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Estonia hands over the Chairmanship of the Council of Europe to Cyprus


Today, Foreign Minister Jürgen Ligi was in Strasbourg to hand over the Chairmanship of the Council of Europe to the Foreign Minister of Cyprus, Ioannis Kasoulides.

“Our chairmanship focused on human rights and the rule of law on the Internet, gender equality and the rights of the child. The attempted coup in Turkey and its aftermath became our political focus during the chairmanship and terrorist attacks in Europe,” Foreign Minister Ligi noted in his speech to the Committee of Ministers at Deputy level.

“The situation in Ukraine remains a priority both for Estonia and the Committee of Ministers. We work towards peaceful solution to the crisis and re-establishment of Ukraine’s territorial integrity,” Ligi added.

Jürgen Ligi expressed pleasure that digital topics have been rightfully highlighted during the Estonian Chairmanship. Speaking of human rights and rule of law on the Internet, Minister Ligi emphasised the importance of cooperation between the Council of Europe and enterprises to protect everyone’s freedom and safety in the digital age. “At the same time we must prevent ourselves from sliding backwards towards over-regulation, interference and unilateral control of the Internet,” Ligi added.

Foreign Minister of Cyprus Ioannis Kasoulides thanked Estonia for successful chairmanship when taking over and reaffirmed that work on the priorities of the Estonian Chairmanship continues during the Chairmanship of Cyprus.

Estonia was the Chair of the Council of Europe’s 47 members since May 2016 until November 2016. Estonia took over the chairmanship from Bulgaria and handed it over to Cyprus. Estonia’s first Chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe was in 1996.



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