Irakli Kobakhidze re-elected as the PACE Vice-President with the second term
“I am glad that I was approved as the Vice-President of PACE with the second term”, - the Majority Leader, member of the Parliamentary delegation to PACE, Irakli Kobakhidze stated.
His first meeting on this position was held with the PACE President, Rik Daems.
The parties dwelt on the cooperation between the Parliament of Georgia and the PACE and touched upon the developments in Georgia and the priorities of Georgian authorities.
“It was an important bilateral meeting with the PACE President. We discussed our cooperation prospects between our Delegation and the PACE”, - I. Kobakhidze noted.
THE PARLIAMENT OF GEORGIA TO SHARE THE OPEN GOVERNANCE EXPERIENCE WITH MOROCCO
Within the PACE Spring Session, the member of the Parliamentary Delegation, Givi Mikanadze held a meeting with the representatives of the PACE Parliamentary Support Project.
CoE, funded by the EU, implements the project in Morocco facilitating the set-up of the Open Governance Council. The parties discussed the experience of the Georgian Parliament.
G. Mikanadze introduced the main directions concerning the cooperation of the Parliament with the civil society, Parliamentary openness, transparency and civic engagement.
The CoE representatives gave a positive assessment to the experience of the Georgian Parliament and expressed their will to reflect the successful practice of the Georgian Parliament in their survey, as well as to arrange the exchange visits for MPs. The parties agreed on further cooperation and exchange of additional information and organization of the visits.
PACE spring session: the consequences of Russia’s aggression against Ukraine
Strasbourg, 14.04.2022 - A general policy debate on the consequences of the Russian Federation’s aggression against Ukraine will be at the centre of the spring plenary session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), to be held in hybrid format from 25 to 28 April 2022.
In the context of this aggression, there has also been a request for an urgent debate on ensuring accountability for serious violations of international humanitarian law.
Sergio Mattarella, President of the Italian Republic, is due to address the Assembly at midday on Wednesday, and will answer questions from the parliamentarians.
The Assembly also debates reports on strengthening the strategic partnership between the Council of Europe and the EU, safeguarding and promoting genuine democracy in Europe, and on how to put confiscated criminal assets to good use.
Also on the agenda are reports on combating children’s exposure to pornographic content, on the deinstitutionalisation of persons with disabilities, on preventing excessive and unjustified use of force by law enforcement officers, on tackling discrimination based on social origin, and on the honouring of obligations and commitments by Georgia.
Dunja Mijatović, the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, will also present her annual activity report for 2021, and take questions from the parliamentarians. Marija Pejčinović Burić, the Council of Europe Secretary General, holds the usual question time with PACE members.
Benedetto Della Vedova, Undersecretary of State at the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation, will present the Communication from the Committee of Ministers in the framework of Italy’s Council of Europe Presidency.
The Assembly will decide its final agenda on the first day of the session.
of the PACE
PACE President reacts to reports of civilian killings by Russian forces around Kyiv
Strasbourg, 04.04.2022 – PACE President Tiny Kox has expressed shock and horror at reports of civilian killings by Russian forces withdrawing from Bucha and other towns around Kyiv.
“These horrible crimes need to be thoroughly investigated, and the perpetrators of any war crimes in this terrible war brought to justice,” he said.
The Russian Federation can no longer be a member State of the Council of Europe, PACE says
Strasbourg, 15.03.2022 - The Russian Federation “committed grave violations of the Council of Europe Statute incompatible with the status of a member State, does not bear its undertakings before the Council of Europe and does not comply with the commitments before it”. Therefore, the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly (PACE) considers that the Russian Federation “can no longer be a member State of the Organisation”.
In the Assembly’s opinion, the Committee of Ministers should request the Russian Federation “to immediately withdraw from the Council of Europe”. If the country does not comply with the request, the Assembly suggests that the Committee of Ministers “determines the immediate possible date” from which the Russian Federation would cease to be a member.
The text, adopted unanimously at the end of an extraordinary plenary session, expresses solidarity with Ukraine, the Ukrainian people and PACE’s Ukrainian members, reaffirming “unwavering support for the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of Ukraine within its internationally recognised borders”.
The Assembly is deeply disturbed by evidence of serious violations of human rights and international humanitarian law by the Russian Federation, including attacks against civilian targets and humanitarian corridors, “indiscriminate use of artillery, missiles, and bombing” as well as hostage taking. It notes with shock the “reckless attacks” by Russian armed forces on nuclear facilities in Ukraine. Accordingly, it supports “all efforts aimed at ensuring accountability”.
The parliamentarians applauded the generosity and solidarity shown by neighbouring countries, who continue to take in hundreds of thousands of refugees, most of them women and children, while in the Russian Federation anti-war protests are harshly repressed, freedom of expression and assembly curtailed, and almost all independent news organisations closed.
In the event that the Russian Federation ceases to be a member of the Organisation, the Council of Europe should, according to PACE, envisage initiatives to be able to continue “to support and engage with human rights defenders, democratic forces, free media and independent civil society”.
In view of the participation of Belarus in the aggression, PACE Bureau should “suspend relations” between the Assembly and the country’s authorities in all its activities.
At the end of the seating, PACE President Tiny Kox stated: “we are sad that today we had to ask to expel a State which has been a member of our Organisation for over 25 years, but I’m glad that we dared to do it. There is no place in this Organisation for those who cross red lines.”
Note to editors
On 10 March last, the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe decided to consult the Assembly on potential further measures to be taken, after suspending the Russian Federation's rights of representation under Article 8 (*) of the Organisation's Statute on 25 February in response to "serious violations" of its statutory obligations as a member State.
According to Article 8, any member of the Council of Europe which has seriously violated Article 3 may be suspended from its right of representation and requested by the Committee of Ministers to withdraw under Article 7. If such member does not comply with this request, the Committee may decide that it has ceased to be a member of the Council from such date as the Committee may determine.
Session special page: Ingjerd Schou’s report, adopted text, voting results, Session’s special page (verbatim of the debate, videos, pictures…)
Council of Europe leaders make joint statement on the exclusion of the Russian Federation from the Council of Europe
The Italian Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and Chair of the Council of Europe's Committee of Ministers, Luigi Di Maio, the President of the Council of Europe’s Parliamentary Assembly, Tiny Kox, and the Secretary General of the Council of Europe, Marija Pejčinović Burić, have made the following statement:
“As leaders of the Council of Europe we expressed on several occasions our firm condemnation of the Russian Federation’s aggression against Ukraine. This unjustified and unprovoked aggression led to the decision of the Committee of Ministers and the Parliamentary Assembly to initiate the procedure of expulsion of the Russian Federation from the Council of Europe provided under Article 8 of the Statute.
In this framework, tonight, the Parliamentary Assembly unanimously considered that the Russian Federation should no longer be a member State of the Organisation. The Committee of Ministers will hold an extraordinary meeting tomorrow morning also in the light of today’s notification by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation of the Russian leadership’s decision to withdraw from the Council of Europe.
Through their actions in Ukraine the Russian authorities deprive the Russian people of the benefit of the most advanced human rights protection system in the world, including the jurisdiction of the European Court of Human Rights and our vast convention system.
We express solidarity with the Russian people who, we firmly believe, share democratic values and aspire to remain part of the European family where they belong.
We remain determined to use all means at our disposal to provide support, relief and legal remedies to the Ukrainian people in their fight against the aggressor and to continue the pursuit of peace based on justice and international co-operation.
It is important in these difficult times for Europe to stand strong and united by Ukraine, its authorities and the Ukrainian people."