Council of Europe is not ´á la carte menu´

Topical issue

Council of Europe is not ´á la carte menu´

28. 06. 2018 15:03

"All Member States should realise that the Council of Europe is not a 'menu à la carte' where we only choose what we want. Therefore, we should not merely enjoy the benefits of the membership. On the contrary, it is necessary to honour and respect its obligations and to implement consistently the decisions made by the organisation in accordance with the rules agreed by all the Member States."

Peter Pellegrini, Prime Minister of the Slovak Republic, said on Wednesday addressing these words to the Assembly of Council of Europe.

Pellegrini was also asked about the murders of Ján Kuciak and his fiancée and the freedom of the press in Slovakia. He said that one of the biggest investigation teams in Slovakia's history has been working on Kuciak's murder, while Slovakia is cooperating with international investigators and police forces from other countries. According to the Slovak Prime Minister, the Slovak police are now acting more resolutely in cases when journalists might be threatened. Peter Pellegrini expressed his belief that Slovakia is still one of the safest and most democratic countries in the world. He added that his aim is to have any murder investigated and, in Kuciak's case, to catch the perpetrators of this abominable act as soon as possible.

During the discussion, Pellegrini was also asked about the resignations of employees of the public-service broadcaster RTVS and their claims that they were put under pressure. Pellegrini said that RTVS is a public-service institution that is mainly financed by public contributions, which, according to him, guarantees its independence. He expressed his opinion that political power doesn't have the opportunity to interfere in the way that RTVS works, as the director of this institution is appointed by Parliament. Even "the loudest" of those who quit the public-service house admitted they were not prevented from carrying out their profession and that they were not exposed to political pressure, stated the Slovak prime minister in Strasbourg on Wednesday.

Elena Seeber, Foto: SITA

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