(Strasbourg) “For me it is a great honour and a great responsibility to join the team of the General Secretariat. I cannot wait to work for the Council of Europe, especially the support group for Roma issues, and keep going on with the human rights agenda in the member states of the Council of Europe”. Valeriu Nicolae, a Romanian Roma, has been appointed today Special Representative for Roma Issues, a matter that is always in the mind of the Strasbourg-based institution. “Since 1999, I have been closely following the development of a legal framework and the practical efforts made by the Council of Europe in finding solutions for the social inclusion of the Roma and the vulnerable groups, on a local level. I strongly believe in cooperation with the member states and in setting up strategic alliances with all the partners of the CoE to achieve inclusive, open societies that respect human rights”.