SIGMA ministerial conference: talk 2


Why is the rule of law important for citizens and businesses?


We live in a context of challenging political events which affect people’s lives from the point of view of the rule of law and constitutional justice. Why should businesses and citizens care more about how rule of law is actually valued and put into practice in our societies? What are the concrete steps to be taken to accomplish this?

The talk was given by

Gianni Buquicchio, President of the Venice Commission, Council of Europe 

Mr Buquicchio holds a PhD in law and lectured international public law in Italy, before joining the Council of Europe in 1971. During his long professional career he was responsible for a number of intergovernmental committees dealing with administrative law, international law, free movement of people and data protection. He contributed to the harmonisation of European law by preparing a large number of international treaties and recommendations. He also contributed to the successful establishment (1990) and the development of the European Commission for Democracy through Law (Venice Commission) by ensuring the conception and follow up of projects concerning constitutional reforms and the setting up of democratic institutions within Europe and beyond. At the end of 2009, Mr. Buquicchio retired from the Council of Europe and was elected President of the Venice Commission, a position that he holds to date.

Speaking notes (French) I Speaking notes courtesy translation (English)

Session moderator

Bianca Brétéché, Senior Adviser, SIGMA, OECD



Mahir Yańücilar, Minister of Public Administration of Kosovo*

Iurie Ciocan, Head of the Centre for Reform Implementation, Government of Moldova

Ambassador Selim Yenel, Undersecretary of the Ministry for EU Affairs of Turkey 

Main messages

SIGMA has summarised below the main messages of this session, based on the speeches and discussions that took place.

  • Rule of law goes hand-in-hand with democracy and human rights. It includes certain key features such as legality, security, prevention of abuse of power, prevention of discrimination and corruption, and access to the law.

  • The law has to be obeyed by all (citizens, government, visitors).

  • Institutions have specific roles and responsibilities in securing legality, so the strength of the institutions and the quality of the public administration is important. However, rule of law can only work if the population and all participants in the economy feel collectively responsible for it.

  • Lack of rule of law reduces trust in governance - and gaining or regaining trust takes time.


 * This designation is without prejudice to positions on status, and is in line with United Nations Security Council Resolution 1244/99 and the Advisory Opinion of the International Court of Justice on Kosovo’s declaration of independence.




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