AS (2012) CR 02



(First part)


Second Sitting

Monday 23 January 2012 at 3 p.m.

In this report:

1.       Speeches in English are reported in full.

2.       Speeches in other languages are summarised.

3.       Speeches in German and Italian are reproduced in full in a separate document.

The contents page for this sitting is given at the end of the report.

Mr Mignon, President of the Assembly, took the Chair at 3.05 p.m.

THE PRESIDENT (Translation) – The sitting is open.

1. Progress report of the Bureau of the Assembly and the Standing Committee – resumed debate

THE PRESIDENT (Translation) – The first item on the agenda for this afternoon is the continuation of the debate on the progress report. As we agreed this morning, the communication from Mr Jagland will follow at 3.30 p.m. and the free debate will begin at 4.30 p.m. This sitting will close at 5.30 p.m.

The speakers list for the debate on the progress report closed at 10 a.m. this morning. This morning we agreed to limit speaking times to three minutes.

This debate must conclude at 3.30 p.m. I therefore propose to interrupt the list of speakers in this debate at about 3.25 p.m. Is this agreed?

It is agreed.

In the debate, I call first Mr Harutyunyan.

Mr HARUTYUNYAN (Armenia) – Thank you, Mr President. May I start by adding my congratulations to those already expressed by my colleagues and by assuring you that we will support your plans to make our organisation more visible in Europe?

I come now to our main theme, which is the Bureau’s progress report. Last January, under pressure from the then President, the Bureau decided to reconstitute an Ad hoc Committee on Nagorno-Karabakh. That decision was made without paying due attention to the position of the Armenian delegation. It is most regrettable that the Bureau, in its deliberations one year ago, failed to heed the content, tone and spirit of the numerous public statements made by mediating countries regarding the negotiating process and the re-establishment of the Ad hoc Committee.

Today, just a few hours ago, the Bureau showed even more bias than one year ago, when it discussed the reconstitution of the committee without even inviting the delegations from the countries concerned. Not surprisingly, the issue on the agenda was not discussed properly, and the Bureau took its decision hastily without following the procedure established in this Assembly. Such continued behaviour is regrettable but not surprising, bearing in mind the extremely biased attitude of Mr Çavuşoğlu towards the Armenian delegation.

True to its decision, the Armenian delegation did not participate in the work of the Ad hoc Committee established one year ago. One year later, we can state with certainty that, as foreseen, the Ad hoc Committee has not produced any tangible results. Today’s reconstitution of the committee will not bring any added value to the peace process but could drastically diminish and challenge the role of our Organisation.

On the promotion of confidence-building measures between the two delegations, we believe that the committee will create yet another platform for acrimonious rhetoric and groundless accusations. The Armenian delegation has stated many times that it will not participate in such an exercise, as we believe it to be counter-productive. For this reason, the Armenian delegation did not participate in the meetings of the committee last year; instead, we suggested certain steps for building trust and confidence between the two delegations, namely declaring a moratorium on the accusatory statements, but they were disregarded by the President, the Bureau and the other delegations. We view this as an alarming sign, which makes us doubt the real motivations behind the reconstitution of this Ad hoc Committee.

Today, Mr President, for the record, I would like to state once again that the position of the Armenian delegation remains unchanged and we are not going to participate in the work of the Ad hoc Committee. Thank you.

THE PRESIDENT (Translation) – Thank you very much indeed, Mr Harutyunyan. This morning the Bureau did not decide anything. It only approved the report of the Ad hoc Committee. There was no decision to reconstitute any ad hoc committee. I call Ms Čigāne. No, she is not here. I call next Mr Rigoni.

Mr RIGONI (Italy) wished the new President of the Assembly well and hoped that his time in office would be both fruitful and increase the international standing of the Assembly.

After the Big Bang, the Parliamentary elections in the Russian Federation were the greatest show on earth. The electoral model used in the Russian Federation was inconsistent with democracy. The Russian Federation was a vast country, covering 17 000 000 sq km. It had a huge variety of popular traditions and customs. The recent election results had not been credible. The majority of the Russian people had expressed their will to become more European in their approach to elections. Young people especially wanted to see a move towards a more democratic process.

He detected a certain degree of nervousness among Russian leaders and thought that the time had come for the will of the majority of the Russian people to be respected with a move towards democratic reform. The Russian Federation should show itself to be a home for true economic independence, free media and freedom of popular thought and expression. This new phase in its history should see the leaders of the Russian Federation move towards democracy rather than looking inwards. Europe and the Russian people were not asking too much. They were simply demanding a fair presidential election.

THE PRESIDENT (Translation) – Thank you, Mr Rigoni. I call next Mr Marcenaro. He is not here. I call Mr Santini.

Mr SANTINI (Italy) congratulated the President on his election, noting that his address that morning had followed on seamlessly from Mr Çavuşoğlu’s report. It was desirable that the concept of democracy should spread out from the Assembly to others. Turkey had held the presidency of the Assembly at a time when that large and important country was pursuing its candidacy for membership of the European Union. It was a democratic partner to Cyprus and was taking steps towards increasing westernisation. A new wave of modernity was emanating from Turkey, which had always faced both West and East. Turkey was increasingly becoming a forum for exchanging ideas about democracy. In geographical terms, the Arab Spring was taking place not far from Turkey and Turkey had recently assisted many other countries towards the goal of democracy. In addition Turkey had opened its borders to refugees fleeing Syria and was fostering democracy in North Africa.

The Lisbon Treaty had had an impact on the work of the Council of Europe and the Assembly should use that treaty to dynamise its efforts. He was certain that the new President would increase the transparency of the work of the Council of Europe so that more people might find out about its work and its 60-year history.

THE PRESIDENT (Translation) – Thank you very much, Mr Santini. I call Mr Slutsky.

Mr SLUTSKY (Russian Federation) said that Mr Çavuşoğlu had presented an excellent report. His presidency had been symbolic because his country, Turkey, personified the institution of the Council of Europe with its 47 member States. Mr Çavuşoğlu had worked tirelessly to bring down walls in Europe and he had brought a fresh approach to every issue on the Assembly’s agenda. He had worked very effectively and gratitude was due for all the support that he had given to members of the Council of Europe.

He thanked Mr Kox and his colleagues for an objective report. Observers from the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe had given a very positive and constructive account of the course of the elections in the Russian Federation. Of course, there was always some consternation about these issues but these could be discussed in the debate on Thursday. The Russian Federation would welcome Mr Kox and his colleagues for the presidential elections in March. He hoped that the Council of Europe and the Russian Federation would continue to work together.

THE PRESIDENT (Translation) – Thank you, Mr Slutsky. Mr Gross, you have the floor.

Mr GROSS (Switzerland) said that he did not wish to discuss the Russian Federation because there would be time for that in Thursday’s debate and he would also not discuss Hungary, even though there were significant human rights issues there that needed to be addressed.

He felt that there were two issues missing from the report. First, only 30% of European citizens were taking democracy seriously. It was scandalous that in five countries almost 50% of people under 25 were unemployed. Young people had to be convinced that democracy could help them in their predicament. The second thing missing was any mention of Tunisia. In the year following the revolution in Tunisia, all political institutions had been built anew, and a new Constituent Assembly had been created. This process had gone well but more effort had to be made to address the problem of unemployment in Tunisia. Almost a third of the Tunisian population was unemployed. Without investment in livelihoods, investment in democracy would fail.

THE PRESIDENT (Translation) – Thank you, Mr Gross. Mr Valeriy Fedorov, you have the floor.

Mr V. FEDOROV (Russian Federation) noted that the results of the election in Russia had been confirmed and the newly elected Duma was already working to tackle problems in the country. Not one member of the Duma had surrendered his seat in spite of protests against the election. There had been calls for reform and those reforms were under way. The elections had been entirely legitimate. The people who were contesting the legitimacy of the elections were doing so only because they had lost. They were blaming the electoral system for their own failure to attract voters. Those who wished to contest the results of the election ought to have done so in the courts rather than in the streets.

On 15 December 2011, the Russian Parliament had stated that the European Parliament had been interfering in its internal affairs by accusing President Medvedev of violating democratic principles. This was unhelpful of the European Parliament and reminiscent of the “old” European ways. There had been only 3 000 complaints about the election. Even if they were all justified, this was only a tiny fraction of the 60 000 000 who had voted. All claims would be investigated and international observers would be welcomed for the presidential elections.

THE PRESIDENT (Translation) – Thank you. The last speaker will be Mr Chagaf from Morocco, Partner for Democracy.

Mr CHAGAF (Morocco) thanked Mr Çavuşoğlu for helping Morocco to become a Partner for Democracy and wished Mr Mignon every success as President. He thanked the rapporteurs for their excellent and relevant report, the conclusions of which demonstrated that Morocco was moving towards the consolidation of human rights, democracy and the rule of law. Morocco had achieved this thanks to the united will of the King, political parties and civil society. For the last two years, the new government had been working on reforms, including reconciliation with the past, better integration of women into society, and bringing an end to regional conflict. Under the new constitution, the prime minister would be called “President of the Government”. Legitimate elections had been held and men and women were now equal under the constitution. Although Morocco had reached a new chapter in its history, there was still much to be done and the country still needed the expertise of the Council of Europe.

THE PRESIDENT (Translation) – Thank you, Mr Chagaf.

I must now interrupt the list of speakers. The speeches of members on the list who have been present during the debate but have not been able to speak may be given, in typescript only, to the Table Office for publication in the official report.

I call Mr Ghiletchi on a point of order.

Mr GHILETCHI (Republic of Moldova) – Mr President, you said this morning that you had to cut the list short, but you also said that anyone who wished to speak could do so in the free debate. I did not register my wish to speak in the free debate because I hoped to be included in this list. Will it be possible for members who were included in this list to express their views in the free debate?

THE PRESIDENT apologised but explained that the debate had had to end to allow time for the communication of the Secretary General, Mr Jagland. It was not possible to take further speakers. It might be possible to review the procedure in the future.

(Translation) – Mr Çavuşoğlu, you have two minutes in which to reply to the comments that have been made.

Mr ÇAVUŞOĞLU (Turkey) – I thank my dear colleagues and friends for the nice things that they have said about me and about my presidency. Let me stress again that all the achievements that have been mentioned are the achievements of all of us, working together. However, I have a word to say to my dear friend Davit. You are my good friend, Davit, and I hope that we will remain good friends, but what you said today was not true. As politicians, we must tell the truth to the Assembly and its members, and also to our people and the media at home.

The Nagorno-Karabakh Ad hoc Committee was not my initiative. The Assembly decided to set up the committee in 2005, and Lord Russell-Johnston was its chairman. This is not the first occasion on which the committee has been reinstituted. On the last occasion, the Presidential Committee decided unanimously to present a proposal to the Bureau, and the Bureau decided unanimously to reinstitute the committee. You were there, Davit. Please tell the truth to the people. I understand that pressure is being put on you at home, but please tell the truth to the Assembly. We are part of the younger generation of politicians; we cannot behave like old-fashioned politicians. Please respect the Assembly’s decision and tell the truth to everyone here and at home.

Once again, I thank members of the Assembly for their kind words, confidence and support.

THE PRESIDENT thanked Mr Çavuşoğlu and said that the comments regarding his presidency had been fully justified.

(Translation) – The Bureau has proposed a number of references to committees. They are set out in the progress report. Are there any objections to these references? That is not the case.

The references are ratified.

I invite the Assembly to approve the remainder of the progress report (Document 12830 etc.)

The progress report of the Bureau and Standing Committee is approved unanimously.

I thank my predecessor very much. This is just reward for all the hard work that he has put in over the past few years. I also thank the Bureau.

4. Communication from Mr Thorbjørn Jagland, Secretary General of the Council of Europe

THE PRESIDENT (Translation) – The next item of business is the communication from Mr Thorbjørn Jagland, which will be followed by questions and answers.

Mr Secretary General, let me say how pleased I am that you are here. This is a relationship that has been developing for the past two years, and I am sure that we will continue to work closely for some time to come. It is a great pleasure to give you the floor.

Mr JAGLAND (Secretary General of the Council of Europe) – Let me first offer my warmest congratulations to you, Mr President, as the newly elected President of the Assembly. I listened carefully to your speech this morning, and I look forward to working with you. It will be an interesting and, I hope, challenging experience. I also thank the outgoing President, Mr Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu. You have boundless energy, you always try to be helpful, and we can trust your word. You have been a great President.

Before I identify the main tasks for 2012, I want to say a few words about our achievements in 2011. Last year, the Council of Europe added two important new treaties to its arsenal of international legally binding instruments: the Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence, and the Medicrime Convention. We have consolidated our leading role in setting international standards not only in Europe but beyond.

In the past year, we have also demonstrated our capacity to deliver on our commitments. Following the high-level meeting on Roma in October 2010, we have so far trained more than 500 Roma mediators in 15 member States. With a partnership agreement signed in July 2011, this ROMED programme is now a joint action of the Council of Europe and the European Commission. It is being extended to additional countries and should result in a total of at least 1 000 mediators trained by the end of this year. The objective of these mediators is to help Roma people to gain access to public services where they live. It is now up to the local authorities to make use of their services. Europe can no longer accept that a minority of 12 million people are being discriminated against in such an appalling way across the continent. This situation is unacceptable and we must take strong action. The Council of Europe has so far done its part of the job, and I hope that others will follow.

Let me give some examples that show that we can be flexible and reactive, offering assistance where and when it is needed. One example is the broad programme we have embarked upon together with the Turkish Government to enhance freedom of expression, including media freedom. You will recall that Turkish Prime Minister Erdoğan, in his speech to this Assembly in April, invited me to send my special envoy to Turkey to look into this. In November, Prime Minister Erdoğan and Minister of Justice Ergin convened a meeting of prosecutors and judges from all over Turkey to launch the reform process that we established with the government as a result of that mission. I know that there are many obstacles, given Turkey’s past and ongoing experience of terrorism, but the Council of Europe’s convention-based and non-politicised approach is the only way to help the Turkish Government to move forward.

I believe, dear friends, that this approach is also the only way forward in Hungary. There are many criticisms, but what concrete steps can be taken? The European Union has only limited competence to intervene. The European Convention on Human Rights, however, covers most of the controversial issues. Last Friday, I received a positive reply from Foreign Minister Martonyi to my offer of dialogue with the Council of Europe. Here we have a good illustration of the close partnership we have built with the European Union. When President Barroso spoke at the European Parliament, he referred to Hungary’s obligations under the European Convention on Human Rights and to the Council of Europe, in areas in which the European Union does not have competence to interfere in law-making in Hungary.

One of the crowning achievements of the past year has been the launching of the Council of Europe’s policy towards countries in the neighbouring regions. Just over a year after the beginning of the historic developments in our southern neighbourhood, we have not only a policy but also a bilaterally agreed co-operation programme, which is about to be implemented in the weeks and months to come – first in Morocco and Tunisia. We have also started consultations with Jordan. I see a potential for us to use our instruments to build confidence between the Israelis and the Palestinians as well. The beneficiary countries are not only in the south, but also in our neighbourhood to the east and in central Asia, and we have started to work with Kazakhstan. I could mention more examples but I believe these are enough to illustrate the trend – a new, more reactive, more operational and more political organisation.

How did we get there? The answer is, through far-reaching, sometimes difficult, internal reform, but even more importantly, a reform of our mindset. The Council of Europe used to be called the sleeping beauty on the River Rhine. We had to be more outward-looking and forward-looking. In order to be relevant at the right time, we had to look for partners rather than competitors. We had to ask ourselves how we could assist our member States, not only reporting about them. Therefore, we had to reorganise ourselves and refocus our resources.

The fact is that today, our member States are convinced that the Council of Europe is providing value for money. We have maintained a zero real-growth budget. In the times we live in, and with all the budgetary constraints and severe cuts in public spending in many member countries, this is a remarkable achievement. The voluntary contributions from member States in 2011 were 35% higher than in the year before, and the total receipts from the European Union increased by 18%. Those are clear figures that are demonstrating a growing trust in our capacity to deliver and to be relevant.

This brings me to 2012. I am sure that you will agree that the general outlook is not particularly rosy – for Europe, I mean. In the year ahead, the European integration project will continue to be sorely tested. Many speak about bringing decisions home. Renationalisation of European politics is still a tangible threat. The old ghost – nationalism – is again visiting Europe. We know from the past that nationalism always comes from something bad and leads to something even worse. What can we do? What should be our answer?

One answer is to meet criticism with reform. There is a need for reform of the European institutions. They are not designed for the world of Steve Jobs. New communication technologies in particular are transforming our economies and societies every day, but there has been no such innovative force in the world of politics. The driving forces on the market are computers. When a button is pushed on one computer, a similar kind of button is pushed on computers all over the world. Market forces are very often on autopilot and out of human control.

We cannot meet that development by bringing decisions home or taking decisions at home in each and every member country. We have to reinforce international co-operation and international and European institutions. The way we do politics at the national level in Steve Jobs’s world must also be different from the way that we did politics in the past. The challenge is to involve in policy making young people in particular, who are on the Internet, Facebook and Twitter. Twitter and Facebook mobilise people, but they do not make politics. Mobilising young people into shaping and forming politics represents a huge potential for all our democracies. If we fail to do so, I believe that the gap between those who govern and those who are directly concerned will continue to grow. I will not elaborate more on that here, but such things will be important topics at the Strasbourg world forum for democracy, which will be launched later this year on an initiative from this Assembly.

Another consequence of the technological revolution, as everybody knows, is globalisation, which has given the world new opportunities. However, new threats have also emerged. More and more people seem to define their own identity against other people’s identity. They want to protect their own religion or culture by keeping foreigners out or expelling them. Xenophobic attitudes are growing. Together with the wish “to bring decisions home”, it becomes dangerous.

Against this background, it is essential that we continue to follow up the report of the Group of Eminent Persons, “Living Together”, and that we step up our efforts on migration. As issues of discrimination and the relations between majorities and minorities intensify, there will be a corresponding need for education policies to address intercultural issues and promote living with cultural diversity.

I would like to add and underline that the European political mainstream must join forces and find a way to combat hate speech and agree on a common language to speak to the public about our common reality, which is diversity. We must not let the language of extremist forces become the mainstream. That is happening in many places.

Democracies are under stress from new technological and economic forces and growing populist tendencies, so it is even more important that we insist upon the compliance with old, recognised democratic norms and values. The reality is that, in many parts of Europe, these are under serious threat.

We must preserve and reinforce the system of checks and balances which is indispensable to the normal functioning of democracy. While problems and threats differ from country to country, there are three groups of issues on which we should focus in 2012 and the years to come: free and fair elections, freedom of media and an independent and effective judicial system. We know from history that if such independent institutions are not in place, corruption will flourish, misuse of power will develop and mismanagement will spread. At the end of the day, there will be no stability left. Instability will be misused by extremist forces.

There will be a number of extremely important elections, starting with the presidential vote in the Russian Federation in just over a month. A number of other presidential and parliamentary elections will follow in countries, including Armenia, Georgia and Ukraine. In the past, some of these countries have done better than others, but this time they must all get it right. We must supervise that and help all of them to do precisely that.

The second set of issues is related to the freedom of expression; they are as diverse as they are many. Across Europe, media freedom is under stress, from “softer” attempts of governmental control over media, to more brutal methods where journalists are persecuted, prosecuted and jailed simply for practising their profession. Some are physically attacked, others have lost their lives.

We are also facing some new challenges which show that the freedom of the media and independent politics – these two things go together – are under pressure even in well-established democracies. That is illustrated by the current public discussion on media and journalistic ethics in the United Kingdom. A recent affair between the media and the Federal President in Germany has triggered a similar debate. A professor of media studies at the Free University in Berlin has said that a sort of incestuous relationship exists between the German media and politicians. There might be similar situations in other countries as well. For example, in France a renowned prosecutor is facing charges for illegal investigation of journalists’ sources.

Dear friends, I am deeply concerned. Freedom of expression is being threatened by national authorities and, unfortunately, the media themselves, as well as by market forces, the concentration of ownership and commercialisation of individuals and opinions. In this area, the Council of Europe must do much more, and much better, than in the past.

The third set of issues concerns the functioning of the judiciary and its independence and effectiveness. This is a widespread problem that undermines the rule of law and the normal functioning of democratic institutions in many parts of Europe. We need only look at the judgments of the European Court of Human Rights. Italy, for example, is one of the main contributors to the backlog because of the excessive length of court proceedings in that country. The collateral damage of the backlog is the blocking of the normal functioning of the European Court of Human Rights, which was never meant to serve as the court of last instance for judicial systems unable to protect domestic human rights.

Our work in Ukraine, which was reinforced in view of the highly controversial and politicised trial against former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, is an example of what we can and should be doing in this area. We have set up a broad programme for reform with the Ukrainian Government. The first concrete result is a new criminal procedure code, which takes on board the vast majority of our experts’ suggestions. We should welcome the willingness of the Ukrainian authorities to engage in, and expand, such co-operation. It is clearly in Ukraine’s interest that these activities continue and that they produce a concrete and measurable impact as soon as possible, not least in respect of specific cases that are causing concern such as the one of Yulia Tymoshenko.

In talking about the system of checks and balances at national level, we should also bear in mind its European dimension, which is the European Convention on Human Rights and the European Court of Human Rights. This Court is the ultimate guarantor of the system of rule of law on the entire continent. The right of the individual to petition the Court here in Strasbourg is what upholds its power. We must safeguard that right when we come to the end of the historic and necessary reform process of the Court. This is essential. We must also safeguard the principle that all member States are equal before the Convention. It is true that some member States have gone further than others in implementing the Convention’s standards in their legislation. They can claim that the Court is not necessary for them any longer, but new political winds could also start blowing there, and somebody has to have the right to intervene.

The role of the Court is twofold: to help member countries that have not yet done so to adapt legislation to the Convention, and to prevent any return to authoritarian and undemocratic rule. This was the real objective of the Court when Winston Churchill took the initiative to establish it. It is our role to defend it. We must stand up against the campaign smearing the reputation of the Court on the basis of distorted facts and prejudiced exaggerations.

I believe it is very fortunate that, during this critically important period, we can benefit from a very determined and ambitious chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers by the United Kingdom. On Wednesday, we shall have the opportunity to listen to the speech of Prime Minister Cameron, and I am personally very much looking forward to it. I do not doubt the commitment of the Prime Minister and the United Kingdom Government to the rights and freedoms protected by the European Convention on Human Rights. I believe that during this chairmanship we will make progress on reform so that it can come to an end this year.

The reform of the Court runs in parallel to another historically important process: European Union accession to the European Convention on Human Rights. When this is accomplished, and the Court is reformed, the Europe-wide mechanism for democratic checks and balances will finally be fully functioning and complete. There are still obstacles on the road. But if the political will is there they can be quickly resolved. To those who hesitate to bring the European Union under the same obligations and Court as all others, I say the following: if you want to keep one actor out, many others will want to opt out. The logic of the human rights and the comprehensive system that we have created to uphold them is that they are for all or for none. That is what we will achieve. It is what will protect all of us during the reform process and when it comes to European Union accession.

This, in short, is my blueprint for 2012 – it is a work plan more than a vision – but if we are successful and deliver concrete and measurable results on those priorities, the vision of an ambitious, peaceful, prosperous and forward-looking Europe, united within and open to its neighbours, will have a chance of becoming a reality. The winds of change are blowing everywhere. If we cannot feel the wind and the heat and adapt accordingly, we will not be an important part of this process. I believe that we are. I believe that we have been able to be relevant. We have been able to assist other member countries, and, with your help, we can do even more in 2012 and the years ahead.

THE PRESIDENT (Translation) – Thank you, Mr Secretary General, for your interesting communication. Members of the Assembly have questions to put to you. I remind them that questions must be limited to 30 seconds. Colleagues should ask questions and not make speeches.

The first question is from Mr Mendes Bota, on behalf of the Group of the European People’s Party.

Mr MENDES BOTA (Portugal) – Mr Secretary General, you said that the Council of Europe needs more partners, not competitors. Let us put the focus on our relationship with the European Union. We need more co-operation and co-ordination, not more competition. How do you see the agency of human rights? Are we in competition with it, or is there an opportunity for better co-ordination? How do you see the eastern partnership? Is there an opportunity to enhance the weight of the Council of Europe in the context of its relationship with the European Union?

THE PRESIDENT (Translation) – Mr Jagland, would you like to answer this question?

Mr JAGLAND – I assume that you refer to the agency in Vienna. I heard about this when I came here. My position is this: I can see that it exists and that we have to co-operate with it to make use of its resources. If we do not want to, we do not have to have anything to do with it. However, I think that we have to take into account that it is there. That has been my approach vis-à-vis the European Union from the very beginning. When I came here, I noticed that there was a lot of suspicion and competition.

Some thought that the European Union was competing with us, and we thought that we were competing with it. Very often, I got the feeling that many people wanted the European Union to wither away. Again, however, I am a practical man from the north and I realised that the European Union existed – and I am glad that it does. We have to work with it. One of our main achievements over the past two years is that we have developed a good partnership.

We can see that clearly in the south Mediterranean. Last week, Commissioner Füle was in my office and we signed an agreement under which the European Union will facilitate our work with nearly €5 million in Tunis and Morocco. And we are working with the European Union on many other respects – for instance, in the eastern partnership. So it is a partner. We cannot be a subcontractor. We cannot ignore the fact that this major power on the European continent exists, so we have to work with it.

THE PRESIDENT (Translation) – The next question is from Lord Tomlinson, on behalf of the Socialist Group.

Lord TOMLINSON (United Kingdom) – Mr Jagland, earlier in your speech you said, “We want to help our member States rather than just reporting on them.” The situation in Hungary has been brought about by the present government, and it is a serious threat to parliamentary democracy, human rights and the rule of law. Do you share the concerns that exist in this Parliamentary Assembly, shown by a majority vote this morning – but because of our rules not quite sufficient to get a debate – about a situation that shames us all? What do you propose to do to further help Hungary return to the standards that we expect in democratic Europe?

THE PRESIDENT (Translation) – Mr Jagland, would you like to answer the question?

Mr JAGLAND – Yes, I share those concerns. That is why one year ago I travelled to Budapest. I had a meeting with the foreign minister and other members of the government. I said to them “Why not use our instruments?” That was about the constitution. They accepted and the Venice Commission made many recommendations to the government. Some of them were taken into consideration but others were not. Then these laws were passed in the parliament. Again we were very concerned about a number of issues – for instance, the definition of the role of the media in one of these laws that says that the media are obliged to report in a balanced way. That is contrary to the standards in Europe according to which papers and broadcasters are not obliged to report in a balanced way. It is the pluralism of the media that gives us a balanced view of the situation in a society.

That is our main concern, but we are concerned about other aspects of these laws. We are concerned about religious freedom, because many churches have been excluded from the list of those recognised by the government. We are also concerned about issues relating to the judiciary and electoral law. We have been in touch with the current government and last Friday I got a letter from Foreign Minister Martonyi saying that he would like to have a dialogue with us on these matters.

By the way, you should know, as I said in my speech, that the European Union has only limited competence in these major issues. That is why President Barroso said how important it is to have this relationship with the European Union, which I talked about earlier. When he was in the European Parliament, he referred to the European Convention and to the Council of Europe when it comes to issues where they do not have competence. On that basis, I hope that we can achieve something; it is of course important to report and monitor but on the basis of the reporting and monitoring we need to pick out the real issues, discuss them and offer our assistance in order to do something regarding what we are complaining about. That was my main point, and I am sure that you agree. Thank you.

THE PRESIDENT (Translation) – The next question is from Ms Rudd on behalf of the European Democrat Group.

Ms RUDD (United Kingdom) – Thank you, Mr President. Mr Jagland, you referred in your comments to the economic difficulties that European countries in particular are suffering at the moment, which is certainly true. We are going through a period of difficult austerity and many countries are having to make difficult cuts to their budget. It has now been a year since the reforms began; do you see any progress in the reduction of costs which member States might feel would be sharing the pain in these difficult times?

THE PRESIDENT (Translation) – Thank you. Would you like to answer that question, Mr Jagland?

Mr JAGLAND – Do you mean the costs in the Council of Europe?

Ms RUDD (United Kingdom) – Yes.

Mr JAGLAND – As I said, we have succeeded in keeping the zero real-growth budget in the Council of Europe. That is quite remarkable in times when we see all these austerity measures in all the other countries. Many other international organisations are suffering reductions in their budgets. This is because we have proved that we are relevant and useful and that we have made major reforms which have made us more effective, less bureaucratic. We have refocused other resources on the issues that are important for this Organisation rather than spreading them on other things which were not so relevant. This is a recognition of the major reform that we have done on the intergovernmental sector and in this huge house in which nearly 2 500 work – I include the Court as well. You can imagine how important it was to do this; we have not yet completed this reform, but we are on the right track and this is being recognised by governments and by our most important partners, such as the European Union.

THE PRESIDENT (Translation) – Thank you. I call Mr Rigoni on behalf of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats in Europe.

Mr RIGONI (Italy) noted that the Assembly had earlier heard contributions on the subjects of the Russian Winter and the Arab Spring. He questioned whether the Assembly should act as if nothing was happening or whether it should take a clear stance on the political situation in the Russian Federation and in Hungary. It had been said that the Assembly should encourage radical, democratic change in these countries: he asked whether Mr Jagland shared these views and concerns.

THE PRESIDENT (Translation) – Thank you. Would you like to answer that question, Mr Jagland?

Mr JAGLAND – Yes, I share the concerns but the situation in the Arab world, Hungary and Russia are three different things. There is, as I said, one thing in common for all of us – namely that where there are not checks and balances in the system we always get corruption, mismanagement and misuse of power. That is why we are stressing this so much. This is clear in the Arab world – the root causes are that they did not have a free press, an independent judiciary, free elections and an autonomous parliament. Hungary has those things so we cannot make comparisons but we are afraid that under the new laws, the independence of the major institutions in society could over time be undermined. That is why we need to look into it.

When it comes to Russia, for the time being it is not so easy to see where things are going, but one thing is absolutely clear: political life in the country has been revitalised. We do not know in which direction things will go. Just before I came down here I got a message that the banning or the non-registration of the Republican party over Mr Ryzhkov that was made five years ago has now been cancelled by the Constitutional Court in Russia. They are upholding the ruling of the Court of Human Rights here in Strasbourg. I think that there is a possibility for many constructive forces to use this to help to come to a situation where there are fair and free elections and a flourishing democracy. There were problems with the last elections to the state Duma – that is clear. But since then the situation has become more and more open. It is also, as I see it, clear that there is a need for a dialogue between the power and the opposition. I stated this after the Duma elections and I have heard that it was received positively in many circles in Russia. It should be seen that we can be a constructive force there as well. I think that Russia is on the move and there is no way of returning to the authoritarian rule of the past. As I see it, that is nearly impossible in the current situation.

THE PRESIDENT (Translation) – The next question is from Mr Villumsen on behalf of the group of the Unified European Left.

Mr VILLUMSEN (Denmark) – Thank you, Secretary General. I understand that there has been an exchange of letters between the Secretary General and the Hungarian Government. I would like to hear about that process and what would be the next step. Furthermore, I understand from international media that the Conservative majority in Hungary is trying to make the main opposition party responsible for the crimes of the former dictatorship. I would like to know what the Secretary General thinks of this situation.

THE PRESIDENT (Translation) – Thank you. Would you like to answer that question, Mr Jagland?

Mr JAGLAND – As I said, I got a letter from Mr Martonyi on Friday. It was positive, looking for a dialogue, and for using our instruments to look into the laws that have been discussed publicly for quite a long time. We will of course start working on this immediately so that we can come forward with our recommendations. We are in a positive process.

I do not have a position on the internal situation in Hungary. It is very important for me and for us to have an experience-orientated or non-politicised, convention-based approach to everything that is happening in Hungary. I will say one thing that is important – some say that no one has the right to intervene in law-making in Hungary. All the 47 member countries in the Council of Europe have obligations towards the Convention and the Council of Europe; therefore we have the right to have this dialogue and it is a very positive sign that the Hungarian Government wants to have it.

THE PRESIDENT (Translation) – The next question is from Mr Kalmár.

Mr KALMÁR (Hungary) – Mr Secretary General, you have mentioned the question of the media. Today, most media are in private hands, so the figures in the business plans take priority over journalists’ ethics. Nowadays, with well-placed articles, it is possible to ruin countries financially. How can we influence capital concentration, as you mentioned, and deal with financial or market influence in the media?

THE PRESIDENT (Translation) – Thank you; would you like to answer that question, Mr Jagland?

Mr JAGLAND – It is a very good question and I do not have an answer to it, but I want to focus on it because it is an important part of the whole discussion about freedom of expression and freedom of media. Many countries have laws that prevent the concentration of media power. I believe that many more countries should have them, and look into how the whole thing is functioning. It has become more of a problem since the advent of the Internet, because now we have the interaction between the social media and the traditional media, and competition is increasing. Competition increases when one is more inclined to overlook the ideals and values that the media have been built on. That is also in danger of harming privacy and individual rights in our societies, so this is a very important issue that we should look into further.

THE PRESIDENT (Translation) – The next question is from Mr Mota Amaral.

Mr MOTA AMARAL (Portugal) – Mr Secretary General, let me take you back to the question of co-operation between the Council of Europe and the European Union. Some years ago, a memorandum of understanding was signed to regulate it. What is your assessment of the implementation of this instrument?

THE PRESIDENT (Translation) – Thank you, would you like to answer that question, Mr Jagland?

Mr JAGLAND – As I have said, we have implemented it in a very constructive way. Co-operation between us and the European Union is now very constructive, and based on complementarity. There is now, as I see it, respect for the role of the Council of Europe – having 47 member countries, being pan-European and having a Convention that goes beyond the competence of the European Union. They accept and recognise that we can do some things that they cannot do, but we also need to accept that they can do things that we cannot. So there is a certain complementarity, which I appreciate, and we very much need it. If we do not recognise that, and believe that it is a competitor, we cannot achieve much. The same would be true if we had seen member countries as competitors, rather than members with obligations and whom we should work with and assist.

The European Union is a major player in Europe and in global politics and we have to recognise that.

THE PRESIDENT (Translation) – The next question is from Ms Christoffersen.

Ms CHRISTOFFERSEN (Norway) – Hungary, a member State since 1990, is fully aware of its membership obligations. Still, it moves in the wrong direction. Our only possible sanctions are exclusion or withdrawal of credentials. These are drastic sanctions and seldom used. Secretary General, do you see the need for a wider range of sanctions, making us able to react at an earlier stage when member countries deliberately behave in contempt of democracy and human rights?

THE PRESIDENT (Translation) – Thank you, would you like to answer that question, Mr Jagland?

Mr JAGLAND – Actually, I do not look upon Europe as a continent in which we should now talk about strengthening sanctions. We have ultimate sanctions, but we should believe in our own instruments and their capacity to influence the situation in other member countries. That is why we have to move beyond the more passive approach of criticising and reporting, which is important in many cases, and set up co-operation programmes with a positive attitude. I hope that this can also work in Hungary because, as I said, it has certain obligations, and we have certain obligations to use our own capacity and resources in that direction. By the way, this is the main reason behind the reform – that we can have a bigger capacity to assist other member countries and therefore try to influence them in the right direction.

THE PRESIDENT (Translation) – The next question is from Mr Herkel, who is not here. Mr Iwiński is also not here, so I call Mr Tsiskarishvili.

Mr TSISKARISHVILI (Georgia) – I would like to refer to the reforms of the Council of Europe. It is everybody’s understanding that an external presence, in the field, of the Council of Europe’s offices is a key element in this process. We also understand that, upon your request, a list of locations has been endorsed by the Committee of Ministers. In most such places, the offices are already operational. The question is, having said that, where do you stand on the question of opening an office in Moscow?

THE PRESIDENT (Translation) – Thank you, would you like to answer that question, Mr Jagland?

Mr JAGLAND – That is very much on, and it will happen.

THE PRESIDENT (Translation) – Next question is from Mr Marquet.

Mr MARQUET (Monaco) asked whether Mr Jagland would support the Republic of Guinea’s accession to the Medicrime Convention, to be opened for signature on 18 October in Moscow.

THE PRESIDENT (Translation) – Thank you, would you like to answer that question, Mr Jagland?

Mr JAGLAND – Absolutely; this is a very important undertaking, and I am very glad that the Russian Federation has focused greatly on it. It will be a major task for its office, which I have already been asked about.

THE PRESIDENT (Translation) – The next question is from Ms Zohrabyan.

Ms ZOHRABYAN (Armenia) said that France was currently considering a law to ban denial of the genocide of Armenians. She asked whether the genocide should be recognised by the Council of Europe and whether modern Turkey should recognise the genocide perpetrated by Ottoman Turkey.

THE PRESIDENT (Translation) – Thank you, would you like to answer that question, Mr Jagland?

Mr JAGLAND – As Secretary General of the Council of Europe, I do not have a position on this. I do not want to comment, on behalf of the entire Organisation and of course the member countries, on the discussion in France. But in my past capacities as Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Norway, and as Speaker of the Parliament and Chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee there, I always took the stand that history is for historians and history books, and I was not in favour of taking political decisions on historical events. I note that the Turkish Government has proposed to set up a commission composed of historians in order to come forward with its views on this issue, and that it will accept the recommendations from such a commission. I do not have a stance on that either. It is up to national parliaments and governments to take a position on it. It has not been discussed anywhere in the Council of Europe.

THE PRESIDENT (Translation) – Thank you. The last question comes from Mr Petrenco.

Mr PETRENCO (Republic of Moldova) – Moldovan MPs have not been able to elect a president for more than two years. For more than a year, a majority in the parliament has deliberately blocked the process. A year and a half ago, a referendum, supported by you, was organised to amend the constitution, but it contradicted the recommendations of the Venice Commission, and it eventually failed. The ruling alliance recently announced its intention of organising a new referendum using your name and saying that you support it. Is that true, and do we have to support the Venice Commission’s recommendations or not?

THE PRESIDENT (Translation) – Thank you. Would you like to answer that question, Mr Jagland?

Mr JAGLAND – The Venice Commission did not oppose the referendum. I have offered the political leaders in the Republic of Moldova an expertise now that they have begun the process again. If they wish, we can offer non-political expertise and contribute our views and recommendations. The time has come for all political processes to reach a conclusion.

This is a good example of what happens in a country without functioning institutions. A parliament that is supposed to be an independent, autonomous force in the country has failed to elect someone to the highest position, namely that of President of the Republic. How can we have a parliament that cannot persuade the parties to come together and set aside all party interests? I find that extraordinary. If the parliament cannot succeed in this respect, how can people trust it to deal with other matters? We have been trying to ensure that it will be able to do this basic job in accordance with the constitution.

THE PRESIDENT (Translation) – Thank you, Secretary General, for the spontaneous and frank way in which you have answered all the questions that have been asked. I also thank colleagues for putting their questions so concisely and precisely.

5. Free debate

THE PRESIDENT (Translation) – We now come to the first “free” debate under our new rules. It is one of the innovations that we introduced when we decided to reform the Assembly. There are issues to which we are keen to return, and ways in which we can improve on what we have done before. I remind you that under Article 21.6 of our Rules of Procedure, if anyone uses language which affronts human dignity, undermines the right to respect for private life or prejudices orderly debate, such language will be struck from the report of debates. I am sure that that will not happen, because we are all parliamentarians, and I have never heard anyone say anything of that sort in the Chamber.

May I remind the Assembly that at this morning’s sitting it was agreed that speaking time in all debates today should be limited to three minutes? Please keep to that limit, because we have a long list of speakers. We will have to interrupt the list of speakers in the free debate at 5.30 p.m. in order to close the sitting.

Are these arrangements agreed?

They are agreed.

Mr Vrettos is first on the list representing the Socialist Group. He is not here. Is Mr Gross here, as chairman of the group? He is not here. It seems that no one is here to speak on behalf of the Socialist Group, so I call Sir Roger Gale to speak on behalf of the European Democrat Group.

Sir Roger GALE (United Kingdom) – In his opening address this morning, the President rightly placed great emphasis on the importance of the European Convention on Human Rights and its enforcement. The subject will be debated here tomorrow afternoon, but today I want to highlight an issue that is of real concern to me and to other Assembly members. I have raised it before.

A number of signatories to the Convention flout it. In particular, they flout Articles 5 and 6, which concern the right to a trial and the right to a fair trial. I have established that a significant number of European Union citizens, and citizens of Council of Europe member states, have been held without trial in prisons in member States for more than 10 months. I issued a freedom of information request to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in the United Kingdom. Although I was not able to obtain figures for all 47 countries, as I had hoped to – the FCO felt that that was too much to ask – it was revealed that Greece, France, Malta and Spain, which would not normally be described as developing countries, had held and were holding prisoners for longer than 10 months before trial, which is a gross breach of the European Convention on Human Rights and completely unacceptable.

I took that thought to Thomas Hammarberg, who said without equivocation that the matter could and should be referred to the European Court of Human Rights. However, there is a catch. It is not possible to make a referral to the Court until all local channels have been exhausted. In other words, it is impossible to raise the fact that someone is being held in prison without trial until that person has been tried, which is not much help to the person being held in prison. The situation is not remotely satisfactory. Even if one of these cases were referred to the Court, we all know that it is so inundated with work that a case of that nature would simply not be heard.

I believe that this particular circumstance brings the Convention into disrepute, and that the Assembly must address it this afternoon.

THE PRESIDENT (Translation) – Thank you, Sir Roger. I call Ms Brasseur to speak on behalf of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe.

Ms BRASSEUR (Luxembourg) said that the Council of Europe needed to take more relevant action and to follow up its statements. It was regrettable that the Assembly had not voted to hold an urgent debate on the Russian Federation and Hungary. There had been many complaints about the Council’s lack of visibility, but visibility was not the only problem. All members of the Council had to champion the values that the Organisation represented. The Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe had recently released a communiqué denouncing the abhorrent human rights situation in Hungary. Fundamental human rights, including the freedom of association, the freedom of the media and the separation of powers were being disregarded. The Council of Europe had to ensure that monitoring was properly undertaken because the people demonstrating in the streets were depending on the Council to take action.

THE PRESIDENT (Translation) – Thank you, Ms Brasseur. The next speaker is Mr Villumsen, on behalf of the Group of the Unified European Left.

Mr VILLUMSEN (Denmark) – This honourable Assembly was created to prevent the horrifying events of the Second World War from ever happening again and to stop racism and tyranny from ruling our continent. This obligation is more relevant now than ever. Recent events under the right-wing government in Hungary call for our attention. We see not only the ugly face of extremism with marching men in uniform, but a wide range of democratic and human rights violations – violations that all democratic forces must address.

The European Union has criticised developments according to the Lisbon Treaty, but the European Commission has not addressed the entire range of undemocratic events that are happening in Hungary right now. The Council of Europe has a crucial role to play in addressing the limitations on freedom of speech, abuses of media law and the attack on democratic pluralism, as well as the rights of minorities and the lack of respect for freedom of religious beliefs.

The issue of Hungary must not be reduced to a debate about how to solve the economic crisis; we need to address what is becoming ever clearer – the stepping back from democracy and the move towards more and more totalitarian rule. The Council of Europe must take action on that.

THE PRESIDENT (Translation) – Thank you, Mr Villumsen. The next speaker is Mr Mota Amaral.

Mr MOTA AMARAL (Portugal) congratulated the President on his election, and said that there was a serious crisis in Europe following the financial and banking problems: unemployment, which was a tragedy affecting both older and younger people, had increased; reductions by governments in their social security spending was exacerbating the crisis; and the number of homeless people was increasing.

Europe needed an ambitious programme to increase employment and to take strong action in respect of financial markets. It was a difficult time to implement change but young people were being ignored, the rich were getting rich and the poor were getting poorer. Meanwhile, Eurocrats pursued negotiations with troubled countries.

This was not just an economic issue though, it also highlighted the ineffectiveness of the democratic system and it was important to ensure the proper principles underlying democracy were upheld.

THE PRESIDENT (Translation) – Thank you, Mr Mota Amaral. The next speaker is Mr Popescu.

Mr POPESCU (Ukraine) thanked the former President for all that he had done in his time in office, and noted the reforms that he had made including the introduction of the free debate and added that he was a friend of Ukraine. He also congratulated the current President on his election.

The issue of minority languages was important: minority languages should be represented at the Council of Europe, and their continued existence was important in support of peace on the continent. He therefore felt that it was appropriate to move the Sub-Committee on the Rights of Minorities to operate under the aegis of the Committee on Equality and Non-Discrimination.

THE PRESIDENT (Translation) – Thank you, Mr Popescu. The next speaker is Mr Chope.

Mr CHOPE (United Kingdom) – I wish to use these few moments to urge a rethink on our relationship with the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe and the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights when we undertake joint election observation missions. I say this on the basis of my experience of what happened in Kazakhstan, where there were parliamentary elections on Sunday 15 January. Kazakhstan is a place where I had never been before; I had the privilege of being one of our observers.

Our delegation was ably led by Elsa Papadimitriou. Due to the indefatigable Franck Daeschler, the arrangements for the visit were excellent. However, I wish to put on record my grave concern at the behaviour of the head of the OSCE delegation, João Soares of Portugal, who wanted to conclude a joint draft press release before the elections had even taken place – and it was a highly critical and condemnatory press release. After the Assembly representatives refused to sign up to the unfounded criticisms that were being alleged, Mr Soares told a meeting of short-term observers in Almaty on Saturday evening that we had been bought by the Kazakhstan Government.

Since then, false allegations designed to discredit our delegation have included the allegation of undeclared financial and other interests, which made us unfit to be observers. Mr President, these allegations are as outrageous and intolerable as they are unfounded. On Saturday evening, before the elections, I heard and saw Mr Suarez briefing the press against the Kazakh Central Election Commission and prejudging the outcome of the polling day. This prejudice was carried over to the final press release, which certainly did not reflect what Dr Agius from Malta and I experienced on polling day when we were in and around Almaty.

On the basis of what I saw in Kazakhstan, I can say that the country is making good progress towards genuine parliamentary democracy. In the count that I witnessed, the government party gained 55% of the vote, the Social Democrats 20% and the Communists 15%. There are now two opposition parties with significant parliamentary representation. I am not saying that everything is ideal there, but things are certainly a lot better than the prejudiced OSCE would have us believe. We must ensure that in future we have truly objective observations of elections, rather than ones that are tainted by prejudice.

THE PRESIDENT (Translation) – Thank you, Mr Chope. I now call Mr Santini.

Mr SANTINI (Italy) raised the issue of the tragedy of the Syrian people, in particular those who had fled to refugee camps in Turkey.

Together with Mr Chope, Ms Strik and Ms Acketoft, he had undertaken an ad hoc visit to the refugee camps in Turkey, one of which had 1 800 people in it and the other over 3 500. The camps were supposed to be temporary but had already been in place for many months, and large numbers of refugees were living in poverty. Many wished to return to Syria and were staying in the camps because of the actions of the Assad regime. They were either opposition supporters or had simply been in the wrong place at the wrong time.

The Council of Europe needed to look at the issue of refugees who were not seeking to flee but wanted democratic change instead. The refugees that he and his colleagues had met questioned the role of the European Union and the United Nations given the ongoing situation in Syria. Many now lacked trust in the organisations, in particular because of the failure of sanctions.

An urgent resolution was necessary, especially given that last summer it was unbearably hot even in the shade at the camps.

THE PRESIDENT (Translation) – Thank you, Mr Santini. Ms Acketoft is not present, so I now call Mr Plotnikov.

Mr PLOTNIKOV (Ukraine) – I want to focus on recent economic developments in the world and the possibility of a second wave of the global financial crisis. Regardless of whether we are considering the problems in the eurozone or other global and regional difficulties, this is a very important topic.

Any second wave of the global financial crisis will certainly not be worse than the first wave, as what happened in the world in 2008 and 2009 was truly unprecedented. Since then, the world has emerged from that time of crisis, and we therefore know what to do to prevent or minimise the negative effects of any such future crisis.

In the global economic crisis of 2008 and 2009, Ukraine was one of the worst hit countries. As a result of external factors and poor domestic economic policies at that time, the national currency, the hryvnia, depreciated by more than 60%. When the political movement that I represent came to power in 2010 due to the result of the presidential election, we had inherited a 15% drop in GDP in 2009. However, from 2010 Ukraine has had economic growth and, in spite of all the possible difficulties caused by external factors, our official forecasts predict an increase of 3.9% in 2012.

Turning to the potential for a second wave of economic global crisis, we must analyse all the possible causes and consequences. The Assembly should pay more attention to this topic and make some recommendations. These recommendations must be focused on crisis prevention, and if prevention is not possible, its minimisation. These issues are of relevance to European Union member States and States with transitional economies alike.

THE PRESIDENT (Translation) – Thank you, Mr Plotnikov. I now call Mr Colombier.

Mr COLOMBIER (France) congratulated the President and then turned to the subject of the Arab Spring, which posed a challenge to the Council of Europe. The status of Partner for Democracy was given to those outside the Council of Europe’s geographic area. Such a status was an embryo of an answer, given that it allowed a partner to participate in debates but not to vote.

The phrase “democratic winter” had been applied to Tunisia and Egypt because of the influence of Islamic parties. The opposition parties in these countries had long been muzzled and were only now able to seek credibility. The countries’ revolutions should be given time to develop. Western democracies had not been built in a day.

In particular, he wondered how the Assembly could help Tunisia and Egypt without interfering with their democratic autonomy. The Assembly’s debates were an important part of the process of reform and were visible outside the Council of Europe. The Assembly should not let go of hope: it should spread hope.

THE PRESIDENT (Translation) – I give the floor to Ms Strik.

Ms STRIK (Netherlands) – I take this opportunity to congratulate you, Mr Mignon, on your Presidency and to thank Mr Çavuşoğlu for his excellent work. It raises expectations of you, Mr Mignon, but I trust that you will meet them.

I support pleas made in this Assembly that we should consider the grave situations in Hungary and Russia, but I would like to discuss another topic. I support the plea made by Mr Santini to pay attention to the situation of the Syrian refugees in refugee camps. As he rightly stated, along with Ms Acketoft, Mr Santini and Mr Chope, we visited the refugee camps on the Syrian border in Turkey last summer. The Turkish Government responded promptly and adequately to the sudden influx of refugees. People were offered shelter, food and above all safety. At that moment, the situation in Syria was fresh and unpredictable, depending on developments in the country.

In the report adopted by the Committee on Migration, Refugees and Population, we expressed gratitude to the Turkish Government because the protection offered was adequate for the short term. We expressed concern, however, about what might happen if the situation deteriorated and the refugees were stuck in these tent camps for a long time. In the end, if the refugees cannot return to their country of origin, they need to be able to build a new life, find more permanent housing and integrate into the new environment. Since our visit, six months have passed, and we all know that the situation has worsened. No resolution can be foreseen in the near future.

Of course, solving the problem in Syria is the priority. The Syrian refugees we spoke to urged the international community to interfere and put pressure on Assad to ensure peaceful, democratic reforms. I hope that member States of the Council of Europe will support the Arab League’s plea for Assad to step back and leave room for the transitional government. However, if that will take another year – or even years – other, more sustainable, solutions must be found for the Syrian refugees. I hope that the Council of Europe will contribute to that and will urge Turkey to grant them access to regular provisions, education and housing.

Above all, our committee is concerned that Turkey only recognises refugees if they flee from Europe, not from other parts of the world. That is against our principles. We therefore urge Turkey to lift its geographical limitation to the refugee convention as soon as possible. Mr Çavuşoğlu, who visited the camps a few weeks ago, also pleaded for that. I hope that we will support his plea.

THE PRESIDENT (Translation) – Thank you. Mr Koç, you have the floor.

Mr KOÇ (Turkey) congratulated the outgoing President on his term of office. He wished to comment on the Bill currently going through the French Parliament which was designed to penalise historical revisionists. The Bill was particularly important with reference to the events of 1916 in Turkey and Armenia. This was a subject best left to historians and it was certainly not suitable material for legislators. Yet, in French elections, the issue recurred time and again, badly affecting relations between France and Turkey.

It was not the place of national parliaments of third countries to provide an in-depth historical analysis of past events. Democracy should never be called into question: rather, it should be defended as a value. Just as a law passed in France in 2001 was based on a pre-conceived historical viewpoint, the law currently being debated in the French Parliament would introduce criminal sanctions which were similarly biased and unfair. The consequences of this legislation would be very negative: all victims of history should be respected and an accurate account was needed rather than one based on mere fragments of memory. There were many views on the relevant history among the Turkish and Armenian diaspora and he would challenge in this Assembly the view of the events of 1916 as genocide.

THE PRESIDENT said that he could not discuss these issues with Mr Koç in his current capacity as President, but he was happy to speak to him outside the Chamber. He called Mr Harutyunyan.

Mr HARUTYUNYAN (Armenia) – Dear colleagues, you probably already know that I will respond to Mr Koç. Today, the French Senate is debating an important piece of legislation criminalising the denial of crimes against humanity. We all have to express our gratitude to the French people for their commitment to human rights and values. As representatives may be aware, the leader of the Turkish delegation is writing to representatives about that law and the genocide of Armenians committed by the Ottoman Empire in 1915. Turkey thinks that the proposed law would infringe freedom of expression.

It is worth mentioning that 16 countries, among them Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, France, Hungary, Israel, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal, Poland, Romania, the Slovak Republic and Switzerland, have already adopted laws and regulations declaring, for example, that the denial of a crime against humanity – such as the Holocaust – is illegal. I remind colleagues that the framework decision of the European Union on xenophobia and racism explicitly states that the denial and trivialisation of these crimes should be punished. The formulation of the text in the French Senate is absolutely identical to that of the European Union framework decision.

The law being debated in the French Senate condemns and criminalises the denial of all acts of crimes committed against humanity, among them the Holocaust and genocide. There is no specific reference to the Armenian genocide in this law. There is no specific reference to any particular country in this law. If you hear in this Chamber another interpretation of the above-mentioned piece of legislation, please do not hesitate to access the text of the law and assure yourselves.

I would like to end with a citation from Gregory H. Stanton, the person who drafted the United Nations Security Council resolution on the creation of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, and the founder of Genocide Watch. He lists denial as the final stage of a genocide development, “Denial is the eighth stage that always follows a genocide. It is among the surest indicators of further genocidal massacres. The perpetrators of genocide dig up the mass graves, burn the bodies, try to cover up the evidence and intimidate the witnesses. They deny that they committed any crimes, and often blame what happened on the victims.”

THE PRESIDENT (Translation) – Thank you. Mr Salles, you have the floor.

Mr SALLES (France) congratulated the President on his election and said that he was proud to see him presiding over the Assembly. He was deeply concerned about the human rights situation in Hungary. He thought that the Assembly should have debated this issue and regretted the fact that the Bureau and the Assembly had decided not to do so in the current part-session.

The concerns of the Assembly should not be confused with those of the European Union. Viktor Orbán, the Hungarian Prime Minister, had addressed the European Union the previous week but his subject was the independence of the European Central Bank rather than the infringements of freedom and human rights in his own country. The Hungarian Parliament had recently voted for certain anti-constitutional laws. This has been done in haste. For example, the retirement age for the judiciary had been reduced from 70 to 62. This had meant that 300 judges loyal to the former government had been forced to leave their posts. In addition, the Prime Minister and the state prosecutor would now be able to decide which judge presided over which case. The constitution had effectively been amended to abolish the concept of the Republic of Hungary, examples being the reform of the Electoral Act, the enforced redundancy of many journalists and the constraint on finance for the independent media through the restriction of advertising. The Assembly should debate these issues and express a firm opinion about the political situation in Hungary.

THE PRESIDENT (Translation) – Thank you. I call Mr Reimann.

Mr REIMANN (Switzerland) congratulated the President on his appointment. He wished to address the subject of asylum seekers and economic migration into Europe and the fact that the Dublin Agreement did not sufficiently address these issues. The Assembly’s Committee on Migration, Refugees and Displaced Persons and the European Centre for Global Interdependence and Solidarity – the “North-South Centre” in Lisbon – had both expressed concern. Several member States of the Council of Europe, including Switzerland, were affected by migration. Some 90% of migrants were very young and were placing hopes in relocation to a new continent that could not always be fulfilled. The North-South Centre should be brought in to the Assembly’s discussions to provide expertise. Those seeking to migrate into Europe should be educated about their prospects and their countries should be supported politically and economically in order to address the problem at its source. Italy, Greece and Malta were all badly affected and few refugees returned home from those countries. Political agreement and practical solutions were urgently needed.

THE PRESIDENT (Translation) – Thank you. Mr Nikoloski, you have the floor.

Mr NIKOLOSKI (“The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia”) – Thank you very much. I would like to speak about the last decision of the International Court of Justice in The Hague about the long-lasting dispute that my country, the Republic of Macedonia, and Greece have had over the name issue. As you are well aware, there has been a dispute for more than 15 years about my country using the name “Republic of Macedonia”; the integration of the Republic of Macedonia in NATO and the European Union is blocked due to this process. There was a veto in 2008 when my country was invited to join NATO. As the ICJ said, it accepted the argument of the Republic of Macedonia that Greece had violated article 11(1) of the interim accord from 1995 with objections to our NATO membership in April 2008. The Court said that Greece cannot lawfully object to the membership of the Republic of Macedonia in NATO. The Court also said that the start of negotiations with the European Union was objected to by the Greek Government. So the Court is saying that Greece’s political stance of the past several years is against the interim agreement that both countries signed in 1995. Article 11(1) clearly states that, in respect of this interim agreement, Greece cannot object to the Republic of Macedonia’s membership of multilateral organisations at a European level.

Furthermore, several attempts were made by the Government of the Republic of Macedonia to overcome this long-lasting dispute. The most important was that we invited the special representative of the Secretary-General of the United Nations to visit both countries and to find a solution to the long-lasting problem. However, the Greek Government said that this was not acceptable and that in practice it did not want to respect the decision of the International Court of Justice. That will be one of but few examples of an ICJ decision not being respected.

I appeal to the Greek Government and call on it to respect the ICJ’s decision. I call on it to accept Macedonia’s membership of NATO at the Chicago NATO summit in March of this year, and to continue the dialogue in order to find a solution to this long-lasting dispute.

THE PRESIDENT (Translation) – Thank you. I call Mr Haugli.

Mr HAUGLI (Norway) – Dear colleagues, six months ago yesterday, a right-wing extremist carried out two terrorist attacks in Norway: one against our government headquarters, the other against a social democratic youth camp. Seventy-seven people were murdered, most of them youths massacred for being politically active. The targets were not randomly chosen. The terrorist had written a detailed 1 500 page manifesto in which he spelled out his hatred. The manifesto is directed against our government, against the Labour party, against a multicultural society and against equality between men and women. It is Islamophobic, anti-feminist and anti-democratic. The terrorist might be a madman, but his views are shared by many – too many. His attack was a single act of terrorism, but the values he sought to undermine are widely attacked.

We live in turbulent times; extremism is on the rise. Systematic setbacks for the values this Council was established to defend paint the broader picture. The Economist publishes an annual democracy index. The 2011 index shows that democracy is under intense pressure across the world and in all of Europe. Hungary is among the many countries where democracy is flawed. Despite there being a majority in this Assembly for such a debate – albeit a small one – the situation in Hungary will not be debated this week with the urgency it deserves. This saddens and disillusions me – it should have been at the top of our agenda. Democratic institutions and the rule of law in Hungary are being dismantled, and we are seeing something else: an extremist party equipped with paramilitary troops is growing and being allowed to grow.

Why is right-wing extremism on the rise? A recent survey identified several factors: disillusioned youth; increased migration, which has helped lay the groundwork for a nationalist, sometime chauvinist revival; far-right statements appearing to lose much of their post-Second World War taboo; and a focus that is often only on Islamic, not right-wing, extremism.

Across Europe, far-right sentiments have become the political mainstream. Appealing to a sense of lost identity, extreme political parties have grown, bringing criticism of minorities on to the broad agenda. Some experts say that a hateful climate in the political discourse has encouraged violent individuals. This is a debate that European societies need to have: what is the relationship between extreme political views and violence?

Our only tool to combat extremism and intolerance is the open exchange of views. Freedom of expression is important in itself, but it is also the foundation for dealing with extremism. Only through discussion and open debate can extremist views be brought out into the open, be met with facts and counter-arguments and be defeated. Attacks on the freedom of expression are not just a violation of immediate individual rights; they are also curbing our ability to deal with extremism.

THE PRESIDENT (Translation) – Thank you. I call Ms Pashayeva.

Ms PASHAYEVA (Azerbaijan) – Dear colleagues, I would like to draw your attention to a very serious issue that is generating anxiety for the nearly 100 million Turkish people living in the member State countries of the Council of Europe, and to give you the related views of these people. I would also like to bring to your particular attention the concerns of the 500 000 Turkish people living in France. As you are aware, the French Parliament has adopted the draft law on the punishment of those denying the so-called Armenian genocide, and today this issue is being debated in the French Senate. Such actions are incompatible with the Council of Europe’s values, such as human rights and freedom of expression, the freedom to undertake historical research and so on.

Dear colleagues, you are well aware of the repeated addresses of the Turkish Prime Minister, Rejeb Tayeb Erdogan, to the Armenian authorities, saying that Turkey views positively the opening of all archives, but asking that “you also” open all archives. He said that all related archives in all countries should be opened, and that thus, the historians of Turkey, Armenia and all countries involved in the issue should co-operate in such researches. He said that the Turkish Government is ready to accept a decision resulting from those researches. Nevertheless, the Armenian authorities have given no reaction or reply to this proposal, thus rejecting unbiased historical investigations, as they reject them today. As they are well aware, that so-called Armenian genocide did not happen.

Nearly 500 000 people of Turkish origin inhabit France, and we can say that today the prisons will be waiting for these people. In such a situation, what will happen to values such as human rights and freedom? What if the historians, researchers and media representatives put forward different views based on their research into the so-called Armenian genocide, and make different assessments based on historical documents? We should think thoroughly about this. I am addressing both my French colleagues and colleagues from other member States. We should prevent the attack on such values as historical truth, freedom of expression and human rights in favour of political interests. Otherwise, we will lay the foundations of a negative precedent for the common present and common future of Europe.

THE PRESIDENT (Translation) – Thank you. I call Mr Dişli.

Mr DİŞLİ (Turkey) – Mr President, I, too, congratulate you and wish you all the best.

In recent decades, we have witnessed many events that I would call earthquakes. One was the end of the Cold War and the collapse of the Berlin Wall. Then, the geopolitical positioning of countries took place. The second such event was 9/11, the security crisis and the invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan. Now we are living in the era of global economic crisis, which economic politics describes as a budget deficit crisis.

As will be discussed at the upcoming Davos meeting, the world economy is being reshaped. Until the 19th century, Asia was the centre of the world economy. With the emergence of colonialism, by 1920 Asia had lost this status. Since the new global economic crisis, Asian economies are coming back. There is a great shift of economic activity from the west towards Asia. As Nouriel Roubini says, the main theme of this year’s world economic forum is the great transformation as old economic models begin to show their cracks. Some commentators say that state capitalism in various forms is replacing existing capitalism.

The third global confidence index, released in Davos, involving the thoughts of 1 200 global experts from the public and private sectors, states that the prospect of a major geopolitical disruption over the next 12 months has risen significantly to 54%, just as confidence in the state of global co-operation has dropped.

There is a danger that, owing to the crises taking place in many countries, political parties will continue to lose public support. Some countries now have appointed governments, and in some countries government parties are losing elections – and there are many elections in the pipeline. Because of electoral concerns, some governments, such as France, have begun to take populist actions. Mr Koç and Ms Pashayeva went into some detail on this subject, so I shall not do so now.

Populist actions intended to politicise history, and other actions of that kind, will merely lead to a further deterioration of public trust in European values, especially the values of freedom of expression, thought and research.

THE PRESIDENT (Translation) – Thank you. I call Mr Rustamyan.

Mr RUSTAMYAN (Armenia) said that the French Senate was expected to pass a law making it an offence to deny the Armenian genocide. Turkey had propagated nothing but lies and untruths about whether it was right for the Senate to adopt such a law. Turkey was not in a position to lecture other countries on democracy. Genocide was caused by hatred, xenophobia and racism. Preventing the denial of genocide would go some way to addressing these problems. It would not affect freedom of speech and it was not immoral. What was immoral was for Turkey to demand as symbols of friendship monuments to figures involved in the genocide. It was monstrous that Turkey continued officially to deny the genocide. There was a mausoleum in central Ankara where Adolf Hitler was commemorated alongside Turkish heroes. This underlined why such a law was necessary.

THE PRESIDENT (Translation) – Thank you. I call Mr Lecoq.

Mr LECOQ (France) said he had questions for two delegations. He asked to what extent the Moroccan delegation could claim to be respecting human rights when people protesting about the Western Sahara had been imprisoned by a military court.

Churchill had said that the mark of a democratic regime was that when you heard a knock on the door at 5 a.m. you knew it was the milkman. The President of the Palestinian Parliament had recently been arrested by Israel, and 20 of the 74 Hamas members of the Palestinian Parliament were also currently under arrest.

The second question was how the principle of personal freedom was being respected by Israel. The Assembly had to speak out on this point, and Morocco and Israel had to answer these questions. Democracy was not optional.

THE PRESIDENT (Translation) – Thank you. I must now interrupt the list of speakers. The speeches of members on the list who have been present during the debate but have not been able to speak may be given, in typescript, to the Table Office for publication in the official report.

3. Time limit on speeches

THE PRESIDENT – There are a great many speakers on tomorrow’s list wishing to contribute to the debate on the functioning of institutions. I therefore propose to cut the speaking time from four minutes to three.

Is that agreed?

It is agreed.

4. Date, time and agenda of the next sitting.

THE PRESIDENT (Translation) – The Assembly will hold its next public sitting tomorrow morning at 10 a.m., with the agenda that was approved this morning.

The sitting is closed.

The sitting was closed at 5.40 p.m.


1.       Progress report of the Bureau of the Assembly and the Standing Committee

      (continuation of debate)


Mr Harutyunyan (Armenia)

Mr Rigoni (Italy)

Mr Santini (Italy)

Mr Slutsky (Russian Federation)

Mr Gross (Switzerland)

Mr V. Fedorov (Russian Federation)

Mr Chagaf (Morocco)


Mr Çavuşoğlu (Turkey)

References to committees and progress approved unanimously

2.       Communication from Thorbjørn Jagland, Secretary General of the Council of Europe


      Mr Mendes Bota (Portugal)

      Lord Tomlinson (United Kingdom)

      Ms Rudd (United Kingdom)

      Mr Rigoni (Italy)

      Mr Villumsen (Denmark)

      Mr Kalmár (Hungary)

      Mr Mota Amaral (Portugal)

      Ms Christoffersen (Norway)

      Mr Tsiskarishvili (Georgia)

      Mr Marquet (Monaco)

      Ms Zohrabyan (Armenia)

      Mr Petrenco (Republic of Moldova)

3.       Free debate


      Sir Roger Gale (United Kingdom)

      Ms Brasseur (Luxembourg)

      Mr Villumsen (Denmark)

      Mr Mota Amaral (Portugal)

      Mr Popescu (Ukraine)

      Mr Chope (United Kingdom)

      Mr Santini (Italy)

      Mr Plotnikov (Ukraine)

      Mr Colombier (France)

      Ms Strik (Netherlands)

      Mr Koç (Turkey

Mr Harutyunyan (Armenia)

      Mr Salles (France)

      Mr Reimann (Switzerland)

      Mr Nikoloski (“The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia”)

      Mr Haugli (Norway)

      Ms Pashayeva (Azerbaijan)

      Mr Dişli (Turkey)

      Mr Rustamyan (Armenia)

      Mr Lecoq (France)

4.       Time limit on speeches

5.       Date, time and agenda of the next sitting.


Representatives or Substitutes who signed the Attendance Register in accordance with Rule 11.2 of the Rules of Procedure. The names of Substitutes who replaced absent Representatives are printed in small letters. The names of those who were absent or apologised for absence are followed by an asterisk

Francis AGIUS*






Florin Serghei ANGHEL*

Khadija ARIB*


Francisco ASSIS*

Alexander BABAKOV*

Þuriður BACKMAN*


Viorel Riceard BADEA

Gagik BAGHDASARYAN/Hermine Naghdalyan

Pelin Gündeş BAKIR



Meritxell BATET*


Marieluise BECK*

Alexander van der BELLEN/Sonja Ablinger




Grzegorz BIERECKI*



Brian BINLEY/ Amber Rudd


Roland BLUM/Rudy Salles

Jean-Marie BOCKEL*



Mladen BOSIĆ*

António BRAGA*


Márton BRAUN

Federico BRICOLO/Giacomo Stucchi



Patrizia BUGNANO*


Sylvia CANEL*




Vannino CHITI/Anna Maria Carloni

Christopher CHOPE


Desislav CHUKOLOV/ Yuliana Koleva




Deirdre CLUNE


Agustín CONDE


Igor CORMAN/Stella Jantuan



Cristian DAVID*


Giovanna DEBONO*

Armand DE DECKER/Fatiha Saïdi






Gianpaolo DOZZO*

Daphné DUMERY/Danny Pieters

Alexander DUNDEE*



József ÉKES


Lydie ERR

Nikolay FEDOROV*



Doris FIALA*

Daniela FILIPIOVÁ/Pavel Lebeda




Stanislav FOŘT*

Dario FRANCESCHINI/ Gianni Farina


Jean-Claude FRÉCON

Erich Georg FRITZ

Martin FRONC*

György FRUNDA*



Roger GALE

Jean-Charles GARDETTO

Tamás GAUDI NAGY/Virág Kaufer




Michael GLOS*

Obrad GOJKOVIĆ/ Snežana Jonica



Martin GRAF

Sylvi GRAHAM/ Ingjerd Schou

Andreas GROSS





Carina HÄGG*








Oliver HEALD

Alfred HEER


Andres HERKEL*

Adam HOFMAN/Adam Rogacki





Andrej HUNKO





Shpëtim IDRIZI/Kastriot Islami

Željko IVANJI*

Igor IVANOVSKI/Sonja Mirakovska



Michael Aastrup JENSEN*


Birkir Jón JÓNSSON*

Armand JUNG*






Bogdan KLICH*

Haluk KOÇ

Konstantin KOSACHEV/Oleg Lebedev

Tiny KOX


Borjana KRIŠTO*



Jean-Pierre KUCHEIDA/Françoise Hostalier

Dalia KUODYTĖ/Egidijus Vareikis

Ertuğrul KÜRKÇÜ


Henrik Sass LARSEN

Jean-Paul LECOQ






François LONCLE*

Jean-Louis LORRAIN*




Philippe MAHOUX


Nicole MANZONE-SAQUET/ Bernard Marquet




Meritxell MATEU PI

Pirkko MATTILA/Sirkka-Liisa Anttila



Michael McNAMARA


Ermira MEHMETI DEVAJA/ Imer Aliu





Dragoljub MIĆUNOVIĆ*

Jean-Claude MIGNON/Christine Marin



Krasimir MINCHEV/Petar Petrov




Patrick MORIAU



Arkadiusz MULARCZYK*


Philippe NACHBAR*

Adrian NĂSTASE/Tudor Panţiru

Gebhard NEGELE

Pasquale NESSA



Tomislav NIKOLIĆ*

Aleksandar NIKOLOSKI


Joseph O'REILLY*

Sandra OSBORNE/Michael Connarty







Johannes PFLUG


Lisbeth Bech POULSEN/Nikolaj Villumsen

Marietta de POURBAIX-LUNDIN/Mikael Oscarsson

Cezar Florin PREDA

John PRESCOTT/Joe Benton


Gabino PUCHE

Milorad PUPOVAC*

Valeriy PYSARENKO/Volodymyr Pylypenko


Valentina RADULOVIĆ-ŠĆEPANOVIĆ/ Zoran Vukčević


Mailis REPS*


Gonzalo ROBLES*


Maria de Belém ROSEIRA*





Branko RUŽIĆ/Elvira Kovács

Volodymyr RYBAK/Oleksiy Plotnikov

Rovshan RZAYEV


Džavid ŠABOVIĆ/Ervin Spahić


Giuseppe SARO*

Kimmo SASI



Urs SCHWALLER/Maximilian Reimann





Ladislav SKOPAL/Kateřina Konečná






Fiorenzo STOLFI

Christoph STRÄSSER



Björn von SYDOW


Vilmos SZABÓ*

Melinda SZÉKYNÉ SZTRÉMI/Gábor Tamás Nagy



Vyacheslav TIMCHENKO/Natalia Burykina



Latchezar TOSHEV



Ahmet Kutalmiş TÜRKEŞ


Konstantinos TZAVARAS*

Tomáš ÚLEHLA/Dana Váhalová


Giuseppe VALENTINO/Renato Farina






Vladimir VORONIN/Grigore Petrenco

Konstantinos VRETTOS

Klaas de VRIES/Tineke Strik



Piotr WACH


Robert WALTER*

Katrin WERNER*

Renate WOHLWEND/Doris Frommelt

Karin S. WOLDSETH/Øyvind Vaksdal

Gisela WURM

Jordi XUCLÀ*


Kostiantyn ZHEVAHO*

Emanuelis ZINGERIS*

Guennady ZIUGANOV/ Sergey Sobko


Vacant Seat, Bosnia and Herzegovina*

Vacant Seat, Cyprus*

Vacant Seat, Croatia*

Vacant Seat, Croatia*

Vacant Seat, Croatia*

Vacant Seat, Russian Federation*

Vacant Seat, Russian Federation*

Vacant Seat, Russian Federation*

Vacant Seat, Russian Federation*

Vacant Seat, Slovenia*

Vacant Seat, Slovenia*


Representatives and Substitutes not authorised to vote:

Konstantinos AIVALIOTIS



Reinette KLEVER


Jean-Pierre MICHEL

John Paul PHELAN


Martina SCHENK



Corneliu CHISU

Consiglio DI NINO

Hervé Pierre GUILLOT