Marija Pejcinovic Buric, Secretary General of the Council of Europe


Marija Pejcinovic Buric is the new head of the Council of Europe, Europe's leading human rights organisation. One month after formally taking office, she speaks to FRANCE 24 about the situation in northern Syria following the Turkish incursion, the readmission of Russia to the Council of Europe and the need for all its member states to ratify a landmark legal convention on fighting violence against women.


The Council of Europe has 47 members, including all of the European Union's member states and some neighbours like Georgia, Azerbaijan and notably Russia.

All of them have signed and ratified the European Convention on Human Rights – which means their citizens can take human rights cases to the European Court of Human Rights, if they’ve already tried all other judicial avenues in their home state.

In our interview, we discuss the scope Europe has to intervene in the humanitarian emergency provoked by the Turkish incursion in northern Syria.

We also ask why Russia has been readmitted to the Council of Europe – the country having had its voting rights suspended following its 2014 annexation of Crimea.

Another major area of work for the Council is women’s rights: we ask why so many of its members, including the UK, still have not ratified a landmark legal convention which legally defines violence against women and minimum standards for combatting it.

Presented by Catherine Nicholson.

Produced by Isabelle Romero and Mathilde Bénézet.

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