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Council Of Europe, Berset’s Candidacy & His Competitors

  • By The Swiss Times
  • 25 March 2024

Alain Berset emerges as a key candidate for the Council of Europe’s Secretary-General amidst a notable lineup.

Council Of Europe, Berset’s Candidacy & His Competitors
Keystone/SALVATORE DI NOLFI

Delegates of the Council of Europe will announce their ticket for the election of the Secretary General on Monday. Former Federal Councillor Alain Berset, EU Commissioner Didier Reynders and the former Estonian Minister of Culture, Indrek Saar, are running for the post.

The three politicians were heard by the Council of Europe’s ministerial delegates last Wednesday. The delegates are expected to decide on their recommendation to the Parliamentary Assembly on Monday. The election is due to take place at the end of June. The winning candidate is scheduled to take office on September 18, 2024.

At least two candidates must be submitted to the Assembly for it to make a decision. If there are no two candidates, the Ministerial Committee and the Assembly must agree on how to proceed. The congregation is not permitted to elect a person outside the ticket.

Berset’s Competitors

The Swiss Social Democrat Alain Berset, Head of the Federal Department of Home Affairs for three terms between 2011 and 2023. The 51-year-old was also President of the Swiss Confederation. Before his time in the national government, the man from Fribourg was a member of the Council of States for eight years.

The Belgian Didier Reynders has been EU Commissioner for Justice since 2019. According to the documents submitted, the 65-year-old previously held various ministerial positions in the Belgian government for 20 years: Minister of Finance, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Minister of Defence and Deputy Prime Minister.

Estonian candidate Indrek Saar was a member of the national parliament for the Social Democrats for twelve years until 2023. His term as a parliamentarian was interrupted for four years when he held the post of Minister of Culture. The 51-year-old was also part of the Estonian delegation to the Council of Europe.

©Keystone/SDA

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