Strasbourg, 17.06.2013 – A decision on a request for the opening of a monitoring procedure in respect of Hungary and a debate on tackling discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity – to be addressed by the French Minister of Women’s Rights Najat Vallaud-Belkacem – are among the highlights of the summer plenary session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) in Strasbourg on 24-28 June 2013. There have been requests for urgent debates on "Religious persecution in Iran", on "The deteriorating situation in Georgia" and on “Popular protest in Turkey and the challenges to freedom of assembly, media and speech”, and also for a current affairs debate on “Riots in Sweden: European immigration policy in the spotlight”.
Other topics on the agenda include the situation in the Middle East, corruption as a threat to the rule of law, and putting an end to coerced sterilisations and castrations. Armenian Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian will present the communication from the Committee of Ministers to the Parliamentary Assembly and answer questions.
The parliamentarians will also debate a report evaluating the Parliament of Morocco’s ‘Partnership for democracy’ with the Assembly – the first evaluation since it acquired this status in 2011 – and are scheduled to discuss keeping political and criminal responsibility separate.
The Assembly is also due to elect judges to the European Court of Human Rights in respect of Iceland, Lithuania and the Slovak Republic.
PACE is the parliamentary body of the Council of Europe, bringing together 318 parliamentarians from its 47 member states.
The final agenda is decided by the Assembly on the opening day of the session.
Monday 24 June
• Statement by the President
• Progress report of the Bureau and the Standing Committee
• Observation of the early parliamentary elections in Bulgaria (12 May 2013)
• Communication from the Committee of Ministers to the Parliamentary Assembly presented by Edward Nalbandian, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Armenia, Chairperson of the Committee of Ministers
• Free debate
Tuesday 25 June
• Election of Judges to the European Court of Human Rights in respect of Iceland, Lithuania, Slovak Republic
• The situation in the Middle East
• Address by Martin Schulz, President of the European Parliament
• Request for the opening of a monitoring procedure in respect of Hungary
• Evaluation of the partnership for democracy in respect of the Parliament of Morocco
Wednesday 26 June
• Corruption as a threat to the rule of law
• Putting an end to coerced sterilisations and castrations
• Equal access to health care
Thursday 27 June
• Possible urgent or current affairs debate
• Tackling discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity, and statement by Najat Vallaud-Belkacem, Minister of Women’s Rights, France
• Post-monitoring dialogue with “the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia”
Friday 28 June
•Draft Protocol No. 16 to the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and
•Keeping political and criminal responsibility separate
Live web stream: The session is streamed live on PACE’s website.
Press conferences: PACE President Jean-Claude Mignon will give a press conference on Monday 24 June at 10.30 a.m. Other press conferences will be announced on the spot. They 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.