21. Declaration and Action Plan of the Third Summit of Heads of State and Government of the member States of the Council of Europe (2005)
(Adopted at the Third Summit of the Heads of State and Government of the Council of Europe, 16- 17 May 2005)

We, Heads of State and Government of the Member States of the Council of Europe, gathered in Warsaw on 16-17 May 2005 for our Third Summit, bear witness to unprecedented pan-European unity. Further progress in building a Europe without dividing lines must continue to be based on the common values embodied in the Statute of the Council of Europe: democracy, human rights, the rule of law.

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1. The Council of Europe shall pursue its core objective of preserving and promoting human rights, democracy and the rule of law. All its activities must contribute to this fundamental objective. We commit ourselves to developing those principles, with a view to ensuring their effective implementation by all member states. In propagating these values, we shall enhance the role of the Council of Europe as an effective mechanism of pan-European cooperation in all relevant fields. [...].

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5. We are resolved to ensure full compliance with our membership commitments within the Council of Europe. Political dialogue between member states, which are committed to promoting democratic debate and the rule of law, evaluation, sharing of best practices, assistance and monitoring - for which we renew our firm support - will be fully used for that purpose. We shall work for the widest possible acceptance of Council of Europe’s conventions, promoting their implementation with a view to strengthening common standards in the fields of human rights, democracy and the rule of law.

6. We shall foster European identity and unity, based on shared fundamental values, respect for our common heritage and cultural diversity. We are resolved to ensure that our diversity becomes a source of mutual enrichment, inter alia, by fostering political, inter-cultural and inter-religious dialogue. We will continue our work on national minorities, thus contributing to the development of democratic stability. In order to develop understanding and trust among Europeans, we will promote human contacts and exchange good practices regarding free movement of persons on the continent, with the aim of building a Europe without dividing lines.

7. We are determined to build cohesive societies by ensuring fair access to social rights, fighting exclusion and protecting vulnerable social groups. We acknowledge the importance of the European Social Charter in this area and support current efforts to increase its impact on the framing of our social policies. We are resolved to strengthen the cohesion of our societies in its social, educational, health and cultural dimensions.

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