Dear Mr. Dean Spielmann, President of the European Court of Human Rights,
Dear Mr. Gianni Buquicchio , President of the Venice Commission,
Distinguished Chairmen of Constitutional courts,
Dear participants of the conference,
Ladies and gentlemen,
May I welcome you in the National Assembly of the Republic of Armenia. We are very happy to host the Pan-European conference on “The European Legal Standards of Rule of Law and the Scope of Discretion of Powers in the Member States of the Council of Europe ” in the Armenian parliament, in Yerevan.
Holding of this event is symbolic not only in the sense that it is taking place in the frames of the Armenian chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers, but also attests to Armenia’s commitment to European values and readiness to closely integrate in the big European family.
As you might be aware, in two days Armenia will be celebrating Constitution Day. I would like to seize this opportunity and congratulate us all on the upcoming national event. Being a young democracy, Armenia has rich traditions of constitutional principles – with a successful combination of legal norms and our national value system. In particular, this year we mark the 240th anniversary of the 18th century outstanding Armenian public figure Shahamir Shahamirian’s work “Vorogayt Parats” (Snare of Glory). This work, published in 1773 in Madras, India, actually defined the model of a contemporary democracy and, in fact, presented itself a constitution, inter alia, with a rather advanced European mentality.
Dear Friends, ladies and gentlemen
The fact that high-level delegations from over 30 Council of Europe member states are invited and attend the Yerevan conference on behalf of parliaments, constitutional courts and judicial instances of general jurisdiction, as well as Justice ministries, representatives of human rights defenders’ offices attests to the topicality of the subject matter of the conference and to the urgency of different issues and problems placed on the agenda.
I wish to particularly mention that the European Court of Human Rights and the Venice Commission attach great importance to the subject matter of the Yerevan conference. Through debates, assessments and recommendations the conference is a real opportunity to make the rule of law more and more accessible not only to the direct actors in Europe, but also to those states and authorities of our region, who, I believe, have serious work ahead of them in this area. Each and every of you has a possibility to objectively assess the situation in conformity with the European standards and from the angle of discretion of powers.
The theme of the conference is topical for many Council of Europe states, and not only for them. I believe that in this format of direct and multilateral discussion deep and interesting debates will take place.
I wish successful proceedings to this Pan-European conference and I hope that you will also have an opportunity to get a better knowledge of our ancient country.