Council of Europe elects new Secretary General: what do we know about him

Nadiya DanyshchukWorld
Alain Berset will take office on September 18, 2024. Source: coe.int

Following the second round of voting at the PACE summer session in Strasbourg on June 25, former Swiss President Alain Berset became the new Secretary General of the Council of Europe. He received 114 votes, beating Estonian Minister of Culture Indrek Saar (85 votes) and current European Commissioner for Justice Didier Reynders (46 votes).

The election of the new Secretary General is reported on the EU Council website. It is noted that Alain Berset's five-year term in office begins on September 18, 2024.

It is significant for our country that during his first public statement, the newly elected Secretary General announced that Ukraine would be his priority. His words were quoted by Ukrinform.

"Our main priority, and we all understand why, is Ukraine. And when we talk about Ukraine, we are not just talking about the country, we are talking about Ukrainians. We're talking about their children, and the Council of Europe is very active in all these issues," Mr. Berset emphasized.

He also promised to prepare proposals on all aspects of support for Kyiv at the level of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe and the Committee of Ministers.

"We have to act quickly on the compensation mechanism and the Register of Damages, and on strengthening the protection of Ukraine. We are aware that we have to honor our commitments and I promise to be committed to this," the Council of Europe Secretary General said.

Council of Europe elects new Secretary General: what do we know about him

What is known about Alain Berset

Alain Berset was a member of the Swiss government from 2012 to 2023. During this time, he served as president of the country twice – in 2018 and 2023.

Mr. Berset also headed the Federal Department of the Interior. In 2003-2011, he was a member of the Swiss Federal Parliament, and in 2008-2009 he chaired the Council of States (the upper house of parliament).

As reported by OBOZ.UA, the Council of Europe said that the organization is ready to play its role in bringing the aggressor state of Russia to justice for the full-scale invasion of Ukraine. In particular, the Register of Losses is already functioning, which should record the losses and damage caused by Moscow.

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