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Council o f Europe – Committee of Ministers

President: Asimina Antoniou

Vice-President: Meletios-Michail Ananias

Secretary General: Aris Aigyptiadis

Ensuring the protection of refugee rights following the Ukrainian crisis

Due to the Russia-Ukraine conflict, there have been many changes regarding the international system, most of which have their roots in already existing problems that cannot easily be solved. The refugee crisis seems to be one of the top priorities in Europe’s political agenda once again. When conflicts are taking place and even in the aftermath, it is difficult to precisely calculate the number of refugees and almost impossible to know their intentions or even their legitimacy. Vagueness of that degree has led to the violation of basic human rights and loss of lives many times in the past. The Council of Europe has found itself in the middle of a humanitarian crisis and it needs to act rapidly and unanimously. Specifically, it is of utmost importance that the Council of Ministers finds a solution regarding the crisis by analyzing both the foreign and the domestic policy of each member state and coming to an agreement as a single voice. The Ministers will have to keep in mind that the refugee crisis, from a humanitarian point of view, concerns not only the foreign policy of their country but also their domestic one. There need to be extended debates concerning the protection of the refugees during their evacuation (ex. protected refugee roads), their accommodation (ex. being accepted by a country) and their stay (ex. being fairly treated by a country). The Ministers will also have to be more thoughtful about their counties’ capabilities (size, geography, economy, society, politics, culture, history, infrastructure) and their previous political decisions about this phenomenon. It is a both timely and current crisis that will reveal the difficulty of the situation, the differences between the countries, the gray line between politics and human life and the need to overcome all of the above in an attempt to compose a resolution, resolve the crisis and move forward as a single force.

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