Norwegian Candidate to head the Council of Europe?

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Thorbjørn Jagland (right) in Norway on Aug. 30. Photo: Stortinget

The election of the next Secretary General of the Council of Europe will take place in Strasbourg on Sept. 29. Thorbjørn Jagland, President of Parliament and former Prime Minister of Norway, now stands a chance to become the next Secretary General, writes the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs on their website.

Norway was one of the ten founding members of the Council of Europe, which was created on May 5, 1949. The Council of Europe is the oldest of all the European co-operation organisations. Its aim was to achieve greater unity between its members, facilitate social and economic progress and promote adherence to the fundamental principals of democracy, the rule of law, and human rights.

Two candidates left

The 318 MPs of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, meeting four times a year, will elect the Secretary General by secret vote during their September session based on a list drawn up by the Committee of Ministers. The Committee of Ministers has insisted that the next Secretary General should be a well-known politician and has short-listed two candidates for the post – Thorbjørn Jagland of Norway and Włodzimierz Cimoszewicz of Poland, both former prime ministers and foreign ministers.

The election process has been disrupted by controversy, which led the election to be postponed from June to September this year.

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