Université de Strasbourg

Thorbjørn Jagland


Democratic Security: a better future for Europe

In the face of growing populism and extremism, Europe’s governments and policy makers are now searching for answers. Mr Jagland will explain why tackling these threats depends, ultimately, on a deepening of Europe’s commitment to the rule of law and human rights, and why there is now only one model of security we can depend on: democratic security.


Thorbjørn Jagland is Secretary General of the Council of Europe since 1 October 2009.

He was Prime Minister of Norway (1996-1997), Minister of Foreign Affairs of Norway (2000-2001), and President of the Norwegian Parliament, the Storting (2005 to 2009). In addition he has been Chairman of the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and the enlarged Foreign Affairs Committee in the Storting for four years (2001-2005) and served as Chairman of the European Economic Area (EEA) Consultative Committee during this period (2000-2005). Mr Jagland was Leader of the Norwegian Labour Party for ten years (1992-2002), and Party Secretary of the Labour Party for five years (1987-1992). He holds a degree in Economics from the University of Oslo (1975).

Over the last 20 years, Mr Jagland has published widely on a range of issues, in particular on European and international affairs. He has published four books in Norway: My European Dream (1990), Letters (1995), Our Vulnerable World (2001) and Ten Theses on the EU and Norway (2003).

He is currently the Chairman of the Board of Directors at the Oslo centre for Peace and Human Rights. Since 2009 he has been the Chairman of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, which awards the Nobel Peace Prize every year. On 24 June 2014, Mr Jagland was re-elected as Secretary General of the Council of Europe to serve an additional five years. His second five-year term in office commences on 1 October 2014. Jagland became the first Secretary General in the history of the Council of Europe to be re-elected.

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