The UN and its Security Council in New York? Blocked! In Vienna, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE)? Just as powerless in the face of Russian aggression in Ukraine! By excluding Russia from its membership in March 2022, the Council of Europe remains the only international forum capable of taking concrete action to hold Russia accountable.

It is sometimes confused with the European Union (EU), whose Commission takes all the spotlight in Brussels, but this institution remains out of the public eye despite being its big sister; she even gave him her flag with 12 gold stars against a blue sky.

Of course she’s the only one [agent de] soft power all 46 states have committed themselves to comply with the European Convention on Human Rights. But his Court, the only one in the world, appears to be the last bulwark of protecting the rights of its citizens, of which there are more and more who turn to him for justice.

In this forum in search of rebirth, Switzerland has always played a very active role, although it has been slow to join. On May 6, she[ébrait] precisely to the 60th anniversary of its integration.

As always sensitive to foreign policy, she was not interested in “United States of Europe” which Winston Churchill nevertheless sketched at home in Zurich in 1946. But still! Remind the Swiss figures who noted [cette institution]it is also to write the history of European Switzerland, which is not self-aware.

Europe of values

Because in the immediate post-war period, a man from Neuchâtel was among the visionaries who inspired the new humanist spirit: the writer, philosopher and professor Denis de Rougemont.

In May 1948, during the congress in The Hague that brought the Council of Europe to the font, it was he who wrote and read “Message to the Europeans”. We are witnessing the arrival of a Europe of values ​​that will precede the Europe of economic reconstruction embodied in the future of the EU.

Three quarters of a century later, after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, another Neuchâtel resident worked in the Council of Europe: Damien Cottier, who headed the Swiss delegation, but above all the Commission. [des questions] law[s] and human rights institutions.

In January last year, it was he who presented a report that was very critical of Russia.