Vienna, 16 November 2005 - On Thursday, 17 November, at the invitation of the Portuguese Presidency of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe, State Secretary Hans Winkler as representative of the forthcoming EU Presidency will give a keynote address on the future cooperation between the Council of Europe and the European Union, particularly in the fields of human rights, the rule of law and democracy, at the 115th meeting of the Committee of Ministers in Strasbourg.
The Committee of Ministers will focus on the follow-up to the third summit of the Council of Europe which took place in Warsaw in May. Further topics on the agenda will be the consolidation of the human rights protection system of the Council of Europe, the strengthening of its activities for the promotion of democracy, and the building of a Europe that attaches more weight to social concerns.
On the same day, Winkler will participate in the subsidiarity conference on "Sharing Power in Europe" at The Hague. The conference, which has been organised by the Netherlands and the British EU Presidency, will focus on how to strike the right balance between EU and Member States competences in the interests of the citizens, the role of the national Parliaments, and ways of improving the effective application of subsidiarity in EU legislation in general. The conference also aims to make a contribution to the debate on the future of the EU.