Hans-Dietrich Genscher Speaks before the Council of Europe in Strasbourg (1976)
On January 27, 1976, West German foreign minister Hans-Dietrich Genscher presented the progress report of the Ministerial Committee, which he chaired, to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg. In his address to the assembly, Genscher underscored the meaning of the organization, which had been founded in 1949. He had particular praise for the Council’s “irreplaceable function” as a forum for constitutional parliamentary democracy. Highlighting the Council’s achievements, Genscher pointed to its impact on Spain and Portugal, two countries then transitioning from dictatorship to democracy. He also emphasized the Council’s role in the realization of the Final Act (Helsinki Accords) of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE) and in the North-South Dialogue.