretary General to reflect the priorities of the organisation. The Secretary General is in charge of the implementation of the Programme.


Andrius Kubilius, Member of the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania, tel. + 370 5 239 6658, e-mail: [email protected]

   Last updated on 02/06/2019 10:43
   Balys Valatkevičius