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Jagland Approaches to CoE Post

Thorbjørn Jagland, president of the Norwegian parliament (Storting), is approaching to the Council of Europe post withing this week after one year election campaign across Europe

The only serious contender to his nomination is the former Polish Prime Minister W?odzimierz Cimoszewicz, who was nominated by the Polish government as a candidate.

Jagland had declined to comment on other candidates, saying, “I’m running on my campaign platform.” and had said the Council of Europe must pick a Norwegian candidate if it is serious enough to make the pan-European organization relevant in European affairs.

Substantial experience in government

Jagland has accumulated an impressive resume in his long career and is certainly one of Norway’s most high-profile politicians. He served as prime minister from 1996 to 1997, and as foreign minister from 2000 to 2001. He has also served as the chairman of the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs.

He seems to have all the qualities that it takes to revitalize the organization, which has long been stigmatized by a cumbersome bureaucracy and rendered inefficient. “My first priority is to reform the secretariat and bureaucracy, make it more flexible and stronger,” he vowed when asked what would be the first job he would undertake should he get the nomination. “I would rather steer the organization toward focusing more on human rights and democracy,” he added. In his bag, he carries a “to do list,” which includes issues like migration, tackling xenophobic tendencies, boosting intercultural dialogue and preventing human trafficking.

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