Canada-Europe Parliamentary Association’s Recent Delegation to the Council of Europe
June 15, 2021

Ottawa Journal Week of June 15 – June 19, 2021
David Tilson, Q.C., MP

In April, I had the privilege of once again leading the all-party Canada-Europe Parliamentary Association to the Council of Europe. The delegation traveled to Stockholm, Sweden, and then on to Strasbourg, France, from April 23 – 30, 2009. We began in Sweden, as it will hold the next presidency of the European Union (EU), from July to December 2009.

The EU, is an economic and political union that consists of 27 member states that have delegated some of their sovereignty, so that decisions on specific matters of joint interest can be made democratically at European level. No country has ever joined the EU without first belonging to the Council of Europe. The presidency of the EU rotates from member to member country every six months. It has been customary for the Canada-Europe Parliamentary Association to send delegates to most of the countries holding the rotating presidency of the EU, to discuss issues of mutual interest and importance.

The first part of my most recent trip was to Stockholm, Sweden. The primary focus of the trip was to meet with Swedish delegates to discuss their upcoming term and to address current Canadian position on key issues such as: renewable energy, the seal hunt, crime, employment, and the current global economic crisis. The trip included high-level meetings with parliamentary officials and experts. These meetings also allowed the delegation to learn about policy debates and developments in the EU.

After the meetings with Swedish officials, our delegation continued on to the Parliamentary Assembly to the Council of Europe, in Strasbourg, France. The Council of Europe’s main objective is to promote and defend democratic development and human rights and to hold member governments accountable for their performance in these areas. Public action, awareness, and prevention were among the topics discussed. During our time in Strasbourg, I gave a speech for a debate entitled, “Action to combat gender-based human rights violations, including abduction of women and girls.”

The trip was a major success for the delegation. Sweden will do well as the next country to host the presidency of the EU. I have thoroughly enjoyed my position as President over the course of the last year. It continues to be an honour and a privilege to represent Canada and our Government.