Domestic violence - Council of Europe and Ukraine

dom vio

The world is full of good causes and those in need of assistance - regardless of whether a nation is developed, developing, or indeed not much more than a failed state. For me it has always been a bit of a dilemma what to support and what I won’t.  When I ran my companies in […]

When a “political prisoner” is not a “political prisoner”

political prisoner

Only a few days ago I wrote a short entry stating PACE/Council of Europe had eventually defined “political prisoner“. The definition is thus: “A person deprived of his or her personal liberty is to be regarded as a “political prisoner”: a. if the detention has been imposed in violation of one of the fundamental guarantees […]

Council of Europe defines “Political Prisoner”

council of europe

Very quietly and without much fanfare, on Thursday the Council of Europe (PACE) eventually committed itself to a legal definition of who can be classified as a “political prisoner”. Needless to say it will have some ramifications for all CoE member states as well as the ECfHR, be those ramification great or small. It necessarily […]

European Charter of Local Self-Government and Ukraine


Whilst doing a bit of research, I had occasion to re-read the European Charter of Local Self-Government, to which I should add, Ukraine is a ratified signatory. In respect of Ukraine, from an empirical perspective, it would certainly seem to be failing - although not a complete failure. As is quite typical of the current […]

How much meeting time can Euro 22 million buy?


On Monday 17th September, Thorbjorn Jagland, Secretary General of the Council of Europe meets with President Yanukovych and Ukraine’s Foreign Minister, Konstyantyn Gryshchenko. The meeting is to discuss the Euro 22 million donated/invested/given (take your pick) under the auspices of the Council of Europe’s “Action plan for Ukraine”.  The “action plan” is designed to assist […]

EU Special Representative for Human Rights - Necessary or duplication?


Two days ago saw the EU appoint its first ever dedicated Special Representative  for Human Rights in the person of Stavros Lambrinidis. Undoubtedly he will be working closely with Baroness Ashton and the EEAS (European External Action Service) amongst others within the European Commission.  Needless to say, prima facie it seems a good thing and […]

Ukraine’s “To Do” list from the Council of Europe

The recent PACE/Council of Europe draft resolution on “The functioning of democratic institutions in Ukraine” has had the Ukrainian media, whether favourable to the government or unfavourable to the government, picking and choosing selected parts of the 15 page resolution without linking to the entire document. Well as you can see, above there is a […]

PACE and Ukraine – Another resolution on the way

The Council of Europe (PACE) is due to adopt yet another resolution over the democratic institutions of Ukraine on 26th January. For anybody counting, that will be the third such resolution within the past five years. Maybe they would have made even more resolutions than that if Ukraine had not held the presidency of PACE […]

Criminal Code overhaul - Ukraine

As many of you dear readers will be aware, successive Ukrainian governments since independence have done very little by way of updating historical Soviet laws that weren’t in their interest at the time to do so.  (Namely if such laws did not stand in their way to achieve X or Y, then they have remained […]

Council of Europe unveils Euro 22 million plan for Ukrainian reform

Now here is a question that all foreign policy planners face on a regular basis. Do you engage and try and change things from within the system or do you opt out and make statements from afar which have very little effect? If you engage and try to change thing from within, what is the […]