We, the undersigned, are strongly concerned about the possible demise of the Council of Europe, which can take place very soon. In response to Russia's illegal annexation of the Crimea and military aggression in Eastern Ukraine the Council of Europe suspended the voting rights of the Russian delegation. In its turn, Russia has turned to blackmail, having suspended membership fees to the Council of Europe and boycotting participation in the Parliamentary Assembly. In order to triumphantly return to the PACE in January next year without implementing demands contained in a number of PACE resolutions, Russia and its supporters decided to act by the principle: if you can not change the policy of the Council of Europe, change its rules. If changes to the current sanctions rules are made, it will be virtually impossible to apply sanctions in the future AGAINST ANY MEMBER STATE. Such changes, resulting in the unconditional return of Russia to PACE, will have the following negative impact on the Council of Europe and situation with human rights in Europe: 1) by allowing Russia to succeed in blackmailing, the CoE will compromise and discredit itself. A weak Council of Europe will lose its authority and influence in those parts of Europe where it is needed the most;
2) without the capacity to apply sanctions, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe will become a toothless organization, stripping itself of the only tool which could motivate an offender of the CoE's declared values - democracy, human rights and rule of law - to correct its policies; 3) it could trigger a full-scale crisis in the organization. We call upon the ruling elites of all CoE Member States not to allow the demise of the organization. History will judge harshly those who give in to blackmail from undemocratic societies where the rule of force is above the rule of law.
Signed by: Toomas Hendrik Ilves, fourth president of Estonia (2006-2016)Petras Auštrevičius, Member of the European Parliament, LithuaniaEitvydas Bajarunas, Ambassador-at-Large for Hybrid threats, Lithuanian MFA, Andrius Kubilius, Member of Parliament, Prime Minister of Lithuania (1999-2000, 2008-2012)Beatriz Becerra, Member of the European Parliament, vice-chair of the European Parliament Subcommittee on Human Rights, Spain Rebecca Harms, Member of the European Parliament, GermanyAnna Maria, Corazza Bildt, Member of the European Parliament, SwedenAna Gomes, Member of the European Parliament, PortugalFrantišek Kopřiva, Deputy, Czech Pirate Party, Representative to PACE, Czech RepublicJan Lipavsky, Member of the Parliament, Chamber of Deputies, Czech RepublicWerner Schulz, former MP and MEP, Germany Hanne Severinsen, Danish Helsinki Committee, Former MP and PACE, DenmarkMarieluise Beck, Former Bundestag Member, GermanyDanylo Lubkivsky, Former Deputy Foreign Minister, Ukraine Markus Meckel, Former Foreign Minister of the GDR; Vors. Stiftungsrat Bundesstiftung Aufarbeitung, Germany Paweł Kowal, Former member of the European Parliament, Poland
Also signed by: Hannes Adomeit, Senior fellow, Institute for Security Policy, UKIEL, GermanyWillem Aldershoff, former head of unit, European Commission, Analyst international affairs, BelgiumJessikka Aro, Journalist, FinlandAnders Åslund, Senior Fellow, Atlantic Council, Swedish citizen, resident in the USADalia Bankauskaite, Head of the Media program at the Vilnius Institute for policy analysis, LithuaniaKamil Basaj, Info Ops Project Manager, CEO at @Disinfo_Digest, PolandSteven Blockmans, Senior research fellow, CEPS, BelgiumOlaf Boehnke, Advisor, Alliance of Democracies, GermanyTim Bohse, Political Scientist, GermanySimon Bracey-Lane, Research Fellow, Institute for Statecraft, UKAleksandar Brezar, Editor, National RTV of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BHRT), Bosnia and HerzegovinaPascal Bruckner, philosopher, FranceSimas Čelutka, Head of European Security Programme at Vilnius Institute for Policy Analysis, LithuaniaIulian Chifu, Professor, researcher; Conflict Prevention and Early Warning Center Bucharest, RomaniaCarmen Claudín, Associate senior researcher CIDOB, SpainEvan O'Connell, European Affairs commentator, FranceHalyna Coynash, Kharkiv Human Rights Group, UkraineEugene Czolij, Ukrainian World Congress, President, CanadaHaroldas Daublys, Head of Lithuanian Riflemen's Union's support group for Ukraine, LithuaniaDanilo Elia Rai, Public broadcaster of Italy / Journalist, ItalyUrve Eslas, Adjunct fellow, CEPA, EstoniaYevhen Fedchenko, Stopfake.org co-founder, UkraineAndré Fesiak, Independent Researcher, FrancePetr Fojtík, Analyst, Czech Pirate Party, Czech RepublicRoland Freudenstein, policy director at the Martens Center for European Studies, BelgiumRalf Fuecks, Center for Liberal Modernity, Director, GermanyAnna Garmash, Head of “Ukraine Action” (NGO), FranceAlyona Getmanchuk, director, New Europe Center, UkraineAnke Giesen, Lecturer, GermanyPaul Goble, Former US Government Specialist on the Non-Russian Peoples of the Formber Soviet Space, USAGeorge Grabowicz, Professor, Harvard University, United StatesGustav Gressel, Senior Policy Fellow; European Council on Foreign Relations, GermanyIulian Groza, Executive Director, Institute for European Policies and Reforms, MoldovaPavel Havlicek, Analyst at Association for International Affairs (AMO) in Prague, Czech RepublicBerta Herrero, MEP Advisor, European Parliament, SpainMaryna Iaroshevych, Director of the Ukrainian World Congress Mission to International Organizations, BelgiumJakub Janda, Director, European Values Think-Tank, Czech RepublicKornely Kakachia, Georgian Institute of Politics, GeorgiaJulia Kazdobina, Head, Ukrainian Foundation for Security Studies, UkraineTamar Kintsurashvili, Director, Media Development Foundation (MDF), GeorgiaLino Klevesath, political scientist, GermanyJana Kobzova, Advisor, Alliance of Democracies, BelgiumPetr Kolář, Občané pro - Citizens for Czech RepublicPeter Koller, The Greens, GermanyLyudmyla Kozlovska, President of the Open Dialogue Foundation, BelgiumJacek Kucharczyk, President, Institute of Public Affairs, PolandKostiantyn Kvurt, Head of Board at Internews Ukraine, UkrainePhilippe De Lara, assistant professor of political science at Paris 2 university, FranceMarius Laurinavicius, Senior expert, Vilnius Institute for Policy Analysis, LithuaniaJohn Lough, Associate Fellow, Russia & Eurasia Programme, Chatham House, the United KingdomJeff Lovitt, New Diplomacy, Chair, UK and Czech RepublicOleksiy Makukhin, Ukraine Crisis Media Center, UkraineOleksandra Matviychuk, Head of Center for Civil Liberties, UkraineDaniel Mazur, Project Manager; Charles University, Czech RepublicMartin Mycielski, Brussels Correspondent, Gazeta Wyborcza, BelgiumJames Nixey, Head, Russia and Eurasia Programme, Chatham HouseGhia Nodia, Chairman, Caucasus Institute for Peace, Democracy and Development (CIPDD), GeorgiaRobert van der Noordaa, investigative journalist, the NetherlandsMalvin Nygård, businessman, NorwayOxana Pachlovska, Professor, University of Rome, Italy–UkraineMassimiliano Di Pasquale, Journalist and writer, ItalyTetiana Pechonchyk, Human Rights Information Center, the head of board, UkraineNicolas De Pedro, Senior fellow, Institute for Statecraft, SpainChristian Pieper, Judge, GermanyIryna Pieper, Teacher, GermanyTetiana Pushnova, Independent media consultant, former Chief Producer of international TV Channel UKRAINE TODAY, UkraineAntje Rempe language teacher; president of the Partnerschaftsverein Charkiw-Nürnberg, GermanyIgor Reshetnyak, Researcher, EPFL, SwitzerlandBen Robinson, Senior Fellow, Institute for Statecraft, UKGiedrius Sakalauskas, Res Publica, LithuaniaOlaf Saxegaard, Consultant, NorwayAlya Shandra, editor, Euromaidan Press, UkraineAnton Shekhovtsov, Institute for Euro-Atlantic Cooperation, UkraineKristian Magnus Skarsvåg, IT consultant, NorwayMaria Slesazeck, DRA e.V., GermanyVladimir Socor, Senior Fellow, Jamestown Foundation, USA / Germany Susan Stewart, German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP), GermanyAlice Stollmeyer, Executive Director, Defending Democracy, BelgiumDovile Sukyte, Policy Analyst, Eastern Europe Studies Centre, LithuaniaSergiy Sydorenko, Editor, European Pravda, UkraineJoanna Szostek, Lecturer, University of Glasgow, United KingdomWolfgang Templin, Publicist, GermanyLasha Tughushi, Chairman of the Georgian national platform, EaP Civil Society Forum, GeorgiaAndreas Umland, Institute for Euro-Atlantic Cooperation, UkraineReinhard Weißhuhn, Robert-Havemann-Gesellschaft, Germany Robert Werner, CEO, Germany Kataryna Wolczuk, Associate Fellow, Chatham House, United KingdomAnna Yavorska, Advocacy Officer, Open Dialogue Foundation, Belgium Volodymyr Yermolenko, philosopher, journalist, editor at UkraineWorld.org, UkraineBorys Zakharov, Humanitarian Studio Khvylia, Head of the Board, UkraineSonja Adelheid, GermanyBjørn Johan Berger, NorwayAnzhela Prazdnichnykh, BelgiumMalvin Nygård, NorwayDr. Ječmínek Jan Martin, Czech RepublicAntonina Demenko, NorwayEven Jahr, NorwayJaroslav Froněk, Czech RepublicIrina Loaberg, NorwayOndřej Moravčík, Czech Republic