Greece on Friday took over the rotating six-month chairmanship of the Council of Europe (CoE) from Georgia, in a ceremony that was conducted online due to public health precautions.
“The Greek chairmanship of the Council of Europe begins by prioritising the protection of human life, public health and human rights in the Covid-19 pandemic,” Greek President Katerina Sakellaropoulou stated.
She also said that the challenges of lockdowns and other safety precautions aimed at stemming the spread of the coronavirus will affect how the CoE operates, making Greece’s the first “e-chairmanship” in the history of the 47-nation body.
Other areas that will be at the focus of Greece’s efforts as chairman of the CoE, Sakellaropoulou added, are the efficiency of the justice systems, the rights of young people and climate change.
“Given the current context, Greece has chosen to focus its chairmanship on the protection of public health and responses to the health crisis, while at the same time ensuring respect for human rights, democracy and the rule of law,” the CoE said in a post on Twitter, congratulating Greece over its new role.
Alternate Minister of Foreign Affairs Miltiadis Varvitsiotis will be the new chair of the CoE’s Committee of Ministers.