The President of the Confederation to attend the Council of Europe conference in Istanbul

Bern, Press release, 06.05.2011

The President of the Confederation, Micheline Calmy-Rey, will attend the annual meeting of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe in Istanbul next Tuesday, 10 May 2011. The main items on the agenda will be challenges in dealing with cultural diversity, integrating foreigners and minorities, and the European neighbourhood policy. In the margin of the meeting, the Swiss President will have talks with the Turkish President, Abdullah Gül.

The President of the Confederation will travel to Istanbul on Tuesday, 10 May, and will take part in a discussion at the annual meeting of foreign ministers of the Council of Europe on challenges facing all European countries. The main question will be how to ensure fruitful co-existence in the countries of Europe in the current environment of increasing ethnic, cultural and religious diversity, and how intolerance and discrimination can be successfully overcome. Relations between Europe and its neighbours, especially in the Mediterranean region, will also be discussed. 

The discussion in Istanbul will be based on a report commissioned by the Council of Europe and authored by a group of leading figures from different European countries on co-existence in Europe in the 21st century. The report states that European societies should welcome the cultural diversity that has come about as a result of migration. More and more people today have not one but several cultural identities, and this should be respected. At the same time, all members of society should respect the law while in the view of the authors all immigrants should be granted political rights, at least at the local level.  

During her visit to Istanbul the President of the Confederation will have bilateral talks with Turkey's President, Abdullah Gül.

Further information:

Council of Europe

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