AS (2014) CR 19
2014 ORDINARY SESSION
Monday 23 June at 11.30 a.m.
In this report:
1. Speeches in English are reported in full.
2. Speeches in other languages are reported using the interpretation and are marked with an asterisk.
3. Speeches in German and Italian are reproduced in full in a separate document.
4. Corrections should be handed in at Room 1059A not later than 24 hours after the report has been circulated.
The contents page for this sitting is given at the end of the report.
(Ms Brasseur, President of the Assembly, took the Chair at 11.35 a.m.)
1. Opening of the third part of the 2014 ordinary session
The PRESIDENT* – I declare open the third part of the 2014 ordinary session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.
2. Address by the President of the Assembly
The PRESIDENT* – Ladies and Gentlemen, dear colleagues, in this part-session, we shall be commemorating the 100th anniversary of the start of the First World War, a world conflict which claimed more than 18 million lives and 20 million wounded, among both civilians and the military. It was a conflict which led to combats of unprecedented violence, giving rise to the unspeakable horrors of a total war at global level. However, it took a Second World War, even more deadly and destructive than the first, for us to understand that it was not enough to win a battle – or even to win the war – in order to ensure peace. What is needed most of all, is to build peace together, between the vanquished and the victorious, and to build this peace on solid foundations. It was from this idea that the Council of Europe was born.
Today, while we are commemorating the tragic events of the beginning of the last century, I cannot help wondering whether we have learned the lessons of history. At our last part-session, we were obliged to react firmly to the violation by one of our member States of its commitments and obligations towards the Council of Europe. However, by adopting sanctions against the Russian Federation, we did not wish to close the door to dialogue. Clearly, it is by working together that we will be able to find a solution to the crisis in Ukraine. Nonetheless, the situation does not appear to be improving. In recent weeks, we have seen, with great concern, an escalation of violence. We have called on all parties to put an end to the violence and to have a wide-ranging dialogue on all sides.
For my part, during the 124th ministerial session in Vienna, I spoke briefly with the Russian Foreign Minister, Mr Lavrov. More recently, I had a long telephone conversation with the Speaker of the State Duma, Mr Naryshkin, and with the Speaker of the Verkhovna Rada, Mr Turchynov. My message is clear: given the escalation of violence, the first priority is to put a halt to the confrontations and we must all help bring this about by fully shouldering our responsibilities.
Let us be honest: a de-escalation presupposes not only a withdrawal of Russian troops from the border and a resumption of political and diplomatic contacts between both countries – as has been the case – but also taking appropriate measures to ensure that the separatists in eastern Ukraine receive no military or other support from outside. I am deeply alarmed by reports of the transfer to the rebels of heavy military equipment, including tanks which have apparently crossed the Ukrainian border from the Russian side.
At the same time, in order to make room for dialogue, the Ukrainian armed forces must halt their military operations, which have already claimed too many victims, both military and civilian. The humanitarian situation in the areas affected by the conflict is overwhelming: there are reports of thousands of refugees and displaced persons, cases of abductions and hostage-taking of children and OSCE observers, and of threats against the lives of journalists.
There is an urgent need to stop the violence and find answers to the humanitarian problems. In addition, the main players must face up to their political responsibilities, show restraint and avoid all provocation on both sides. In this context, the recent proposals from the President of Ukraine, Mr Petro Poroshenko, in particular to establish a cease-fire, declare an amnesty and initiate constitutional reform, all give genuine cause for hope.
Following the election of Mr Poroshenko with a very large majority and a high turnout, in voting which took place in conformity with our standards, I am convinced that we have a real opportunity to begin a process of normalisation in Ukraine, and in relations between Russia and Ukraine. It is therefore essential to implement the Ukrainian President’s initiatives as swiftly as possible, including in the field of political and institutional reform. The Ukrainian authorities can count on our support.
In the course of my telephone conversation with the speaker of the Verkhovna Rada last Thursday, I repeated our invitation to the President of Ukraine to address the Assembly during this part-session. To my great satisfaction, the president agreed to come on Thursday. I am convinced that our exchange of views will enable us to identify concrete areas of co-operation. We will also debate the political and humanitarian consequences of the crisis in Ukraine, as proposed by all the chairs of the political groups. That gives us the opportunity to examine the situation in all its complexity and to identify possible reactions.
For our part, the Assembly should also play its role as a platform for dialogue. In my recent telephone conversation with Mr Naryshkin, Speaker of the State Duma, I expressed my regret that the Russian delegation had decided not to participate in the Assembly’s activities. We spoke at length about what could be done to change the situation. Alas, I have to admit that we made no progress, but we agreed to stay in touch and on the possibility of a face-to-face meeting. It is important to pursue such contacts and I hope that we will soon reach a solution.
(The speaker continued in English.)
The crisis in and around Ukraine should not divert our attention from other member States that need our support, particularly Azerbaijan, Georgia, the Republic of Moldova and Cyprus, all of which have to deal with the difficult issues of resolving so-called frozen conflicts in their territories. Respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity is one of our fundamental principles. Independence and secession of a regional territory from a State may be achieved only through a lawful and peaceful process, not in the wake of an armed conflict leading to the de facto annexation of such a territory by another State.
In that context, I am concerned about people in Abkhazia in Georgia and Transnistria in the Republic of Moldova calling for those regions to join the Russian Federation. The annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation has created a dangerous precedent, but we must all join efforts to prevent it from happening again. Many of our member States have valuable experience in conflict resolution which we could use effectively. At the end of my recent visit to Dublin, I urged the Irish authorities and parliamentarians to use the experience of their country’s troubled history to help to solve some of Europe’s ongoing conflicts.
We are also monitoring conflicts in neighbouring regions with great concern. The situation in Iraq is extremely worrying, and I endorse the Committee on Political Affairs and Democracy’s idea of discussing the issue and possibly proposing a draft declaration for the Bureau, to be examined on Friday.
Supporting member States to implement their obligations and commitments to the Council of Europe is one of the priorities of my mandate as President of the Assembly. Azerbaijan, which is currently chairing the Committee of Ministers, needs our support today more than ever, because it must carry out large-scale reforms in order to fulfil its commitments and obligations. During the Standing Committee meeting in Baku, I had the opportunity to address our key concerns in a frank and open manner, especially those regarding freedom of expression, freedom of association, independence of the judiciary, political pluralism, freedom of the press and the fight against corruption.
I have also raised, at the highest political level, the issue of intimidation and pressure against journalists, political activists and opposition figures, some of whom I wish to visit – including Ilgar Mammadov, director of the Council of Europe school of political studies in Baku, and several other prominent journalists and civil society figures – if their detention continues. I hope that the recent judgment of the European Court of Human Rights in Ilgar Mammadov’s case, which confirmed the violation of the Convention, will lead to his release. I look forward to continuing our discussions on these and other matters with the President of Azerbaijan, Mr Ilham Aliyev, whom we will welcome tomorrow.
At the same time, we should not forget that, as a pan-European organisation, we must support all member States in the implementation of their commitments and obligations. We all know that migratory flows around the shores of the Mediterranean have created huge challenges for some of our member States, including in respect of the fundamental rights of migrants, asylum seekers and refugees. During my recent visit to Greece, I was able to see the extent of the problem with my own eyes. Asylum seekers and refugees cannot be protected unless responsibilities are shared between States. Tomorrow morning, we will hold a major debate on the issue, which I hope will help us to move forward.
Tomorrow, we will be called on to elect the future Secretary General of the Council of Europe. The elected candidate will start his or her mandate with a complicated political agenda, including the political crisis in and around Ukraine, the reform of the Council of Europe’s monitoring mechanisms, budgetary constraints, and the development of our relations with our regional neighbours, to name but a few of the challenges ahead of us. In such a crucial moment, the Parliamentary Assembly, as one of the statutory organs of the Council of Europe, must act as a prominent partner of the Secretary General and the Committee of Ministers in defending our values and standards. We must therefore give to our future Secretary General a strong political mandate for the next five years in order to work together on the many challenges we must face.
As I draw my remarks to a close, I remind you that, following the Azerbaijani authorities’ cancellation of the visa of one of our members and vice-presidents, Mr Rouquet, and in accordance with our established practice, on 22 May, the Bureau of the Assembly decided not to hold further Committee meetings in Azerbaijan for the next two years, unless, of course, the authorities guarantee the freedom of movement of members of the Assembly when they travel on Assembly business. It is unacceptable that one of our members could not go to Azerbaijan. Notwithstanding that decision, we will continue our close and constructive collaboration with the Azerbaijani authorities in the coming months.
To conclude, allow me to welcome to the Chamber our colleague, the Speaker of the Parliament of the Kyrgyz Republic, Mr Asylbek Jeenbekov. Since the April part-session, the Kyrgyz Parliament has enjoyed partnership status with our Assembly and we welcome you, Mr Speaker, as well as your parliamentary delegation, to this Chamber, which from now on is also your Chamber. At the end of this morning’s sitting, we will hold a ceremony on the occasion of the granting of partnership for democracy status to your parliament. I invite all members to join us for the event, which will take place in the lobby of the Chamber. Thank you very much for being with us, Mr Speaker, and we look forward to further good co-operation with your parliament.
I wish all of us a very good session, despite all the difficulties.
3. Ratification of new credentials
The PRESIDENT* – The next item on the agenda is the examination of credentials of new members. The names of the members and substitutes are in Document 13541. If no credentials are challenged, the credentials will be ratified.
Are any credentials challenged?
The credentials are ratified. I welcome our new colleagues.
4. Changes in the membership of committees
The PRESIDENT* – Our next item of business is to consider the changes proposed in the membership of committees. These are set out in documents Commissions (2014) 06 and Addendum 1.
Are the proposed changes in the membership of the Assembly’s committees agreed to?
The changes are agreed to.
5. Proposal for a current affairs debate
The PRESIDENT* – Before we examine the draft agenda, the Assembly needs to consider a request for a current affairs debate. The Bureau has received a request for a current affairs debate entitled, “Political and humanitarian consequences of the crisis in Ukraine” from the political groups.
At its meeting this morning, the Bureau approved the request.
Does the Assembly agree to this proposal from the Bureau?
The Assembly agrees to these arrangements. The current affairs debate will be opened by Mr Xuclà. The Commissioner for Human Rights, Mr Nils Muižnieks, will also speak in the debate.
6. Adoption of the agenda
The PRESIDENT* – The next item of business is the adoption of the agenda for the third part of the 2014 ordinary session. The draft agenda submitted for the Assembly’s approval was drawn up by the Bureau on 22 May and updated this morning. In view of the decision we have just taken, the Bureau proposes that the current affairs debate on “Political and humanitarian consequences of the crisis in Ukraine” will be held on Thursday morning at 10 a.m.
I also draw your attention to the fact that Mr Petro Poroshenko, President of Ukraine, will address the Assembly on Thursday at 12 noon.
Is the draft agenda, as amended, agreed to?
I call Mr Mignon.
Mr MIGNON (France)* – I know that a number of colleagues are asking about the item on the agenda about the election of the Secretary General of the Council of Europe. Of course, I regret that I have been eliminated from the election by the Committee of Ministers, which incurred the risk of reopening an institutional crisis such as the one that we knew five years ago. Over these past years in the Chamber, including as the President of the Parliamentary Assembly, I think I have shown concern for the interests of this Organisation. It is in the interests of this Organisation that you should vote and express yourselves in the election, and that it should not be deferred. The Council of Europe cannot afford the luxury of a fresh institutional crisis. The future of our Organisation is at stake, so I exhort all of you who have asked about the matter to participate in the election so that the future Secretary General, whoever he or she may be, will enjoy full legitimacy on the international scene.
The PRESIDENT* – I thank Mr Mignon, my predecessor as President.
Are there any further requests to speak with regard to the agenda?
Is the draft agenda, as amended, agreed to?
It is agreed to.
7. Time limits on speeches
The PRESIDENT* – To enable as many members as possible to speak, the Bureau proposes that speaking time be limited to three minutes today, tomorrow morning and Wednesday morning. Is this agreed?
It is agreed.
8. Adoption of the minutes of proceedings of the Standing Committee
The PRESIDENT* – The minutes of the meeting of the Standing Committee in Baku on 23 May have been distributed, Document AS/PER 2014 PV 02.
I invite the Assembly to take note of these minutes.
9. Progress report of the Bureau and the Standing Committee
The PRESIDENT* – The next item on the agenda is the debate on the progress report of the Bureau and Standing Committee, Document 13538 and Addendum and Document 13542, presented by Mr Jordi Xuclà; the observation of the presidential election, 13 and 27 April, and of the early parliamentary elections, 27 April, in “The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia”, by Mr Stefan Schennach, on behalf of the ad hoc committee of the Bureau, Document 13517; and the observation of the early presidential election in Ukraine, 25 May, by Mr Andreas Gross, on behalf of the ad hoc committee of the Bureau, Document 13543. We will hear all three presentations, before opening the debate to the floor.
I remind all members that we have just agreed to limit speaking time to three minutes. The sitting must conclude at 1 p.m., so I propose to interrupt the list of speakers at about 12.55 p.m.
I call Mr Xuclà to present the progress report. You have 13 minutes in total, which you may divide between presentation of the report and reply to the debate.
Mr XUCLÀ (Spain)* – Madam President, I congratulate you, as today is Luxembourg’s national day, which you are marking by presiding over our Assembly.
I wish to present the progress report on activities since the last plenary session. I express gratitude for the hospitality of the Azeri authorities at the meeting of the Standing Committee in Baku. I was satisfied with the opportunity to discuss that country’s commitments and outstanding obligations in advance of the visit of President Aliyev, and to have a useful and candid exchange of opinions. I point out, however, the refusal of the Azeri authorities to provide a visa to Mr René Rouquet, Vice-President of this Assembly and the president of the French delegation, which is completely unacceptable and contrary to international norms and the Paris Convention. In response, the Bureau decided in Baku to prohibit the holding of committees in Azerbaijan over the next two years. As the President rightly said, the decision does not include the ad hoc committee and may be changed if the Azeri authorities provide for the freedom of movement of all members of the Assembly. In Baku, we also heard responses to our legal arguments about Mr Seyidov, but the legal arguments prevailed.
As you know, following the resolution adopted by this Assembly in April, the Russian delegation decided not to participate in the proceedings of the Assembly until all its rights were restored in keeping with Article 9 of our Rules of Procedure. There are two aspects of that issue to highlight. On the one hand, we have clearly seen a violation of international law with the annexation of Crimea by Russia and that requires an appropriate response, which is what we achieved through the resolution we adopted at the April part-session. On the other hand, it is important to keep a parliamentary dialogue alive with our Russian parliamentary colleagues, a vision shared by many of my colleagues. We are parliamentarians and our job is to maintain a dialogue, however difficult that is, with our adversaries, who might argue against our agreements and principles. The Duma’s steps have not been in the right direction, but we must keep the desire for dialogue alive in the future.
Tomorrow, we will elect the Secretary General of the Council of Europe for a five-year term. I remind you that the election will start at 10 a.m. and will run until 5 p.m. and I call for a strong turnout as we have a responsibility to vote. The Committee of Ministers has the right to nominate and we in the Parliamentary Assembly are fully entitled to hold a free and secret ballot for the new Secretary General. We wish to see a new phase of close co-operation between the Secretary General and this Parliamentary Assembly.
The current affairs debate on Thursday will be on the political and humanitarian situation in Ukraine and its consequences as regards the crisis there. We will then hear from the new President of Ukraine, President Poroshenko.
The previous agenda did not allow an in-depth debate of events in Iraq, but we must pay close attention to what is happening there, and particularly to the humanitarian crisis in the country.
On Saturday we will have a ceremony to commemorate what happened 100 years ago on 28 June in Sarajevo, marking the start of the First World War. That is a wonderful opportunity for us to reflect on the past and on what happened during the 20th century and on the two major world wars that gave birth to this Council of Europe and offered us the opportunity to prevent conflicts in future. That is a solemn event and I urge the strongest participation in it.
Since the last part-session, election observations have taken place in Macedonia and Ukraine that will be the subject of reports from my colleagues Mr Schennach and Mr Gross. There will be election observations in Turkey on 10 August, in Bosnia and Herzegovina on 12 October and in Moldova at the end of November, as well as possibly in Bulgaria. I want also to announce that the European elections of 25 May mean that four of our colleagues in this Parliamentary Assembly have moved next door following their election as members of the European Parliament. We wish them every success and thank them for the work they have done over the years in this Parliamentary Assembly.
New rules have also been adopted during this period to ensure greater plurality in the list of speakers representing the various member States, and I think that that is an appropriate reform. If the report is adopted, there will also be an amendment to the Rules of Procedure as regards honorary members of the Assembly. This is an open issue and this morning the Bureau decided to re-examine it on Friday after looking further at the question.
That is all I wish to say. Distinguished colleagues, I wish you a successful week and every success in future.
The PRESIDENT* – Thank you, Mr Xuclà. I call Mr Schennach to present his report on the observation of the presidential and early parliamentary elections in "The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia". You have three minutes.
Mr SCHENNACH (Austria)* – We observed two elections, the presidential elections and the parliamentary elections. We also took part in a pre-electoral mission in which we spoke with people from several different levels of Macedonian society and had very clear discussions about the exact difficulties and problems and about what could be done to overcome them. We went to Skopje as part of that mission to explain exactly what those problems were and to try to do our best to ensure that the divisions would not increase. Sadly, the split between the ethnic Albanians and Macedonians increased and our appeal to stop hate speech unfortunately did not work.
During our discussions, we were told by people on all sides that the population did not trust the media or the political system. We flagged up the issue of the media, because – I say this openly – the media system is very inferior. The media campaigns and does great wrongs, and it does not do justice to the country of Macedonia. We also flagged up a number of unusual happenings. In a country of 2 million inhabitants, 1.8 million people cannot be registered as voters. Houses that have only one floor cannot suddenly have six and houses with only one door cannot suddenly have five. So-called ghost voters appeared and we recommended that Macedonia carry out a full survey to shed light on that. It is important that action should be taken to restore trust in the system. Be that as it may, the overall feeling about the elections was quite positive. They were conducted efficiently, even if a proper balance was not struck between the different candidates in the context of the media and the financial side of things. In some cases, the difference was 35 to 1. However, the elections were carried out properly.
Let me say one last thing. I regret the fact that there was organised participation in the elections. We certainly cannot welcome some of the actions that were taken.
The PRESIDENT* – I call Mr Gross to present his report on the observation of the early presidential election in Ukraine. You have three minutes.
Mr GROSS (Switzerland)* – I can restrict myself to three minutes but I cannot do justice to the elections in three minutes. The fact is that this was a revolutionary decision, taken the night after the president had left his duties on 21 February. Immediately after the election, the parliament had to organise a political body, which was set up at the time. We believed in this when we gave it our support. It was successful. This was a presidential election that took place throughout the whole country. We are aware of the responsibilities that had to be met throughout the country. From observing the election in Ukraine, it was a fair and open election, which took place without any intervention or manipulation on any side. There was clear selection and open discussion.
However, some people prevented elections from taking place throughout the whole country. In 24 of the electoral constituencies in the southern part of Ukraine, people were threatened and intimidated. Nonetheless, despite that situation, it was a very high-quality election and the quality of the process created a situation that means we have a president. We will be very happy to have discussions with him. The next step is to prevent more violence and unrest in the south-east of Ukraine, but we must make sure that the constitution is redrafted and improved. There should be better dialogue between the president and the parliament. We also have to overcome extreme centralism and hold new elections for the parliament so that within it we will have representation of the people – an echo of the people – and not, as in the old parliament, a situation where a few people have far too much influence and power. We will be able to update the situation.
The presidential elections were the first step and they were very successful. We can congratulate the Ukrainian people on taking this good and important step forward. We have to see that this was a protest of the population against what was going on in their country. Therefore, we can be very satisfied. Of course, we proposed possible improvements to the legal structures with regard to preparation for elections. They are not perfect and improvements could be made, but on the whole it was a very successful electoral procedure and we can congratulate people on doing this so well.
The PRESIDENT* – We will now proceed to the debate. I call Mr Flego on behalf of the Socialist Group.
Mr FLEGO (Croatia) – The progress report mentions many activities of the Bureau and the Standing Committee between the two Parliamentary Assembly sessions. However, on this occasion I should like to focus our attention on the unhappy events mentioned in paragraph 2.4, namely the impossibility of René Rouquet entering Azerbaijan. Two days after Mr Rouquet’s visa was issued, that very visa was cancelled and he was prevented from participating in the meetings in Baku. Mr Rouquet is a vice-president of the Parliamentary Assembly and regular member of the Bureau and the Standing Committee of the Parliamentary Assembly. He is also president of the French parliamentary delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly. Since the president of the Socialist Group, Mr Gross, was observing the Ukrainian elections at the time of the Baku meetings, Mr Rouquet was appointed as the representative of the Socialist Group for the Baku meetings. So, Mr Rouquet was forbidden from participating in the Baku meetings in his quadruple – at least – capacity.
Our countries sign and ratify international documents to regulate international and interstate relations, but also to introduce appropriate rules and laws in the respective countries. Countries sign and ratify international documents to stick to them. That is what international law is about. If, in particular cases, a State does not implement signed and ratified documents, it undermines international law and order. This is a very serious mistake and absolutely unacceptable. We should draw a lesson from this event. If something similar ever happens again, we should raise the question of whether such a country has sufficient capacity to chair any body of the Council of Europe. I repeat: Mr Rouquet is a high functionary of several bodies of the Council of Europe who was prevented by a member State from exercising his duties.
At a Bureau meeting this morning, we discussed several issues arising from the report on Azerbaijan, particularly in the context of the newest accusation that the Azerbaijani chairmanship abuses its presidential function. We expect the Monitoring Committee to provide a comprehensive and well-documented report very soon, so that we can know what the state of affairs on the ground is.
(Mr Mahoux, Vice-President of the Assembly, took the Chair in place of Ms Brasseur.)
The PRESIDENT* – I call Mr Nikoloski, on behalf of the European People’s Party.
Mr NIKOLOSKI (“The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia”) – I welcome the three reports, including that on the early parliamentary and presidential elections in Macedonia from April. The elections were organised and exercised in a good and democratic environment. Electoral legislation was adopted before the elections on the basis of cross-party consensus. Both the government and the opposition supported the electoral law and were part of the consultations while it was being amended. As the international observers note, the pre-electoral process was fair and candidates could freely campaign and present their programmes. The election date was, as the international observers also note, free and democratic, and the elections were organised, professional and effective. The results of the elections showed that Mr Gjorge Ivanov was re-elected as president with a huge majority, while the VMRO-DPMNE political party won the parliamentary elections, also with a huge majority.
On Thursday 9 June, a new government was elected in the parliament of the Republic of Macedonia, formed of the VMRO-DPMNE party and headed by Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski. The government stands for the programme presented to win the elections, which was oriented towards economic reforms and the European and Atlantic integration of the country. It also represents the diversity of Macedonian society with different ethnic groups, including Macedonians, Albanians and smaller nationalities represented in the new government.
The Social Democrat opposition, having lost these elections and faced with leadership problems, decided to boycott the parliament. That is not good for the country as we need a parliament that works to its full capacity, with both government and opposition parties. In that context, I welcome the statement of the Monitoring Committee, which is concerned about the decision of the Social Democrats and asks them to exercise fully their mandate in the parliament. I also welcome the statement of the European Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy, Mr Füle, who asked the opposition to take its seats in the parliament.
The decision that the post-electoral mission will visit Macedonia on 10 July to deliver those messages to all political leaders, especially the Social Democrat opposition, is a good one. I hope that the post-electoral mission of three prominent colleagues and friends – Mr Walter, the Rapporteur for Macedonia, Mr Schennach, the Chair of the Monitoring Committee and the ad hoc observation committee, and Mr Gross, the head of the Socialist Group – will find a base in the leadership of the Social Democratic party and will have success.
The prime minister has invited the leader of the opposition to meet. They will have their first meeting tomorrow, which we hope will result in the Social Democrats taking their seats in parliament. We remain fully committed to fulfilling all the necessary criteria so that we can have even better and more democratic elections in future.
The PRESIDENT* – I call Mr Chope to speak on behalf of the European Democrat Group.
Mr CHOPE (United Kingdom) – The decision about Mr Rouquet was taken by the Azeri Government, not by the Azeri delegation to this Assembly. As the current chairman of the European Democrat Group, I thank Mr Seyidov, who is the leader of the Azeri delegation and a member of our group, for hosting a successful Standing Committee and Bureau meeting in Baku. In his remarks at the Standing Committee, Mr Seyidov spoke of the need for our Assembly to address all frozen conflicts. I hope that we will take that message to heart. By way of an example, and to show what a broad church the European Democrat Group is, later this week we hope to welcome members from Prosperous Armenia to join our ranks and to sit alongside the Azeri members.
If I may, I will mention another member of European Democrat Group, Yuliya L'Ovochkina, who gave birth to a baby daughter two weeks ago. That is why she cannot be present today, but she wishes to attend the next part-session. I hope that she will be able to come as a proper representative of the Crimean constituency to which she was elected. Her situation is a stark reminder that the illegal annexation of Crimea must not be allowed to be consolidated into another frozen conflict.
Mr Xuclà and Madam President spoke of the need to maintain a dialogue with the Russian Federation. We agree with that, but it takes two to tango. The Russian delegation chose not to participate in the debate that led to sanctions being taken against them. It is a matter of regret that they are absenting themselves from the Assembly. There is nothing to stop them coming along to participate and debate, but they have chosen not to do so. That is a matter of regret.
The third thing that has happened since the last part-session is the European elections. I congratulate Mr Marias, another member of the European Democrat Group, who was elected to the European Parliament. I disagree with his view that the European Parliament is more important than the Council of Europe, but that is a private dispute. We must note the enormous dissatisfaction with the state of politics in Europe that was demonstrated by the people of Europe. One bright aspect is that the European Conservatives and Reformists Group gained more support in those elections and is now the third largest group in the European Parliament.
The PRESIDENT* – I call Ms Guţu to speak on behalf of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe. She is not here, so I call Ms Lundgren.
Ms LUNDGREN (Sweden) – There has been a misunderstanding about the list of speakers. I will represent the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe.
I congratulate the rapporteurs on their reports. We fully support the decision to cancel all meetings in Azerbaijan. It is a remarkable and drastic decision, but it is right because the Azeri authorities cancelled the entry visas.
We note the interest of the Assembly in a dialogue with Russia, but we also note that there is nobody here to have a dialogue with, because of the decision of the Russian Duma.
Elections are one of the basic indicators of democracy in Council of Europe member States. We must not look just at polling day. Elections and referendums must not be used as a quick fix. The so-called referendums in Crimea and eastern Ukraine were not acceptable because of the circumstances that surrounded them. Those events were unconstitutional, as has been pointed out clearly by the Venice Commission. When things take place in that way, it is to cover something up.
On the other hand, the presidential election in Ukraine was remarkably well done, given the violence in southern and eastern Ukraine and in Crimea. It was open to the whole country, as has been pointed out, and even to Crimea. The central election commission organised the election in a very appropriate way. There have been improvements in the system, although there are still things to be done. The high turnout, which was due to the polling stations not being closed by men with weapons, has given the result legitimacy. There was also plurality in the media, with all candidates taking part in the TV debates. We all applaud that election.
The PRESIDENT* – I call Mr Villumsen to speak on behalf of the Group of the Unified European Left.
Mr VILLUMSEN (Denmark) – I will focus on Ukraine because of the severe conflict that is taking place in that country.
The high turnout in the election was positive and showed that the people of Ukraine have a clear wish for stability. It is very regrettable that many voters were not able to participate due to violence and threats. It is important that we condemn the violence against politicians, presidential candidates, members of the media and journalists in the east and west of the country. Furthermore, the initiatives to ban political parties must be condemned by our Assembly.
I am happy that the report states clearly that there is no military solution to the ongoing conflict. All parties must cease using violence. The military offensive in the east of the country must stop. Political negotiations must be given priority and dialogue must be striven for. I fear that a continuation of the military operations in eastern Ukraine will lead to an escalation of the armed conflict, with growing casualties and a growing humanitarian crisis – a crisis that will not only affect the victims in Ukraine, but influence the whole of Europe.
The Council of Europe has an important role to play in assisting Ukraine to live up to its obligations to our Assembly. Ukraine needs to deal with the serious problems of corruption and oligarchy, and the violations of human and democratic rights. We must continue to pay full attention to those matters. We should give Ukraine a helping hand along the path towards democracy, social justice and equal rights for all, including minorities.
The PRESIDENT* – In the debate, I call Mr Rouquet.
Mr ROUQUET (France)* – Having my visa annulled was completely incomprehensible because, last year, I participated in a meeting that took place in Baku. Several speakers, Mr Flego in particular, have expressed the crux of the matter and I thank them for it. It was a serious violation of the basic principles of our Organisation and it cannot, and must not, constitute a precedent, because our credibility is at stake, at a time when there are direct and indirect attacks on democracy and the rule of law.
Today, I am speaking about the Ukrainian elections on 25 May. With others, I observed the elections and I want to tell you about my own observations on the ground. I will underscore several points that seem to me to be important at a moment of crisis, which is complicated.
Dealing first with participation and turnout, many people had feared abstentions, but many Ukrainians turned out for the vote, mobilising themselves despite a difficult context. The organisation of the elections was professional, with few problems and the conditions were good, with strong participation from young Ukrainians at the polling stations, as electors and as part of the organising teams, which is an important sign of well-developed political awareness among them.
Along the same lines, I emphasise that we were very struck by the political maturity of the Ukrainian people and their concern that the electoral process should take place in a calm atmosphere, despite the crisis. Ukrainians have successfully taken a major step by electing their president in the first ballot. That clear choice is central to the legitimacy of the new president, shoring it up, but also very much in the spirit of the Maidan, ensuring that it is not forgotten or betrayed, as happened with the first, Orange Revolution. Igor Lutsenko, a Euromaidan activist, rightly said on his blog that we do not want a change of person, but a change of system. That is what has happened.
The president will have many challenges to face, the first being to secure the Donbass region. Negotiations are under way. President Poroshenko has said that he really wants to be able to find a political settlement to the crisis. I regret that the Council of Europe should be excluded from the negotiations, but we would like to be sure of early elections to parliament before the end of the year to bring to an end the political reconstruction of the country. That should be the priority.
Mr ARIEV (Ukraine) – The most recent presidential election in Ukraine was the most transparent and honest since 2004, when Ukrainians voted after the Orange Revolution. Thus, the latest election was organised in the most difficult period in the modern history of Ukraine, because of inspiration from abroad. Our aggressive neighbour, Russia, annexed Crimea, which is part of Ukrainian territory, and then inspired and supported war in the eastern part of Ukraine. On those territories, it was impossible to organise a voting process except at risk for voters and electoral commission members. The national parliament took all necessary steps to secure the voting rights of everyone registered to vote in those territories. Special poll sites were organised for Crimea and Donbass voters. People displaced from the conflict zones also got a right to vote using special procedures.
Petro Poroshenko won in all electoral constituencies save one. You will see him this Thursday. Ukrainians voted for their new president in the first round to avoid possible military tension between the first and second rounds and to reduce expenses. Now we need to use our resources to restore the security system and the Ukrainian army, which were eliminated by the Moscow puppet regime of Yanukovych. In the election, Ukraine clearly confirmed that it is a democratic and European State. The people on the Maidan earned their right to transparent and competitive elections, without bribery or other pressure on voters and activists.
The wholesale change in Ukraine has made the Kremlin furious, so we have had aggressive behaviour from Putin since the inauguration of the new President of Ukraine. Putin and his team supported the terrorists in the east of Ukraine even more strongly, with more than 30 tanks, 20 heavy rocket systems and the recruitment of mercenaries who have Russian military officers. That shows the real face of the Russian dictator and proves how he ignores peace calls from around the world.
The existing sanctions against the neo-Nazi regime in Russia are ineffective. Putin is financing and supporting terrorists and we must all be clear about acknowledging this fact. However, the Ukrainian response to terror tensions is the reinforcement of peace initiatives and a unilateral one-week cease-fire.
I call on you all and the whole democratic world to support the peace initiatives of Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko. I believe in the democratic, peaceful and European future of Ukraine. We got our chance painfully; we paid a big price for change, but we can be relied on to keep to our chosen way after all we have been through. I welcome you beforehand to come and observe the next parliamentary elections in Ukraine, possibly in November or December, which will finalise the system changes in Ukraine. To be sure, those elections, too, will be held in a democratic and transparent way.
Ms BLONDIN (France)* – I was lucky enough to be an observer at the recent, challenging presidential election in Ukraine. The country was disorganised, had been stripped of part of its territory following the annexation of Crimea by Russia, and in the east was subject to separatist violence, which was encouraged if not instigated by a foreign power. In such dramatic conditions, the clear victory in the first round of Petro Poroshenko represented an undeniable victory for the Ukrainian people. It was a positive sign.
Ukraine, unlike several former Soviet States, is a true democracy, even if it has had to come a long way. The election, 10 years after the Orange Revolution, will remain the founding act of Ukrainian democracy.
The report submitted by our colleague, Andreas Gross, is very balanced, and I fully accept its analysis. It underlined the quality of the elections, which is a sign of the clear legitimacy of the new president, but it does not remain silent about the difficulties that have emerged or about the structural problems such as the absence of a unified electoral code, the impenetrability of electoral campaign funding, the shortcomings relating to the media or, once again, the influence of the oligarchy in public life. The shortcomings are not new, and Ukraine is invited to find solutions with the help of the Council of Europe, so that the country can have a strong system for the rule of law.
The report also debunked the mystery of the influence of the so-called fascists in government, showing Russia’s statements to be exactly what they are: shameless propaganda designed, under the pretext of protecting the oppressed Russian or Russian-speaking minorities, to reshape the borders, based on the geopolitical whim of Vladimir Putin. More generally speaking, the energy of Ukrainian democracy has defeated the Russian-led operation designed to destabilise Ukraine.
Of course, a great deal remains to be done in the east of the country. It is always quicker to split a society than to reconcile it. That said, the conduct of the election has shown the deep-seated aspirations of the Ukrainian people to fundamental freedoms, the unity of their country and to steering a pro-European course. It is clearly too early to state that Ukraine has emerged from this crisis, but the presidential election results lay a new foundation for a new departure.
The European elections were held not that long ago, and I could not help comparing the turnout in my country with that in Ukraine. That should give us pause for thought, especially those of us living in much older democracies.
Mr SEYIDOV (Azerbaijan) – It is of course not so easy to listen to criticism from our friends and from the Council of Europe, of which Azerbaijan has been a member for 14 years. We are today chairing the Council of Europe itself. However, I wonder why those who criticise Azerbaijan do not ask why Azerbaijan, being a member of the Council of Europe, and being in the position of chairing the Council of Europe, refused to give a visa to one member of our common house – it is strange. Why did we not give a visa to a vice-president of the Council of Europe, the leader of the French delegation and a very important and respectable person of the Council of Europe? The reason is that that person came illegally to the illegally occupied territories of Azerbaijan and violated – gravely violated – the international law that we defend in the Council of Europe. It is because of that international law that we came to this Organisation.
Could you imagine for a moment that the great Charles de Gaulle would have been happy if his friends from the United States of America or the United Kingdom had visited Paris during the occupation of his country? Never, never and again never would he have been happy with that, but it is the same situation today in Azerbaijan. That is why I asked my colleagues during the Baku visit and the meetings here in the Council of Europe to understand that the number of countries under occupation in Europe is growing. I am confident that, if there had been a special time when the Council of Europe had reacted adequately to the occupation of my country and its territories, the occupations of Georgia, Transnistria and Crimea could never have happened.
We are suffering today because of those closed attitudes to the violation of international law. I ask the Assembly please to return to the re-creation of the sub-committee or committee, or the report on, Nagorno-Karabakh, Crimea and the other occupied territories of Council of Europe member States. We should take into account the fact that, if the Council of Europe puts on the same scale the independence and territorial integrity of countries and the illegal violations of territory, we will be in favour of the territorial integrity of countries and defend it.
Mr HEER (Switzerland)* – I shall speak on the Ukrainian situation. I was an observer of the elections. Technically, they took place in a free atmosphere, but it was a difficult situation. Mr Gross, our rapporteur, said that people should not be disappointed, and that the people who demonstrated in the Maidan have placed great hope in the new president. However, the people who demonstrated at the time of the previous revolution – the Orange Revolution – were terribly disappointed. We hope that that scenario will not be repeated with the newly elected president, but we have no guarantees.
The difficult situation in Ukraine can be attributed to the fact that, for the past few years, we have been dealing with very corrupt governments. They did not see to the welfare of the people but wanted to fill their own pockets. The problems and unrest that have arisen are a result of poverty and dissatisfaction. The consequence is that Ukraine was invited into partnership with the European Union, which was supported by the Americans, who, in an age of globalisation, were interested in extending their power and support.
The Council of Europe is not made up only of members from European Union countries. Many other countries that are not members of the European Union are also in the Council of Europe, including Russia and its neighbouring countries. The point is that we should peacefully co-exist with other countries in Europe and be able to act and co-operate with them. The problems we have today should be resolved in a democratic way. I am not sure that free elections took place in some parts of Crimea. International observers are not sure that the people of Ukraine would like to be members of the Russian Federation. That must be taken into consideration. We do not want annexation. The process should be democratic. I hope that that is how things work out.
Mr DÍAZ TEJERA (Spain)* – I have three questions for the three rapporteurs, the first of which is on rules. The rules may be tough, hard or stupid, but they must be respected nonetheless, because it is better that there is a rule than not. Otherwise, we would have chaos, and only the strongest – the one with the most brawn – would have a say.
The State has three branches – executive, judicial and legislative. Why do we believe that the candidate for the post of Secretary General should be somebody who has experience of government? One of the three branches is the executive branch. I have known many people from executives at regional or national level. Nobody ever said they had special knowledge or access to special secrets. Nobody said that from human beings they became divine beings. My first question is therefore whether we think something should change or whether we follow that line.
I come to my second question. The Council of Europe includes countries that are not members of the European Union. Should we maintain what we have done up till now vis-à-vis those countries or should we change things? Some things that we are doing with those countries are good, but some are not. For example, there are double standards. I deplore the fact that in some countries, territorial conflicts are resolved through the use of force. At the same time, I do not support despising a country or parliamentary delegation and excluding it from the Council of Europe. That is a negation of politics and freedom of speech.
I prefer to allow all kinds of debate in this chamber. My vote and ideological stances are free, but everything should be debated, including things I do not agree with. I therefore express my solidarity with René Rouquet. I do not think the conflict was a good thing, but there have been conflicts for 20 years, including in Transnistria, South Ossetia, Abkhazia, Crimea and Nagorno-Karabakh. We should always confront such conflicts with words, politics and parliaments, without excluding any delegation or parliament. It is with reason and words that we can get things across. This is why I put these questions to the three rapporteurs. I would like to know what they think, because they are three intelligent and brilliant people who are always working in a positive way.
Mr JENSSEN (Norway) – First and foremost, I congratulate Ukraine on having elected a new president in a fair election, albeit under very difficult circumstances. This was an election crucial not only for Ukraine but for stability, safety and progress in the whole of Europe. In an election with a surprisingly high turnout, a clear majority of the Ukrainian people elected their president in the first round.
As a member of both of the pre-electoral mission and the ad hoc group, I must say that I am impressed that Ukrainians were able to carry out the election in a proper and orderly manner, despite strong anti-democratic forces in the east. Pro-Russian separatists both used, and threatened to use, weapons and violence to try to prevent free and democratic elections. Attacking polling stations was just one example. These forces are a threat to a peaceful, free and democratic Ukraine, and most Ukrainians have been, and are, in despair over their ravages.
The new president’s challenges are formidable. Mr Poroshenko must make peace in the east, and he must establish an association agreement with the European Union. There is a need for economic reforms and for the continued fight against corruption. The authorities must also ensure that the rights of the Russian-speaking minority are protected.
Ukraine is still in a very difficult situation. The country needs support to create stability and development. I am proud that Norway has had a clear voice on this matter. Together with other countries, we are supporting Ukraine both economically and politically, and we have, of course, responded very clearly to Russia’s violations of international law. The Assembly should, of course, also continue its support for stability and progress in Ukraine, and encourage the important job that is being done by the Secretary General and his staff on the ground in Ukraine.
I pay tribute to Mr Andy Gross. As head of the mission, his personal skills and experience have helped to make this a solid and very good observation mission, a task obviously greatly appreciated in Ukraine by Ukrainians.
(Ms Brasseur, President of the Assembly, took the Chair in place of Mr Mahoux.)
The PRESIDENT* – I call Ms Bourzai, the last of our speakers this morning.
Ms BOURZAI (France)* – On 22 to 26 May, I took part in the observation of the presidential election in Ukraine. I was sent to Kiev and its region. I was able to observe elections that were, as Andreas Gross reported, perfectly consistent with the democratic criteria of our Assembly. Moreover, I was able to admire the commitment of Ukrainian citizens both in the organisation of, and involvement in, voting. What a contrast with the poor turnouts on the very same day in the European elections, especially in my country of France. I was struck by the thanks expressed by citizens, who said that our presence legitimised the presidential elections.
Admittedly, in the Donbass region, the election was very much disrupted. There were no reports of fighting between insurgents and Ukrainian soldiers during the voting itself, but we have to accept that, as a result of threats and intimidation by separatists, only 20% of polling stations in the region were open. I note, however, that Petro Poroshenko was elected in the first round, coming top in the voting in the regions of west and east alike. With this electoral success behind him, I hope the Ukrainian President will successfully bring a swift halt to the conflict and take his country along the path of reconciliation. It is indeed urgent to guarantee the full restoration of respect for human rights in the eastern regions and the end of the murderous violence that has, unfortunately, recurred recently.
The Ukrainian and Russian Presidents have recently embarked on a dialogue and have referred to the conditions for a possible ceasefire in the east of the country. Nonetheless, I am worried about the repercussions of the gas conflict, which reached its height last week when Russia stopped supplying gas to Ukraine. What happens to relations between Russia and Ukraine is one of the key elements in finding a way out of the crisis in Ukraine, but we should not forget that the rest of the international community, first and foremost Europe, has a role to play. Mr Poroshenko, once he was elected, confirmed his resolve to bring about European integration. I will take the liberty of quoting the words of the President of France, who called on the entire international community to be supportive, in a responsible manner, of the emerging way out of the crisis. We should do everything possible to bring about the stability and effectiveness of Ukrainian institutions, and to foster a return to peace and independence for that country. That is why I support the firm position expressed by our President, by way of introduction to this debate.
The PRESIDENT* – I must now interrupt the list of speakers. The speeches of members on the speakers 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, Room 1081, for publication in the Official Report.
Mr Xuclà, do you wish to reply? You have five minutes remaining.
Mr XUCLÀ (Spain)* – It will be possible for us to speak about Ukraine in depth during the debate on Thursday, and Mr Gross will be able to speak in his capacity as head of mission, so we can return to this topic on Thursday. I would like to share my thoughts after having heard the different interventions.
In politics and in law, precedent is of great importance. The annexation, by force of arms, of Crimea to the benefit of Russia has created a precedent that will be very much discussed in the parliamentary debates of the Assembly. Some will take that precedent into consideration in our debates and in their relations between the member States of the Assembly. The period of frozen military conflicts can be sustained, but frozen conflicts can become live conflicts in parliamentary debates in this Assembly. That is one of the conclusions I have come to after hearing the different interventions today. We will have to face this debate. We will have to update our position and make it tally with international law and the actors involved in these so-called frozen conflicts. Precedents are very important. Our reaction, which was the appropriate and correct reaction before the illegal annexation of Crimea by Russia, reopens the debate on some of these frozen conflicts.
I said that we can talk about Ukraine in the future, but I would like to congratulate Mr Ariev on the announcement of elections at the end of the year, in November or December. This is very good news along the lines of the legal reforms now taking place at parliament level. There will be a new mandate after the approval of the constitutional and electoral reforms.
I will not use up the two remaining minutes. I do not know whether Mr Chope is here, but he recalled that, in the European Parliament, the Conservatives are now more numerous than other groups. There is a difference of just one seat with the Liberal group. The European Parliament is a broad legislature, as is the Parliamentary Assembly. In elections, the vox populi is a very important thing in democracy.
The PRESIDENT* – I thank the rapporteur. The debate is closed, but before I proceed to the approval of the activity report, we should rule upon the proposals of the Bureau for a number of references to committees for ratification by the Assembly, as set out in Document 13538 Addendum.
Is there any objection to the proposed references to committees?
Mr McNamara, you wish to raise an objection. You have 30 seconds.
Mr McNAMARA (Ireland) – I wish to object to the referral of the motion for resolution on Azerbaijan to the Monitoring Committee for information only. Instead, I propose that it be referred to the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights for action.
The silence of this Assembly in response to the allegations by Amnesty International – that there are 19 prisoners of conscience in Azeri jails while Azerbaijan holds the chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers – undermines our credibility and that of this entire Organisation. A rapporteur needs to be appointed by the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights to examine these serious allegations and report on them to the Assembly during the Azeri chairmanship. I ask for your support.
The PRESIDENT* – Mr Xuclà, do you wish to respond on behalf of the Bureau?
Mr XUCLÀ* – This debate has gone on for months in the committee of chairmen and twice in the Bureau. We concluded and voted that this core business matter is a substantive aspect of the monitoring process for Azerbaijan. It is not appropriate to remove that relevant aspect of the monitoring process from Azerbaijan; it should fall within the jurisdiction of the monitoring report. The position of the Bureau is therefore contrary to the proposal made by Mr McNamara.
The PRESIDENT* – We now proceed to a vote on the proposal from Mr McNamara to refer the matter to the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights. Those who agree with this proposal should vote “Yes”, those who agree with the Bureau’s proposal should vote “No”.
The proposal is agreed to.
As proposed by Mr McNamara, we will refer the matter to the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights.
Are there are any requests concerning the other referrals? That is not the case.
The referrals are ratified.
I invite the Assembly to approve the decisions of the Bureau requiring ratification by the Assembly, as set out in the progress report, Document 13538.
The progress report of the Bureau and Standing Committee is approved.
10. Next public business
The PRESIDENT* – Before I conclude this morning’s session, I remind members that in front of the Chamber we will have the official partner for democracy signing ceremony with the Kyrgyz Parliament. Please be present at the ceremony; we will meet outside the Chamber.
The Assembly will hold its next public sitting at 3 p.m. with the agenda which was approved.
The sitting is closed.
(The sitting closed at 1.5 p.m.)
1. Opening of the third part of the 2014 ordinary session
2. Address by the President of the Assembly
3. Ratification of new credentials
4. Changes in the membership of committees
5. Proposal for a current affairs debate
6. Adoption of the agenda
7. Time limits on speeches
8. Adoption of the minutes of proceedings of the Standing Committee
9. Progress report of the Bureau and the Standing Committee
Presentation of the progress report of the Bureau and Standing Committee by Mr Xuclà, Document 13538 and Addendum and Document 13542.
Presentation of observation of the presidential election (13 and 17 April) and of the early parliamentary elections (27 April) in “the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia” by Mr Schennach on behalf of the ad hoc committee, Document 13517.
Presentation of observation of the early presidential election in Ukraine (25 May) by Mr Gross on behalf of the ad hoc committee, Document 13543.
Speakers: Mr Flego (Croatia), Mr Nikoloski (“The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia”), Mr Chope (United Kingdom), Ms Lundgren (Sweden), Mr Villumsen (Denmark), Mr Rouquet (France), Mr Ariev (Ukraine), Ms Blondin (France), Mr Seyidov (Azerbaijan), Mr Heer (Switzerland), Mr Díaz Tejera (Spain), Mr Jenssen (Norway) and Ms Bourzai (France).
Replies: Mr Xuclà (Spain)
10. Next public business
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
Alexey Ivanovich ALEKSANDROV*
Werner AMON/Christine Muttonen
Lord Donald ANDERSON
Danielle AUROI/Maryvonne Blondin
Gerard BARCIA DUEDRA/ Sílvia Eloïsa Bonet Perot
José Manuel BARREIRO*
Ondřej BENEŠIK/Gabriela Pecková
José María BENEYTO*
Anna Maria BERNINI*
Maria Teresa BERTUZZI
Eric BOCQUET/Bernadette Bourzai
Mladen BOSIĆ/ Ismeta Dervoz
Nunzia CATALFO/Luis Alberto Orellana
Mikael CEDERBRATT/Mikael Oscarsson
Tudor-Alexandru CHIUARIU/Viorel Riceard Badea
Deirdre CLUNE/Olivia Mitchell
Carlos COSTA NEVES*
Joseph DEBONO GRECH
Armand De DECKER/Dirk Van Der Maelen
Manlio DI STEFANO*
Arcadio DÍAZ TEJERA
Peter van DIJK
Damian DRĂGHICI/Mihai-Viorel Fifor
Elvira DROBINSKI-WEIß/Gabriela Heinrich
Alexander [The Earl of] DUNDEE*
Lady Diana ECCLES*
Tülin ERKAL KARA
Franz Leonhard EßL
Joseph FENECH ADAMI
Cătălin Daniel FENECHIU
Daniela FILIPIOVÁ/Pavel Lebeda
Axel E. FISCHER
Gvozden Srećko FLEGO
Sir Roger GALE
Francesco Maria GIRO*
Jarosław GÓRCZYŃSKI/Zbigniew Girzyński
Alina Ştefania GORGHIU
Fred de GRAAF/Tineke Strik
Patrick De GROOTE*
Mehmet Kasim GÜLPINAR
Gergely GULYÁS/Bence Tuzson
Hamid HAMID/Mustafa Karadayi
Mike HANCOCK/Charles Kennedy
Martin HENRIKSEN/Sophie Løhde
Ali HUSEYNLI/Sevinj Fataliyeva
Igor IVANOVSKI/Imer Aliu
Tedo JAPARIDZE/Tinatin Khidasheli
Michael Aastrup JENSEN
Frank J. JENSSEN
Ulrika KARLSSON/Kerstin Lundgren
Jan KAŹMIERCZAK/ Łukasz Zbonikowski
Bogdan KLICH/Marek Borowski
Serhiy KLYUEV/Volodymyr Pylypenko
Kateřina KONEČNÁ/Miroslav Krejča
Unnur Brá KONRÁÐSDÓTTIR*
Attila KORODI/Corneliu Mugurel Cozmanciuc
Alev KORUN/Nikolaus Scherak
Jean-Yves LE DÉAUT*
Christophe LÉONARD/Pierre-Yves Le Borgn'
Trine Pertou MACH/Nikolaj Villumsen
Meritxell MATEU PI
Liliane MAURY PASQUIER
Sir Alan MEALE
Ermira MEHMETI DEVAJA*
José MENDES BOTA
Rubén MORENO PALANQUES
João Bosco MOTA AMARAL
Baroness Emma NICHOLSON*
Lesia OROBETS/Olena Kondratiuk
José Ignacio PALACIOS*
Eva PARERA/Jordi Xuclà
Marietta de POURBAIX-LUNDIN
Cezar Florin PREDA
Mailis REPS/Liisa-Ly Pakosta
Maria de Belém ROSEIRA*
Pavlo RYABIKIN/Iryna Gerashchenko
Laura SEARA/Alejandro Alonso
Arturas SKARDŽIUS/Algis Kašėta
Lorella STEFANELLI/Gerardo Giovagnoli
Björn von SYDOW
Lord John E. TOMLINSON
Ahmet Kutalmiş TÜRKEŞ
Snorre Serigstad VALEN
Petrit VASILI/Silva Caka
Imre VEJKEY/ Rózsa Hoffmann
Vladimir VORONIN/Constantin Staris
Klaas de VRIES
Draginja VUKSANOVIĆ/Damir Šehović
Piotr WACH/ Grzegorz Czelej
Dame Angela WATKINSON*
Tobias ZECH/Volkmar Vogel
Kristýna ZELIENKOVÁ / Ivana Dobešová
Marie-Jo ZIMMERMANN/André Schneider
Vacant Seat, Cyprus*
Representatives and Substitutes not authorised to vote
Hans Fredrik GRØVAN
Héctor LARIOS CÓRDOVA
Jorge Iván VILLALOBOS SEÁÑEZ
Partners for democracy
Mohammed Mehdi BENSAID