8 May 2012
Public ECFR-ESI event in London: Azerbaijan and the Council of Europe: who is transforming whom?
Ilham and Haydar Aliyev. Photo: ilgazetesi.com.tr
Ilham and Haydar Aliyev. Photo: ilgazetesi.com.tr


Azerbaijan and the Council of Europe

Who is transforming whom?

Presentation of a new ESI report on Azerbaijan

8 May 2012, 9:00-10:30

ECFR London office
35 Old Queen Street,
London SW1H 9JA

"I do not care about the Council of Europe. I've already told them that if there will be sanctions we will withdraw. They know I'm not joking."

President Ilham Aliyev, June 2008


On the eve of Eurovision many Europeans have discovered this energy rich Caspian republic run for most of the past four decades by the same family, the Aliyevs,

Azerbaijan not only takes part in Eurovision, however. It is, since 2001, a member of the oldest Club of European democracies, the Council of Europe in Strassburg.

Instead of the Council of Europe transforming an autocratic regime, the Baku regime has instead transformed the Council of Europe as a result of sustained and determined political lobbying. Can democratic legitimacy be bought in Strassburg?  

Gerald Knaus, Founding Chairman of the European Stability Initiative (ESI), founding member of ECFR and Associate Fellow at the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy, Harvard Kennedy School.

Emin Milli, a writer, blogger and dissident, a former political prisoner in Azerbaijan himself, who had worked for international organisations in Azerbaijan, advised the Council of Europe and was a political analyst for the OSCE/ODIHR Election Observation Mission in Azerbaijan.

Gerald Knaus Emin Milli
Gerald Knaus – Emin Milli

This event is chaired by Jana Kobzova, ECFR Policy Fellow

This event is jointly organized by the European Council on Foreign Relations, London,
and the European Stability Initiative, Berlin

To register, please write to: alexia.gouttebroze@ecfr.eu

ECFR website
ESI Report: Generation Facebook in Baku (2011)
ESI Website: Is Azerbaijan Still a Democracy? Does anybody care?
Update on Human Rights before Eurovision

Über uns
Photo credits
Alan Grant is an Irish photographer who travelled extensively in the Balkans and other countries and regions of the world. Thanks to him, ESI is able to show fascinating pictures of the Balkans: the facades of Tirana, the painted mosques of Travnik, the fabulous old houses of Plovdiv and the spectacular blue of water - dark in the Bay of Kotor, emerald in the river valleys of Bosnia, deep blue in Ohrid, twinkling in the Aegean Sea and on the Bosporus.

You can find out more about Alan Grant on his websites:
Jonathan Lewis lives between London and Istanbul. He moved to London and spent many years studying photography and now specialises in photojournalism, documentary photography and commercial work for a wide variety of private and commercial clients in the UK, Europe and Turkey. His work has appeared in a number of magazines and publications and is used on the ESI website as well.

You can find out more about Jonathan Lewis on his website www.jonathanlewisphoto.com