On Thursday, June 23, 2022, His Majesty King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands gave a speech during the summer session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg, France.
Established in 1949, the Council of Europe was founded on the values of human rights, democracy, and the rule of law. Today, there are forty-six member states and six Observer States including the Holy See, Israel, Japan, and the United States to name a few.
The Council of Europe also advocates the:
“…freedom of expression and of the media, freedom of assembly, equality, and the protection of minorities. It has launched campaigns on issues such as child protection, online hate speech, and the rights of the Roma, Europe’s largest minority.
The Council of Europe helps member states fight corruption and terrorism and undertake necessary judicial reforms. Its group of constitutional experts, known as the Venice Commission, offers legal advice to countries throughout the world.”
In his speech, His Majesty spoke about the ongoing war in Ukraine as well as the importance of protecting journalists and the media stating:
“Another issue that requires fresh focus is the protection of journalists. In 2015 the Council of Europe launched a platform to offer journalists better protection against threats and violence.
Responsible journalism is indispensable in a free and democratic state governed by the rule of law. Journalists who work in good faith to expose wrongdoing deserve our support. It is good to see the Council of Europe standing up for them.”
After his speech, His Majesty met with young adults from the European Youth Center (EYC) whereupon they spoke about their involvement in the work of the Council of Europe and two youth campaigns.
Photos courtesy of RVD/K.van Weel