The 2nd European Conference on Democracy and Human Rights in Kristiansand has marked Europe Day 2021 in Norway, despite the ongoing Covid pandemic. The international event, with a focus on freedom of expression, was jointly organised by the Council of Europe, the University of Agder, Kilden Performing Arts Centre, Sørlandets Kunstmuseum, Arkivet Peace and Human Rights Centre and the Cultiva Foundation.
“I believe that it would be in the interests of every one of the Council of Europe’s member States to hold an annual event like this. That Kristiansand can be a role model to other cities and regions – not only Scandinavia, but in Europe as a whole. Our aim should be to help bring the Council of Europe – and the way we protect the fundamental rights of our citizens – closer to ordinary people” emphasised Deputy Secretary General Bjørn Berge in his opening statement.
Keynote speakers from the Council of Europe included the President of the European Court of Human Rights, Robert Ragnar Spano, Director General of Human Rights and Rule of Law, Christos Giakoumopoulos and Director General of Democracy, Snežana Samardžić-Marković, as well as former Secretary General of the Council of Europe and former Prime Minister of Norway, Thorbjørn Jagland.