At a joint press conference held by the European Commission (EC) and the Council of Europe, Vice-President Franco Frattini of the EC stated that "the administration of State killing via the judicial system serves no useful purpose in preventing crime but can have a brutalising effect on societies that inflict it".
Their press release marking this occasion noted that considerable progress has been made towards abolishing the death penalty:
There [has] been constant progress towards worldwide abolition. There are at present 128 countries that are abolitionist in law and practice. Over 40 countries have abolished the death penalty for all crimes since 1990. They include countries in Africa (recent examples include Liberia, Côte d'Ivoire), the Americas (Canada, Paraguay, Mexico), Asia and the Pacific (Philippines, Bhutan, Samoa) and Europe and Central Asia (Armenia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Cyprus, Serbia and Montenegro, Turkey, Turkmenistan). In 2005, countries having abolished death penalty were 86, while in 1977, only 16 countries were abolitionist.