02/12/2008
President
Strengthening democracy in Europe: a shared aim for PACE and the Congress

“Our two assemblies have a major part to play in the normalisation process between Georgia and Russia,” PACE President Lluís Maria de Puig said today in his speech at the Congress’s plenary session, referring to the recent conflict between the two countries. “We share a common concern to strengthen democracy in Europe. Firstly, we must prevent any violence and ensure that the populations affected by the conflict are able to live in peace and dignity. The Congress, through its work at local and regional level, can make a significant contribution to moving things forward. We must on no account break off relations with the populations of Abkhazia and South Ossetia,” the President said.

 

On the environment, Mr de Puig also called on the Congress to support PACE in its efforts to incorporate an additional protocol into the European Convention on Human Rights to guarantee everyone the right to live in a healthy environment free of danger to life. He was in favour of the rise of regional authorities in Europe and wanted the Assembly, which had always supported regionalism, to be open to exchanges with regional parliaments, which he said were a “key intermediary between the different players in political life, facilitating the process of European integration”.

 

Programme of the Congress plenary session

 

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