Council of Europe presents Third Action Plan for Azerbaijan

tərəfindən Gozetci

New action plan of the Council of Europe for Azerbaijan for the 2022-2025 years was presented on April 5 in Baku at a ceremony attended by CE Secretary General Maria Pejcinovic-Buric; 9.6 million euros are provided for the implementation of the plan.

The event was attended by: Minister of Justice Fikret Mammadov, representatives of the country’s Foreign Ministry, as well as employees of the Baku office of the Council of Europe, heads of beneficiary organizations and international structures.

There were no representatives of the country’s political parties at the presentation, although the Action Plan covers reforms of the political system, changes in the organization and conduct of elections.

The Secretary General of the Council of Europe informed that the Plan was prepared jointly with Azerbaijan on the basis of reports of monitoring structures.

“The main goal of the plan is to achieve the strengthening of a democratic society in Azerbaijan, the acceleration of the development of democratic institutions. This is the third action plan in a row,” Buric said.

According to her, the Council of Europe expects to achieve “real results”, and there were significant steps in the implementation of previous plans. “Thus, as part of the implementation of previous plans, about a thousand Azerbaijani lawyers participated in projects for the development of European law,” she said.

The secretary general then made a strange statement that she saw “an increase in the role of civil society in Azerbaijan”, and “great progress in ensuring the rule of law.”

Buric counted 500 journalists and civil society representatives who took part in trainings on gender equality.

“In a word, there are positive achievements. However, there are problems in certain areas, and this concerns freedom of expression, elections, fair justice. The new action plan will also cover new areas,” the Secretary General of the Council of Europe said.

She also stressed that the CE, EU and Azerbaijan share commitments in the field of development of human rights and democracy.

In turn, Justice Minister Fikret Mammadov said that Azerbaijan attaches great importance to relations with the Council of Europe. “There were a number of achievements during our membership,” the minister said vaguely.

The new Action Plan covers 22 priorities. Speaking about the reforms, the minister spoke about the great work carried out in the judicial system. The judiciary has been updated by 75 percent, young cadres have been recruited, and there is progress in ensuring gender equality.

“The focus is on the modernization of infrastructure and the creation of hi-tech courts. With the participation of the World Bank, 35 modern court buildings were built in the capital and regions.

They are equipped with the “Electronic Court” system, which plays an important role in the transparency of the courts,” Mammadov said.


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