Strasbourg, 12.06.2012 – Addresses by Albanian Prime Minister Sali Berisha and Croatian Prime Minister Zoran Milanovic, as well as a joint debate on “Democracy at risk: the role of citizens and of the State today” will be among highlights of the summer session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) in Strasbourg from 25 to 29 June 2012.
The parliamentarians will also hold a joint debate on the impact of the financial and economic crisis, including a report on the danger of austerity measures for democracy and human rights. Icelandic Economic Affairs Minister Steingrímur Sigfússon will take part.
The President of Tunisia’s Constituent Assembly Mustapha Ben Jaafar will take part in a debate on political transition in Tunisia. Albanian Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Affairs Minister Edmond Haxhinasto will present the Communication from the Committee of Ministers to the Assembly and answer questions from parliamentarians.
Other items on the agenda include the situation of human rights defenders in Council of Europe member States, multiple discrimination against Muslim women in Europe, and the honouring of obligations and commitments by Montenegro. There will also be a debate on Roma migrants in Europe with the participation of the President of the European Roma and Travellers Forum Rudko Kawczynski.
There has been a request for an urgent debate on "Dangers pertinent to the situation of Christians in Egypt" and requests for current affairs debates on "European crisis boosts illegal trade in body parts" and on "The implications of the creation of the EU Special Representative for Human Rights for the existing human rights defence mechanisms of the Council of Europe" (titles to be confirmed).
Finally, the Assembly is due to elect eight judges to the European Court of Human Rights and will elect a new Deputy Secretary General of the Council of Europe.
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The final agenda is decided by the Assembly on the opening day of the session.
Monday 25 June
• Statement by the President
• Address by Sali Berisha, Prime Minister of Albania
• Progress report of the Bureau and the Standing Committee
• Free debate
Tuesday 26 June
• Election of the Deputy Secretary General of the Council of Europe
• [Possibly] Election of judges to the European Court of Human Rights in respect of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, the Czech Republic, the Netherlands, Poland, the Russian Federation, Sweden and the United Kingdom
• Joint debate:
– Austerity measures – a danger for democracy and social rights
– The young generation sacrificed: social, economic and political implications of the financial crisis
– The impact of the economic crisis on local and regional authorities in Europe
Statement by Steingrímur Sigfússon, Minister of Economic Affairs of Iceland
• Communication from the Committee of Ministers to the Parliamentary Assembly, presented by Edmond Haxhinasto, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs of Albania, Chairperson of the Committee of Ministers
• Multiple discrimination against Muslim women in Europe: for equal opportunities
Wednesday 27 June
• [Possibly 2nd round] Election of the Deputy Secretary General of the Council of Europe
• [Possibly 2nd round] Election of judges to the European Court of Human Rights in respect of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, the Czech Republic, the Netherlands, Poland, the Russian Federation, Sweden and the United Kingdom
• Joint debate on the state of democracy in Europe: “Democracy at risk: the role of citizens and of the State today”:
– The crisis of democracy and the role of the State in today’s Europe
– The portrayal of migrants and refugees during election campaigns
• Address by Zoran Milanovic, Prime Minister of Croatia
• The honouring of obligations and commitments by Montenegro
• The situation of human rights defenders in Council of Europe member States
Thursday 28 June
• [Possibly] Debate under urgent procedure or current affairs debate
• Political transition in Tunisia and statement by Mustapha Ben Jaafar, President of the Constituent Assembly of Tunisia
• Roma migrants in Europe, and statement by Rudko Kawczynski, President of the European Roma and Travellers Forum
Friday 29 June
• The inadmissibility of restrictions on freedom of movement as punishment for political positions
• The progress of the Assembly’s monitoring procedure (June 2011-May 2012)
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Live web stream: The session is streamed live over the web.
Press conferences: PACE President Jean-Claude Mignon will give a press conference on Monday 25 June at 10.30 a.m. Other press conferences will be announced on the spot. Press conferences are streamed live over the web.
For TV planning units: videos in broadcast quality summing up PACE highlights can be downloaded for free no later than two hours after the event. Further information from the Council of Europe Audiovisual Service, tel. +33 3 88 41 25 64 (prior to the session) or +33 3 88 41 35 00 (during the session).
For accreditation: Directorate of Communication, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Further details: see the Assembly's website.
Contact: PACE Communication Division, tel. +33 3 88 41 31 93; email@example.com.