On the 25th anniversary of the Republic of Moldova’s accession to the Council of Europe (CoE), the President Igor Dodon decided to award state distinctions to former high-ranking CoE officials, who had contributed to the consolidation and expanding our country’s cooperation with this pan-European Organization, as well as in advancing the goal of strengthening democracy, the rule of law, and human rights in the Republic of Moldova.
Thus, the Head of State awarded the Order of Honor to Mr. Thorbjørn Jagland, former Secretary General of the CoE, for his meritorious contribution to strengthening the democratic institutions of the Republic of Moldova, promoting democratic reforms and transformations, and Mr. Jean-Louis Laurens, former Director General for Democracy and Political Affairs within the CoE Secretariat, for a remarkable contribution to the implementation of the reforms initiated by the Organization in our country, as well as to the development of the ambitious exercise of harmonization of national legislation to European standards.
Thorbjørn Jagland served as Secretary General of the CoE from 1 October 2009 to 18 September 2019, being the only Secretary-General to hold two consecutive terms. During his term, the cooperation with the Republic of Moldova extended through the CoE Action Plans for the Republic of Moldova 2013-2016 and 2017-2020 amounting to about 17 and 15 million Euros, respectively.
At the beginning of Mr. Jagland’s first term, the Office of the Council of Europe was opened in Chisinau basing on the Memorandum of Understanding between the Government of the Republic of Moldova and the Council of Europe, signed back on 21 December 2010. Mr. Thorbjørn Jagland was the one to have the courage for the first time to say things by name, stating in summer 2018, immediately after the mayor’s election results’ cancellation, that the Republic of Moldova was a captured state, referring to the oligarchic regime established by Vladimir Plahotniuc in our country.
Previously, Thorbjørn Jagland served as Prime Minister of Norway (1996-1997), Minister of Foreign Affairs of Norway (2000-2001), and Speaker of the Norwegian Parliament (2005-2009).
Mr. Jean-Louis Laurens worked in the CoE for 37 years, from 1976 to 2013, and personally contributed to the preparation and negotiation of Moldova’s accession to the CoE. Mr. Laurens also personally contributed to both the negotiation and the opening of the Council of Europe Information Office in the Republic of Moldova, to the launch of assistance projects, preparation and conduct of the Republic of Moldova’s Presidency in the CoE Committee of Ministers from 15 May to 6 November 2003.