COUNCIL OF EUROPE PROCLAIMS DAY AGAINST DEATH PENALTY
September 27, 2007: The Council of Europe proclaimed a European Day against the Death Penalty for October 10, after Poland blocked European Union plans to do the same.
The Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe, which brings together representatives from 47 nations, expressed the hope that the EU would join the initiative "as soon as possible".
Last week largely Catholic Poland blocked European Union plans to designate an anti-death penalty day by insisting that right-to-life issues like abortion and euthanasia should be similarly marked. The Council of Europe is a pan-European forum separate from the EU.
While an influential voice, it has no actual powers. It is able to reach an agreement more easily than the European Union on such issues as the EU requires unanimity whereas the Council of Europe, which concentrates on rights issues, works on a simple majority system. (Sources: Afp, 27/09/2007)