Georgian delegation to the PACE discuss implementing EC's recommendations at PACE session

Published in Politics
Monday, 10 October 2022 22:47

STRASBOURG. “We will have bilateral discussions under the framework of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE). We will talk about how far we have come in implementing the EC’s 12 recommendations,” ruling party MP Irakli Chikovani told the Georgian Public Broadcaster in Strasbourg.

I. Chikovani notes that the Georgian delegation will have several speakers at the Parliamentary Assembly this week.

“We will hold bilateral meetings with colleagues, including those from the Socialist Group, to coordinate our mutual interests. We will also discuss the country’s present state and our progress in implementing the EC’s recommendations. During the week, members of the Georgian delegation will address the Assembly,” Irakli Chikovani stated.

Within the framework of the PACE, Spain cooperates closely with Georgia-Antonio Gutiérrez Limones

Published in Politics
Monday, 10 October 2022 21:58

STRASBOURG. Spain supports Georgia and believes that the country should become a member of the European Union definitely, said the member of the Spanish Parliament, the head of the Spanish delegation to the PACE, and the Chair of the Foreign Relations Committee of the Spanish Senate Antonio Gutiérrez Limones.

According to him, Spain has close cooperation with Georgia within the framework of the Parliamentary Assembly.

"I think that we can help Georgia from the Council of Europe, including in carrying out rapid reforms. We are in close communication with each other on this matter. I really hope Georgia will go through this way quickly and reach the final goal", added Antonio Gutierrez Limones.  

The autumn session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe is holding in Strasbourg from 10 to 14 October.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is due to address the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe by videoconference on Thursday.

There will also be addresses by the President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins, and the President of the Swiss Confederation, Ignazio Cassis, as well as the Prime Minister of Albania, Edi Rama.

Thomas Byrne, Ireland’s European Affairs Minister, will present the Communication from the Committee of Ministers in the framework of the Irish Presidency of the Council of Europe. The Organisation’s Secretary General Marija Pejčinović Burić will hold the usual question time with PACE members.

THE PARLIAMENTARY DELEGATION OF GEORGIA PARTICIPATE IN THE PACE AUTUMN SESSION

Published in Politics
Monday, 10 October 2022 13:32

The Parliamentary Delegation left for Strasbourg participate in the PACE Autumn Session, scheduled on October 10-14.

The Delegation is headed by Irakli Chikovani and is composed of Irakli KobakhidzeArchil TalakvadzeGivi MikanadzeLevan Ioseliani and Khatia Dekanoidze.

The session includes the speeches of the Georgian MPs at the plenary and Committee sittings and bilateral meetings with the European colleagues.

MPs from the CoE member states will debate on the Russian aggression in Ukraine, the Armenia-Azerbaijan confrontation and the developments in the world.

The President of Ukraine will address the attendees through video conference.

The Presidents of the Swiss Confederation and Ireland, as well as the Prime Minister of Albania will deliver the welcome speeches at the session.

The Permanent Parliamentary Delegation of Georgia will participate in the autumn session of the PACE

Published in Politics
Saturday, 08 October 2022 17:58

The Permanent Parliamentary Delegation of Georgia to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), under the leadership of a member of the Foreign Relations Committee of the Georgian Parliament, Irakli Chikovani, will participate in the autumn session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg from 10 to 14 October 2022. "News Day Georgia" was informed about this in the administration of the Parliament.

According to their information, other members of the Permanent Parliamentary Delegation of Georgia: Irakli Kobakhidze, Levan Ioseliani, Khatia Dekanoidze, Givi Mikanadze and Fridon Injia will also participate in the autumn session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is due to address the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) by videoconference during its autumn plenary session.

There will also be addresses by the President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins, and the President of the Swiss Confederation, Ignazio Cassis, as well as the Prime Minister of Albania, Edi Rama.

In addition, the 2022 Václav Havel Human Rights Prize will be awarded in a special ceremony during the session, with the overall winner to be selected from among three shortlisted candidates.

During the working days of the session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, Current affairs debates have been requested on “Europe half a year after the start of Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine”, “Food security in Europe: grain exports through Ukrainian ports” and “The military hostilities between Armenia and Azerbaijan”. An urgent debate has also been requested on "Recent outrageous and inhuman activities of the Russian Federation".

Thomas Byrne, Ireland’s European Affairs Minister, will present the Communication from the Committee of Ministers in the framework of the Irish Presidency of the Council of Europe. The Organisation’s Secretary General Marija Pejčinović Burić will hold the usual question time with PACE members.

The Assembly is also due to debate reports on the misuse of the Schengen Information system by States as a politically-motivated sanction, discrimination against women in sport, safe third countries for asylum seekers, illegal measures of migration management in the context of pushbacks on land and sea, and revisiting labour rights.

The Assembly will decide its final agenda on the first day of the session.

THE PARLIAMENT OF GEORGIA TO SHARE THE OPEN GOVERNANCE EXPERIENCE WITH MOROCCO

Published in Politics
Friday, 29 April 2022 09:37

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

Published in World
Thursday, 14 April 2022 11:47

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.

Special session page

PRESS RELEASE
Communication Division
of the PACE

 

PACE President reacts to reports of civilian killings by Russian forces around Kyiv

Published in World
Tuesday, 05 April 2022 12:31

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

Published in Politics
Wednesday, 16 March 2022 10:00

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

Published in Politics
Wednesday, 16 March 2022 09:53

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."

Tiny Kox elected PACE President

Published in Politics
Tuesday, 25 January 2022 12:06

Strasbourg, 24.01.2022 - Tiny Kox (Netherlands, UEL) has been elected President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE). Taking over from Rik Daems (Belgium, ALDE), he is PACE’s 34th President since 1949 and the third Dutch to hold this office.

He obtained an absolute majority in the first round of voting with 164 votes to 80 for the other candidate, Mariia Mezentseva (Ukraine, EPP/CD). Under the Assembly’s Rules of Procedure, the President serves for a one-year term of office, which may be renewed once.

In his opening speech the newly-elected President urged the Assembly to realise the agenda it set out last year in its resolution on the strategic priorities for the Council of Europe. “This organisation must remain the pillar of democratic security, the guarantor of human rights and rule of law, as well as a platform for effective multilateralism in Europe, and to preserve and reaffirm our own identity as an independent forum for comprehensive and inclusive political dialogue and co-operation,” he said.

“Human rights, with the implementation of the Convention in all member States, must remain our top priority. To achieve this, in-depth dialogue in and with all member States and member parliaments is absolutely needed. Because only then we can uphold the authority of the European Court of Human Rights. Accession of the European Union to the Convention has also been declared by our Assembly as a strategic priority, as well as stronger emphasis on the protection of social and economic rights, and the signature and ratification of the European Social Charter. Among other priorities he stressed the importance of ratification and effective implementation of the Istanbul Convention, support for including the right to a safe, healthy and sustainable environment in the legal framework of fundamental rights, the need for democratic governance of artificial intelligence, and fighting corruption, money laundering, terrorism and violent extremism, “which all destabilise our societies”.

He recalled that “to realise our agenda, we need synergy between our activities and those of the Committee of Ministers, the Secretary-General of the Council of Europe and our Human Rights Commissioner. Alone we tend to be rather weak, whereas together we could show the strength one might expect from Europe’s oldest and broadest treaty-based organisation, which involves citizens from Reykjavik to Vladivostok, and from the North Pole to the Mediterranean Sea. It is a unique and most precious format.”

“It is our common obligation to help to achieve greater unity between our member states for the purpose of safeguarding and realising the ideals and principles which are our common heritage and facilitating our economic and social progress,” he stressed.

“We live in risky times. Tensions are on the rise and respect for the rule of law, human rights and democratic values is waning. Instead of greater unity, created since the fall of the Berlin Wall, we see the real and present danger of new dividing lines in Europe, at the cost of the security of our citizens. Especially now, Europe is in dire need of a meeting point, an Agora for effective governmental and inter-parliamentary diplomacy.

I am convinced that our Parliamentary Assembly should and could be today’s Agora of Europe, to discuss the fundamental affairs of Europe and its 47 member States, aimed at the benefit of our 830 million citizens. Let’s make sure that we don’t disappoint them,” Tiny Kox concluded.

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