Capitalising on the Council of Europe’s acquis of
conventions and promoting them to non-member States has the potential
of boosting the profile of the Organisation, its political dimension
and its ability to secure its place as guardian of human rights
and democracy, not only in Europe, but also in the new sphere of
freedoms currently expanding around its borders.
Only 41 of the 213 Council of Europe conventions are effectively
closed to non-member States, but very few of these States have in
fact ratified the Organisation’s instruments which are open to them.
Globalisation has had an effect on the Council of Europe’s
normative work as many of its conventions deal with issues which
concern not only the territory of its member States, but potentially
have a global reach. These issues include the fight against terrorism,
money laundering and the financing of terrorism, human trafficking, the
sexual exploitation of children and cybercrime. That is why, subject
to some conditions, some conventions should be open to participation
by non-member States.
Bearing the above in mind, it is important that the Council
of Europe maintains its high standards and that these are not compromised
by States which do not share them as regards existing conventions
which are open or to be opened to accession by non-member States
and with regard to future conventions.