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Prime Minister's Office, Ministry for Foreign Affairs

Summit of Heads of State and Government of the Council of Europe held in Iceland

Prime Minister Katrín Jakobsdóttir and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ireland, Simon Coveney, in Strasbourg 7 November 2022. Photo/Council of Europe - mynd

The fourth Summit in the history of the Council of Europe will be held in Iceland on May 16-17, 2023. The Prime Minister of Iceland and the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Ireland today announced the official decision by the Council of Europe to convene a Summit under Iceland’s Presidency. The Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs of Iceland will host the Summit.

The Member States of the Council of Europe agreed that there was ample occasion for the Heads of State and Government of the 46 states to convene in these precarious times. A unanimous decision to that effect was taken today at a meeting of the Committee of Ministers.

„The Council of Europe is about the core values of our societies; democracy, human rights and the rule of law. The invasion of Ukraine, the pandemic, and economic hardships pose challenges to these core values and it has therefore never been more important for European leaders to renew their commitment and unite around safeguarding these values. Iceland will take its presiding role seriously, as we are assuming this task in difficult times,“ said Prime Minister Katrín Jakobsdóttir.

Only three Summits of the Council of Europe have been held in the nearly 75-year history of the Council. The Summit will be the largest meeting of its kind ever hosted by Iceland.

„Iceland will of course respond to the call of European countries to convene the leaders,“ said Þórdís Kolbrún Reykfjörð Gylfadóttir, Minister for Foreign Affairs. „It is clear that the situation that has arisen on the continent following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine will be the focus of the Summit. The conditions for holding such a meeting could hardly be more pressing and the eyes of the world will no doubt be directed at Iceland during these days this coming spring.“

Iceland will take over the Presidency of the Council of Europe from Ireland on November 9. The Presidency will emphasise the core values of the Council of Europe – human rights, democracy and the rule of law. In addition, the Icelandic government’s focus on equality, matters concerning children and environmental issues is reflected in the programme for the Icelandic Presidency. A number of events will be held in connection with the Presidency over the next six months both in Strasbourg and in Iceland, where emphasis will be placed on presenting Icelandic solutions to common challenges. 

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