AA15CR12

AS (2015) CR 12

2015 ORDINARY SESSION

________________________

(Second part)

REPORT

Twelfth sitting

Tuesday 21 April 2015 at 10.00 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.       The text of the amendments is available at the document centre and on the Assembly’s website. Only oral or oral sub-amendments are reproduced in the report of debates

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

5.       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.

(Mr Rouquet, Vice-President of the Assembly, took the Chair at 10.05 a.m.)

      The PRESIDENT* – The sitting is open.

1. Changes in the membership of committees

      The PRESIDENT* – Our first item of business is to consider changes proposed to the membership of committees, as set out in Document Commissions (2015) 04 Addendum 3.

      Are these changes to the membership of the Assembly’s committees agreed to?

      The changes are adopted.

2. Election of judges to the European Court of Human Rights

      The PRESIDENT* – This morning the agenda calls for the election of judges to the European Court of Human Rights in respect of Andorra, Austria, Finland, Ireland and Liechtenstein.

      The list of candidates and biographical notices are to be found in Documents 13721, 13726, 13729, 13725, and 13718.

      The voting will take place in the area behind the President’s Chair.

      At 1 p.m. the ballot will be suspended. It will re-open at 3.30 p.m. At 5 p.m. I shall close the ballot. As usual, counting will then take place under the supervision of two tellers.

      I shall now draw by lot the names of the two tellers who will supervise the counting of the votes.

      The following names have been drawn from the ballot: Ms Marković and Mr Destexhe. They should go to the back of the President’s Chair at 5 p.m. The result will be announced, if possible, before the end of this afternoon’s sitting. If necessary, there will be a second round of voting tomorrow.

      I now declare the ballot open.

3. Mass surveillance

      The PRESIDENT* – The next item of business this morning is the debate on the report, “Mass surveillance” (Document 13734) presented by Mr Pieter Omtzigt on behalf of the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights, with an opinion from the Committee on Culture, Science, Education and Media (Document 13748), for which the rapporteur was Sir Roger Gale but is now Lady Eccles.

      I remind colleagues that there is a time limit of four minutes for speeches.

      In order to finish by 12.30 p.m., I will interrupt the list of speakers at around 12.00 p.m. to allow time for replies and votes.

      I call Mr Omtzigt, rapporteur. You have 13 minutes in total, which you may divide between presentation of the report and reply to the debate.

      Mr OMTZIGT (Netherlands) – Thank you, Mr President and dear colleagues. Before you is a piece of work that dates back to the summer of 2013, when Mr Snowden first revealed the extent to which the NSA and others are capable of spying on everyone and everything, and the extent to which they make use of their capabilities on the basis of permission granted in the wake of 9/11. The extremely far-reaching authorisations under the Patriot Act were given even more far-reaching interpretations that were kept secret to the point that even congressional leaders in the United States, let alone civil society, were completely unaware of what was going on.

      In January this year we had the terrorist attacks in Paris, which some were quick to call a European 9/11. The self-styled Islamic State repeatedly commits terrible crimes, which the terrorists then proudly advertise on the Internet. Hundreds of young people who have grown up in Europe have gone to join what they consider to be a jihad in Syria and elsewhere. Some of them may come back even more dangerous than they were before, with weapons skills and experience of killing.

      It therefore seems bad timing to put before you today a report calling for the upholding of fundamental rights and freedoms – including privacy – freedom of speech and information against intrusions by those who are supposed to protect us from the terrorists, but let me tell you that there is no better time or place than today and here in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe to stand up against calls to ignore human rights for the sake of security. Let me tell you why.

      Total surveillance of all our communications and movements is a real possibility, but total security is certainly not. We can easily lose all of our privacy. By the chilling effect of being aware that Big Brother potentially knows and remembers for ever everything we say or write, we lose our freedom of speech. Through the loss of the freedom of speech of others, we lose our own freedom of information, but we still cannot obtain total security in exchange. Solid studies on both sides of the Atlantic have shown that mass surveillance has proven ineffective in the prevention of terrorist attacks, while targeted surveillance has proven effective.

      Those who insist on collecting “the whole haystack”, as General Keith Alexander, the former NSA (National Security Agency) director, said, are not helping the fight against terrorism. Jim Sensenbrenner, a veteran Republican Congressman, rightly noted that “the bigger haystack makes it harder to find the needle”. Thomas Drake, a former senior NSA executive turned critic, said that “if you target everything, there’s no target”. The attack on the Boston marathon and the recent killings in Paris are well-documented cases in point: the perpetrators had been on the radar of the authorities for a very long time, but the relevant intelligence had not been properly followed up because it was drowned in a mass of data of thousands of people who were suspects.

      Flooding the system with false positives, big data approaches to counter-terrorism make it harder to identify the real terrorists before they strike. The answer to crime – and terrorism is just another form of crime: namely, murder with hate as the motive – is good, old-fashioned law enforcement. Of course, surveillance is a valuable tool for law enforcement – targeted surveillance, that is. Cultivating informers, investigating tip-offs, observing potential suspects and finding reasonable grounds for suspicion against individuals are the basis for obtaining a warrant to search a suspect’s premises, including, of course, his or her digital “home” located in computers, e-mails and social media. This is the way forward.

      The weaknesses introduced into encryption and other cybersecurity measures by the NSA in order to facilitate mass surveillance threaten the safety of critical infrastructures and even our bank accounts. Let us not forget: they forced “back doors” into systems. They can be used by the NSA, but they can also be used by everyone else. They are created intentionally and systematically, and no one is warned about them. They can be used by the NSA to fight crime, but they can also be used by rogue States, organised criminals and, last but not least, the next generation of terrorists, who may find it more effective to sabotage our electricity supply or air traffic control than to shoot. Recent weeks have given us a small glimpse of what can happen: the Hollywood hack against the producers of a spy comedy that angered the North Korean regime, and the recent cyber-attacks against TV5 and several Belgian media outlets.

      As we can see, defending our privacy by resisting the seemingly inexorable growth of the “surveillance-industrial complex”, which I describe extensively in the report, does not amount to helping the terrorists – quite the contrary! I am therefore firmly convinced that the recent discussions in France about “legalising” mass surveillance practices, which seem to have been happening in the grey already for quite some time, go in the wrong direction.

      The same is true of the agreement reached in Germany last week, according to media reports. Recent proposals by British and German politicians to place legal restrictions on encryption and other measures of self-data protection are also dangerous. They would further weaken our protection against terrorists and other criminals. Even now, our data do not seem to be as safe. If the Chinese were able to access the plans for the next United States fighter plane, the F-35 – the only one capable of dropping nuclear weapons – which the United States does not want to be stolen, what would be safe? Where would we draw the line if we did not want to use encryption? Do we not want to encrypt our health infrastructure, our health insurance data and our bank accounts, too? Do we not want to use encryption for our own secret services and police? Of course we want to use encryption for at least half our society, but why would we use encryption only for health data and not for our own personal e-mail? That is not going to work.

      Finally, please let me stress that the report is by no means anti-American. I am a very strong supporter of the Euro-Atlantic alliance, which for 70 years has helped us greatly to protect our freedom. However, we should protect our own freedom. We are indebted to someone who is in my eyes an American patriot – Mr Snowden – for the fact that we are now aware of mass surveillance and intrusion practices that threaten the privacy of Europeans and Americans alike. I have also explained quite clearly in the report that European intelligence services deserve a fair deal of criticism too. The danger that the mass surveillance tools developed by the NSA and its allies will one day fall into the wrong hands puts our greatly valued freedom in danger.

      The concrete proposals developed in the draft resolution, including the negotiation of a mutually agreed intelligence codex – proposed by the former head of the German intelligence services, Mr Geiger – are designed to re-create the trust that was lost not by Mr Snowden’s revelations but by the practices he revealed. Renewed trust is needed as a basis for meaningful co-operation between our countries to fight the scourge of terrorism while upholding the very freedoms the terrorists want to destroy. This is an opportunity to uphold the values of freedom and democracy in the face of the challenge posed by terrorism. Let us seize it. Thank you.

      The PRESIDENT* – Thank you very much, rapporteur. You have five minutes left for your response to the debate. Lady Eccles, it is now my pleasure to give you the floor to present the opinion of the Committee on Culture, Science, Education and Media.

      Lady ECCLES (United Kingdom) – Thank you, Mr President. My colleague Sir Roger Gale apologises for not being here today, but he is in the middle of the general election campaign. It is a pleasure to be here in his place.

      The release of confidential documents by Edward Snowden in 2013 has drawn public attention to mass surveillance of Internet communications. However, the actions of the so-called Islamic State show us clearly that public safety and national security are threatened in a new and alarming dimension today. Terrorists are using the Internet and leave traces there. It is very important for us to agree how we should monitor such data in the interests of public safety without transgressing the boundaries of human rights, and to send out a clear signal that for terrorists there can be no hiding place on the Internet or anywhere else. Unfortunately, the report does not address that problem in detail. Instead, it focuses narrowly on Edward Snowden and his involvement with the intelligence service of the United States of America and other NATO partners. For this reason, Sir Roger and our committee unanimously felt that a number of amendments are necessary.

      Paragraph 7 of the draft resolution speaks about “extensive use of secret laws and secret courts, as well as secret interpretations of such laws”, but the report does not provide evidence. Laws are passed by parliaments and courts are established by law. It is therefore a contradiction to call them secret.

      Paragraph 14 of the draft resolution claims that there is reluctance among authorities “to contribute to the clarification of the facts”, and that there is “harsh treatment” of Edward Snowden. Again, no convincing evidence is provided. Edward Snowden is living in Russia with a residence permit, housing and remunerated work. The United States prosecutor’s filing of charges against him is proper practice, and cannot be called “harsh”.

      Article 42 of the European Convention on Human Rights empowers the Secretary General of the Council of Europe to launch an inquiry against a member State. The power is discretionary. If, within one year, he has decided not to launch an action against France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, the United Kingdom and other member States, it is not for the Assembly to seek to challenge his decision. In fact, those States have already instigated their own internal inquiries.

      To have credibility, the report adopted by the Assembly must be based on facts supported by evidence. With that in mind, our amendments strengthen, rather than weaken, the report prepared on behalf of the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights. I therefore commend the adoption of the amendments proposed unanimously by my committee.

      The PRESIDENT* – Thank you, Lady Eccles. Let me remind colleagues that the speaking time for this morning’s debate is a maximum of four minutes. I call Mr Büchel to speak on behalf of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe.

      Mr BÜCHEL (Liechtenstein)* – Dear colleagues, I support the rapporteur’s views completely. It is extremely worrying how much mass surveillance has increased recently. This report and others of its ilk are enormously important. Technology is still young, and we must work on finding a viable way of working and living together, bearing in mind all its consequences. Human rights, democracy and the rule of law are our values in the Council of Europe and we must ask ourselves whether they can be safeguarded in the virtual world. I congratulate the rapporteur on his good, sound and important report.

      It is interesting that intelligence services have brought in this surveillance through the back door and have not disclosed what they should. We must now have legislation on mass surveillance that does not allow all data to be accessed. The right to privacy must be upheld. That right has been circumvented by countries swapping data internationally.

      I have only one point of criticism. Edward Snowden has disclosed a vast amount of documents. That, too, is worrying. One central element of the report is the fact that technological progress has led to mass surveillance in modern society, and it would be naďve to believe that the challenge in that regard is restricted only to the intelligence services. We must assume that the ongoing digitalisation of our daily lives will mean that anyone with the necessary technological knowledge could engage in mass surveillance and the collection and analysis of data, whatever their aim might be. We must learn to live with that.

      It is not enough simply to believe that we can overcome the challenge by encouraging whistle blowing, especially if we look at the extent of irregular or illegal data collection. We cannot simply rely on whistle blowers, or one single whistle blower, to solve that problem. Someone might point out that some activity is illegal, but it is a grey area. There is too thin a line between irregular and illegal activity to encourage or promote whistle blowing.

      The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe and its member States must look at solutions to provide a legal framework across all borders. The virtual world needs clear rules to abide by. Monitoring and supervisory bodies must be independent and must ensure transparency and justice in the digital world, just as we would expect in the real world.

      The PRESIDENT* – Thank you, Mr Büchel. I call Ms Konrádsdóttir, from Iceland, who will speak on behalf of the European Conservatives Group.

      Ms KONRÁĐSDÓTTIR (Iceland) – I thank the rapporteur for this important report. When discussing mass surveillance, the right to privacy eventually always collides with views on how far authorities can go in diminishing that right in the interests of the security of society as a whole. It is a fine line, which should be discussed on a broad basis. However, we must all agree that it is not okay to spy on everything and everyone.

      The report recognises the need for effective targeted surveillance of suspected terrorists and other organised crime groups. Targeted surveillance can be an effective tool for law enforcement and crime prevention. As indicated in the report, independent reviews in the United States show that mass surveillance does not appear to have contributed to the prevention of terrorist attacks. We should be worried that resources that might prevent attacks have been devoted to mass surveillance, leaving potentially dangerous persons free to act.

      Mass surveillance is not a new phenomenon, but today’s technology provides State authorities with much more advanced and comprehensive ways to spy on citizens than there have been in the past. That has led to mass surveillance on a new and so far unknown scale. Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights states: “Everyone has the right to respect for his private and family life, his home and his correspondence…There shall be no interference by a public authority with the exercise of this right except such as is in accordance with the law and is necessary in a democratic society in the interests of national security, public safety or the economic wellbeing of the country, for the prevention of disorder or crime, for the protection of health or morals, or for the protection of the rights and freedoms of others.” Surveillance by law enforcement authorities must respect the safeguards established by the Convention, and, with regard to national security, must be carefully defined in domestic law.

      At the same time, we have to face the fact that terrorists are increasingly using sophisticated technology to cause harm. States must therefore be able to use surveillance to counter terrorist threats effectively. In that regard it is worth taking note of the judgment of the European Court of Human Rights in the case of Klass and Others v. Germany: “Democratic societies nowadays find themselves threatened by highly sophisticated forms of espionage and by terrorism, with the result that the State must be able, in order effectively to counter such threats, to undertake the secret surveillance of subversive elements operating within its jurisdiction.” As we have seen many times, situations can emerge in which surveillance is justified.

      Mass surveillance of the lives of all citizens does not correspond to the way in which most of us view our important right to privacy. As noted earlier, it is a very fine line.

      The PRESIDENT* – Thank you, Ms Konrádsdóttir. I now give the floor to Mr Jónasson, on behalf of the Group of the Unified European Left.

      Mr JÓNASSON (Iceland) – I thank the rapporteur, Pieter Omtzigt, for his truly excellent report and comprehensive proposals. The Group of the Unified European Left discussed the report at length. We believe that the issue of mass surveillance is of high importance and should be prioritised. We came to the conclusion that the report was to be highly recommended and consequently supported. We also support most of the rapporteur’s supplementary proposals, some of which are a gesture of compromise. The spirit of the paper and the recommendations are kept intact. On the other hand, our group definitely does not support Sir Roger Gale’s amendments, which, if accepted, would take the necessary bite out of the proposals and could, to some extent, be seen as a defence of questionable practices.

      The technical possibilities for mass surveillance are developing fast, but, alarmingly, so is the willingness in many seats of power to utilise those possibilities. The last proposal was to map out and file information on all our air travel and to put that information at the disposal of security services – I am referring to the PNR (Passenger Name Record) system.

      Edward Snowden’s disclosures have rightly been referred to. We owe Snowden a huge democratic debt. He is being treated harshly, with a prosecution pending in the United States, his home country, if he returns there, but his disclosures have shed light on the practices of the national security services of the United States and its allies. They have given reason for all defenders of democracy and freedom to be on their toes.

      Pieter Omtzigt refers to the development of an ominous culture and hits the nail on the head by stating: “In several countries, a massive ‘Surveillance-Industrial Complex’ has evolved, fostered by the culture of secrecy surrounding surveillance operations, their highly technical character and the fact that both the seriousness of alleged threats and the need for specific counter-measures and their costs and benefits are difficult to assess for political and budgetary decision-makers without relying on input from interested groups themselves. These powerful structures risk escaping democratic control and accountability and they threaten the free and open character of our societies.”

      That is the crux of the matter. Therefore, we need a strong message from the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe – we want to be the guardian of human rights. It is no understatement when the report states: “The surveillance practices disclosed so far endanger fundamental human rights”. It is therefore time for us to stand up against those developments. I thank the rapporteur for his excellent report.

      The PRESIDENT* – Thank you, Mr Jónasson. I call Mr Vercamer to speak on behalf of the Group of the European People’s Party.

      Mr VERCAMER (Belgium)* – The report covers a very important and sensitive issue. I congratulate the rapporteur, who has managed to draft an interesting report. The Snowden revelations teach us that mass surveillance runs the risk of not being controlled democratically and not being subject to the obligation of accountability. It threatens the free and open nature of our societies. We must combat terrorism, but at the same time we must respect the rights of citizens and their private lives.

      The EPP Group would like to draw attention to two important paragraphs, the first of which is on the problem of the extensive use of secret laws and courts, and the secret interpretation of those files. They are not controlled sufficiently or democratically, which means that we have not adapted our laws to the technical changes in computer use to guarantee the rights of citizens and their private lives.

      The second important aspect is the invitation addressed by the European Parliament to the Secretary General of the Council of Europe to use the authority granted to him under Article 52 of the European Convention on Human Rights to ask States parties to explain how they intend to implement the relevant provisions of the Convention. That recognises the important role of our Assembly.

      We do not want to abolish surveillance – far from it – but we want to ensure that it takes place within a legal and technical framework that is based on full respect for human rights and the rule of law, in order to guarantee the rights of citizens to their private lives. I invite delegates to read the report, to vote in favour of it, and to apply its recommendations. I congratulate the rapporteur on an important job of work done.

      The PRESIDENT* – Thank you, Mr Vercamer. I call Mr Le Borgn’, on behalf of the Socialist Group.

      Mr LE BORGN’ (France)* – I congratulate Pieter Omtzigt on the quality of his report. Are mass surveillance tactics effective in preventing risks, particularly terrorist risks that threaten our free and open societies? I am not convinced they are. Recent history – tragic recent history – has unfortunately not proved to be decisive. I believe much more in targeted intelligence activities aimed at people who are suspected of preparing terrorist or criminal activity.

      Effectiveness and the rule of law must be the first consideration. It is not by sacrificing individual freedoms that we will gain in, or win, the fight against the enemies of democracy. The intelligence operations courageously denounced by Edward Snowden clearly show how much we are trampled underfoot by the intelligence services in the United States and their partners in Europe. The essential elements of the European Convention on Human Rights are the rights to freedom of expression and of information, and respect for private life. I am not in any way condemning intelligence and data-gathering activities – they are necessary – but, as a parliamentarian and a citizen, I want them to be clearly defined and to be framed in law.

      That subject is currently being debated in the National Assembly in Paris. I am delighted that the government Bill on intelligence is before French Members of Parliament. For the first time, the aim is to establish a legal framework for intelligence activities and democratic control. However, I am concerned that the insufficiently vague activities of intelligence missions and the extension of means and techniques for intelligence gathering could make possible mass surveillance that does not have much concern for the rule of law. I want to ensure that there is stringent control, including in the form of the principle of proportionality, and protection for whistle blowers, including the right of asylum. I also want the measure to include a duty of disobedience for civil servants if manifestly illegal orders are given.

      We live in a difficult time. Democracies, our societies and freedom are always under threat. It is natural that the requirements of the war against terror are weighed up in all sincerity against respect for human rights, which provides the framework for the peace in which we live. Anyone in this Chamber or in the Chambers of our national parliaments who holds human rights dear to their hearts would not think to put the question in those terms. We must have neither hawks nor doves, but women and men who are elected by common suffrage fighting for security and for freedoms at national and European levels. That is why the Socialist Group gives its support to Mr Omtzigt’s report and its proposals, including the multilateral code for intelligence gathering, which he recommends we adopt on the basis of mutual confidence, which is the foundation for our living together as Europeans.

      The PRESIDENT* Thank you. The rapporteur has an opportunity to respond to the speakers either now or at the end of the debate.

      Mr OMTZIGT (Netherlands) – Three minutes now and three later if possible.

      I thank delegates for their compliments on my report and for their criticisms. I would like to reply to them now and take other questions later.

      To Lady Eccles and Sir Roger, I say that paragraphs 48 and 49 of the report clearly state that there are secret laws and secret interpretations. The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court does not give public statements, and when it was found out, it gave way to the National Security Agency. Companies such as Google and Microsoft had to obey the orders but denied publicly that the courts existed. How much proof do you want that there are secret courts?

      On paragraph 14, there would have been no convincing evidence that we invited the United States; we invited it twice to give evidence – not with Snowden, because we understood that it did not want that – either in an open or closed hearing or to write us a letter. Nothing was ever supplied. How much evidence do you want that it was not co-operating? The Article 52 inquiry was already in the proposition that I tabled before the Assembly when we started the report.

      I thank Mr Büchel, Ms Konrádsdóttir, Mr Jónasson, Mr Vercamer and Mr Le Borgn’ for their kind words. I say to Mr Le Borgn’ that it is indeed up to the national parliaments to take actions in the end but it would be good to have an overview because it appears that one country is spying on all its allies. That is not what we want in the spirit of allies and peace in Europe. I will leave the other questions to the end.

      The PRESIDENT* – Thank you. You will have three minutes left to reply to the following speakers.

      Mr RECORDON (Switzerland)* – Espionage and counter-espionage have been around since the beginning of time. A novel feature is that we are also seeing the emergence of the fact that these procedures are impinging increasingly on public security and breaching public freedoms. This is a cause of concern because we are losing ground when it comes to both freedom and security. That is why all our countries need to think hard about how they restore relations in an area that passed unnoticed when there was only makeshift eavesdropping. Mr Omtzigt has a lot of promising ideas, especially when it comes to domestic surveillance and dealing with countries that are still inclined to address the issue through democratic values, mindful of the need to sustain and preserve freedoms.

      The instruments suggested by the report, such as enhanced judicial and parliamentary supervision, are essential. The fact that there are secret courts is a source of shame, and I am delighted that Switzerland is in the process of reforming its supervisory arrangements. The idea of a code of conduct is also a very promising proposal; we need to be able to encompass as many countries as possible to ensure that it is an effective arrangement so that we can extend our reach to these friendly, like-minded States that would also be concerned to monitor surveillance operations.

      Encryption is a far-reaching idea that might be introduced even before the introduction of a codex. There are many unfriendly, hostile countries that flout the rules and that will still be able to impinge on the rights of our citizens. Need we remind ourselves of the importance of protecting whistle blowers?

      I stress the need to react to surveillance undertaken by countries that could not care less for human rights and democracy and unfortunately find completely alien the values that we have developed over centuries. In relation to such States, we need to develop new ideas. Indeed, from speaking to our rapporteur I know that there are some interesting ideas. We already have a fairly full programme but there are more areas that we need to explore further, especially when it comes to acquiring more technical resources. Perhaps a level of political pressure might be required so that we can protect the privacy of ordinary citizens.

      In conclusion, like Mr Jónasson, I am rather sceptical about the amendments as quite a few of them simply weaken the report.

      Mr POZZO DI BORGO (France)* – The report before us by Mr Omtzigt shows the excellence of the work of our Assembly. It exposes the results of a long and complex investigation into the Snowden case, which showed that there was mass surveillance by the NSA and other governments in the West. It would be naďve to believe that everyone is not listening to everyone else; the really shocking part is the illegal collection of personal data for surveillance purposes, which is going on in apparently democratic countries, and, indeed, in the first power of the world. Even Angela Merkel’s mobile phone was being listened to. We had been confident about using technology, but it has become a terrible thing, and its progress is very much ahead of human rights.

      The revelation of the NSA practices that would not have been as effective without the complicity of major United States companies at least had the virtue of triggering this debate on mass surveillance and looking at the role of governments, journalists and members of parliament in the digital era as well as the importance of online privacy. In a wider sense, this has highlighted the ambiguous role of the Internet and social media. The Internet has become part of our daily life and we tend not to realise how potent it is in terms of surveillance. It guarantees a very wide audience for opinions and ideas but it also facilitates surveillance on a scale that smaller dictatorships could not even have envisaged a long time ago. The Internet is now part of human rights, but how can we protect individual freedoms in the context of a war against terrorism, when States will always prioritise surveillance and repression?

      We need to put a stop to this unbridled and untrammelled mass surveillance. Reflection is still continuing, particularly in the European Union. Google is more powerful than the European Union, more powerful than the Americans. Restricting its power is necessary if we want to uphold human rights. The creation of an information market, as Commissioner Oettinger wants, is vital in Europe for individual freedom. It is perhaps not the role of democratic governments to block the Internet or to prevent the free circulation of information – nevertheless, it is their duty to ensure security, including the Internet.

      We understand that we could not stop cyber-attacks, as we saw recently in France when TV5 was hacked. The current context is very much associated with this fight against the media jihad. It is good that the report refers to that. It is paradoxical that there is surveillance of peaceful civilians but surveillance on terrorists can be blocked. Information security will concern all of us in the future, as it is about human beings and their role in society. I am convinced that in this area open democratic societies have more to lose than authoritarian societies, and so I congratulate the rapporteur on his report.

      Mr NICOLAIDES (Cyprus) – I thank the rapporteur, Mr Omtzigt, for this report and for the opportunity that was given to the members of the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights to hear Mr Snowden’s account of NSA activities. We owe Mr Snowden much, as his revelations triggered the important debate we are having here today about privacy, freedom of expression and the State’s legitimate concerns.

      Strikingly, as is evident in the report, new technologies and the digital environment have not only facilitated communication globally and enhanced participatory democracy, but heightened surveillance practices performed by States that increasingly depend on the use of and comparative advantage provided by the exploitation of sophisticated technology, allowing them indiscriminately to collect information on citizens. That is a direct threat to privacy and individual freedoms, and, consequently, to democracy itself. The respect for democracy in all its expressive forms must be safeguarded, so, as parliamentarians, we should strive to ensure that technological advances strengthen, rather than undermine, the privacy of our citizens’ lives, independently of their nationality, gender, race, or personal or economic status.

      The world of government surveillance is indeed a secret one. If we consider that the core values of democracy in this context remain citizens’ trust in democratic institutions, security and freedom of expression, we must find ways to scrutinise State surveillance more effectively. Although government surveillance may be legitimate in some cases – for example, for national security reasons or to restore public order and combat organised crime – such practices should never become generalised. Surveillance should rather be targeted and proportionate, and should be pursued within the boundaries of a democratic legal framework that respects basic human rights. Intelligence services must be subjected to adequate judicial and parliamentary control – any deviation from that could be dangerous for democracy. Privacy is essential to human dignity and individuality. People must feel secure to express themselves and communicate freely, which means having the possibility of expressing dissent, and the ability to hold public debates and to have citizens’ privacy respected. In its most extreme form, mass surveillance not only trespasses on fundamental human rights, but constitutes censorship and political persecution in order to silence dissent from whatever source, be it human rights activists, political opponents or journalists.

      I, thus, support the points raised in the resolution, especially on data collection, the protection of whistle blowers and the establishment of precise rules governing international co-operation and intelligence services in the fight against terrorism, so that surveillance is limited and applied only when specific criteria are met, and not for economic, political or diplomatic purposes. Special mention should also be made of prohibiting the sale of surveillance technology to authoritarian regimes.

      Dear colleagues, I urge you to reassess your national surveillance programmes and ensure that national legislation provides for legal remedies in instances of serious human rights violations; that judicial and parliamentary scrutiny is dutifully exercised; and that international agreements are respected. The point is not to challenge the legitimacy of national security but to uphold key democratic values and principles that will empower our citizens to protect their rights, privacy and communications and, ultimately, hold our governments accountable for their actions and omissions.

      Mr WACH (Poland) – This important report addresses the problem of the growing conflict between the full execution of human rights protection and security – in this regard, security is understood to be measures to prevent terrorism and fight terrorist groups and organisations. The conflict of aims, principles and practice is also present in many documents produced and voted on in our Assembly, because we both demand that full respect is paid to the fulfilment of articles in the European Convention on Human Rights and rightly condemn terrorist acts and attempts, calling for effective prevention against them and for punishment in cases where something dramatic has occurred.

      In theory, these conflicts should be avoided, or at least reduced, by having proper laws, judicial supervision and parliamentary control in place. In practice, however, we face a much more complex problem, mainly because of a lack of trust and co-operation between institutions within countries and between international allies. Mr Omtzigt’s report rightly presents these problems with some favouring of the human rights point of view while recognising the “need for” effective, targeted surveillance. It is difficult not to agree with the proposed text of the resolution, taking into account the fact that the report was triggered by the Edward Snowden case.

      In addition to the report, we have been given a good, precise and to some extent critical opinion from the Committee on Culture, Science, Education and Media, prepared by Sir Roger Gale and presented by Lady Eccles. As a pair of documents, Mr Omtzigt’s report and Sir Roger’s opinion are an example of an excellent co-operative but critical approach to difficult contemporary problems that we have to deal with in our Assembly. I would not agree with all the proposed amendments in Sir Roger’s document, particularly the deletions of some sub-paragraphs, but the majority of the remarks and amendments improve the text, making it more precise and less vulnerable to criticism. I therefore congratulate the rapporteur and Sir Roger on their strong and independent approach, which gives us a good chance to vote for a meaningful and balanced document on this vital issue.

      Ms SOTNYK (Ukraine) – Mr President, dear colleagues, we are discussing mass surveillance, a topic of great sensitivity for each member State. I think we can agree on one crucial matter: mass surveillance of private communications, be it those of citizens, enterprises or political leaders, is unacceptable. Thanks to technology, communication has been improved, but we agree that this very technology has meant that the risks of mass surveillance have rocketed.

      The Internet is actually made of wires, cables, data storages, yet most of the infrastructure is currently in the United States of America, much of it managed and controlled by private entities. We should constantly hold in our mind the fact that electronic communications and data processing services are being used increasingly, including cloud computing, which has substantially expanded the significance of trans-Atlantic data transfers over the world. Because of the unique place of the United States of America and of United States companies in the functioning of the Internet, I must highlight the importance of the United States’s legal framework, as it appears to be, in practice, the first guarantee of the European citizen’s privacy. I am particularly preoccupied by the fact that many of the human rights guarantees in the United States constitution, and in various United States laws relating to the digital environment, apply only to individuals residing in the United States of America – to “United States persons”. I remind members of the Assembly that several important guarantees in the United States constitution, including the first and fourth amendments, in essence cover only United States citizens and people physically on United States territory. So I stress that the Council of Europe’s efforts to improve the protection of fundamental human rights will not have the desired effect if the United States of America is not involved.

      Member States should redouble their efforts to engage the United States in negotiations on guaranteeing the rights of European citizens and preventing further surveillance. The most important change that we hope for is that the safeguards available to United States residents will be extended to European residents. The transparency of intelligence activities should be increased, and oversight should be further strengthened. Such changes would restore trust in transatlantic data exchanges. The ongoing reform of data protection laws on both sides of the Atlantic provides the Council of Europe and the United States with a unique opportunity to set an international standard for the protection of privacy.

      Mr KARLSSON (Sweden) – I express my thanks to Mr Pieter Omtzigt for a good and important report on mass surveillance. There is reason to share the concern expressed in it, because there is a thin line between core values such as democracy, human rights and the rule of law and the battle against terrorism. As the report states, mass surveillance does not appear to have contributed to the prevention of terrorist attacks. Whatever system of surveillance is adopted, we have to make sure that adequate and effective guarantees against abuse exist.

      The Right Livelihood Award has become widely known as the alternative Nobel Prize. It was established in 1980 to honour and support those “offering practical and exemplary answers to the most urgent challenges facing us today”. In the autumn of 2014, the Right Livelihood Award Foundation announced Edward Snowden as one of the recipients of its honorary award. Mr Snowden participated by video link in the prize ceremony in the Swedish Parliament in Stockholm in December.

      Mr Snowden has done the world a great favour by disclosing the mass surveillance conducted by many governments. We should remember his words, as stated in The Guardian: “The government has granted itself power it is not entitled to. There is no public oversight. The result is people like myself have the latitude to go further than they are allowed to.” Democracy needs whistle blowers like Snowden, and it is crucial that their protection is improved. The legal and technical framework at both national and international level is crucial, along with judicial and parliamentary scrutiny. In that sense, the role of the Council of Europe as a driving force in guaranteeing democracy and human rights is very important.

      I fully support the conclusions and suggestions in the report. As the British writer and comedian Stephen Fry put it: “There is something squalid and rancid about being spied on.”

      Mr VOVK (Ukraine) – I support the amendments to the draft resolution proposed by Sir Roger Gale and adopted unanimously as the opinion of the Committee on Culture, Science, Education and Media. It is right to rebalance the text of the report; otherwise it may seem biased and based on anti-American sentiment.

      Mass surveillance is not a recent phenomenon. I represent a post-communist country, Ukraine, which for 70 years was under communist dictatorship within the USSR, with all-embracing mass surveillance carried out by the notorious KGB. I know from my personal experience the fundamental truth of the quotation from Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn that is cited in the report: “Our freedom is built on what others do not know of our existences.”

      Nevertheless, I believe that in view of the current global and regional threats, nations are entitled to self-defence, particularly considering potential terrorist attacks or so-called hybrid wars that might be launched by aggressive neighbours, as in the case of Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine. There are circumstances in which, for diplomatic, political or military reasons, surveillance is justified.

      I strongly agree with and support the following statements made in the explanatory memorandum to the opinion of the Committee on Culture, Science, Education and Media. The first is: “Given the dismal record of the Russian authorities in relation to transparency and access to information, it is unlikely that general support for whistle-blowing and altruism guided the Russian authorities when granting Edward Snowden asylum, a residence permit, housing and remunerated work in Russia.” Snowden’s “knowledge as a key collaborator of United States intelligence services… has probably already been used in order to…improve Russian intelligence operations in cyberspace” – particularly, I would add, in Russia’s hybrid war against Ukraine.

      The second statement with which I agree is that the quotation from the judgment of the European Court of Human Rights in Klass and Others v. Germany is “timelier today than ever before.” The Court stated: “Democratic societies nowadays find themselves threatened by highly sophisticated forms of espionage and by terrorism, with the result that the State must be able, in order effectively to counter such threats, to undertake the secret surveillance of subversive elements operating within its jurisdiction.”

      Mr ŠIRCELJ (Slovenia) – The problem of mass surveillance and privacy has its roots in the remarkable boom in information technology since the end of the 20th century. Whereas in the past control was mainly focused on the individual, it has become massive and come to include the entire population following the development of the Internet and social networks. Mass surveillance is systematic, and the targeted monitoring of human behaviour has become more effective. It has become invisible and involuntary, especially in the sphere of consumption.

      According to The Guardian, in 2011 the National Security Agency in the United States of America was able to collect, each day, 200 million SMS messages, data on 5 million missed calls and 1.6 million border crossings, more than 11 000 names from electronic business cards, data on more than 800 000 financial transactions and geolocation data from more than 76 000 text messages. The fact that every e-mail being sent and every photo being forwarded by e-mail is available to the intelligence service of a foreign country has a chilling effect on freedom of expression and could have a strong impact on democracy as a whole. Which of us can be sure that something that they casually put in a personal e-mail will not be used to contradict one of their election promises, or that some photo that they have sent will not be used to compromise their probity as a representative? We cannot afford to underestimate the impact of mass surveillance on the correct operation of democracy.

      Two interconnected but separate human rights issues arise from mass surveillance: the right of every person to respect for his or her private and family life, and the duty of States to protect personal data. National and international security is always an exception to the duty of every State to respect people’s privacy and the duty to protect personal data. States’ obligations to protect personal data are subject to very different rules and requirements according to the political preferences of different States. There is no international harmonisation of specific rules, so States need to fulfil only their own national protection rules.

      Therefore, I strongly support the appeal to member States to ensure the protection of privacy and an initiative to negotiate an intelligence codex that lays down rules in the fight against terrorism and organised crime, and I strongly support co-operation with the competent bodies of the European Union that are involved in negotiating trade and data protection issues with the United States and other third countries.

      I congratulate the rapporteur on the very good work that has been done.

      The PRESIDENT* – Thank you, Mr Šircelj. Mr Korodi is not here so I give the floor to Mr Jakavonis from Lithuania.

      Mr JAKAVONIS (Lithuania)* – I thank you very much, President. I thank the drafters of this report for the work that they have done and for this very timely reaction to a very topical and difficult issue. At this time of globalisation, it is a growing problem.

      We have been set up as an organisation to protect human rights. I am a representative of Lithuania at the Parliamentary Assembly, but in my own national parliament I work on the National Security and Defence Committee and I keep asking myself where the limit or boundary line is between appropriate operations carried out by secret services to combat terrorism on the one hand and respect for private lives on the other. I will vote in favour of the recommendation calling for parliamentary control to guarantee human rights in this respect.

      In Soviet times, when the capital of Lithuania, Vilnius, was occupied, the Soviet secret service had the technical ability to wire-tap 25 telephone lines at a time, but with new technologies there are unlimited opportunities to interfere in the private lives of citizens: to listen in on their telephone conversations, to read their e-mails and so on. It is possible to hack into personal computers and to read people’s bank accounts. In the United States, there are chips that are going to be introduced into human bodies and of course it will be possible to monitor what those people are doing. It seems to us that this report is only a first step in a very important job of work that needs to be done by our Assembly to make sure that people’s rights are respected.

      The PRESIDENT* – I do not see Mr Loukaides, so I give the floor to Mr Davies, Observer from Canada.

      Mr DAVIES (Canada) – I thank the Assembly for permitting me to speak on the issue of mass surveillance. I also thank the rapporteur, Mr Omtzigt, for his comprehensive report on this important matter.

      It has been suggested that the digital age is the 21st century’s industrial revolution. Certainly, it is profoundly altering the way we live, work and interact with each other and our governments. It is therefore vital that we deal with the critical issues that digital life engenders with principles, values and sensitivity.

      I share the Assembly’s concern regarding the mass surveillance practices that Edward Snowden’s disclosures made public. Although the legislation of most States protects the privacy of their own citizens, as noted in the report’s draft resolution it does not protect the privacy of foreigners. Moreover, one of the conclusions to draw from the Snowden files is that the United States National Security Agency and its partners, in particular the “Five Eyes”, circumvent restrictions provided in their national laws by exchanging data on each other’s citizens. The “Five Eyes” partners include Canada, and I will concentrate my comments on that part of the report.

      The report mentions that in 2012 the Communications Security Establishment, or CSE, which is Canada’s national cryptologic agency, used information from the free wi-fi system at a major Canadian airport to track the wireless devices of thousands of airline passengers. Canadian legislation prohibits the targeting of Canadians or anyone in Canada without a judicial warrant, and the agency’s mandate is limited to collecting foreign intelligence by intercepting overseas phone and Internet traffic.

      The agency’s written statement was that CSE was “legally authorised to collect and analyse metadata” that apparently identified travellers’ wireless devices but not the content of their phone calls or e-mails. The independent agent who oversees CSE’s activities, the CSE Commissioner, agreed with the agency that its metadata activity was lawful and considered that this activity did not involve “mass surveillance” or tracking of Canadians or persons in Canada.

      However, I agree with the privacy and cyber-security experts who considered those statements to be unsatisfactory. The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, our national public broadcaster, reported that the technology that was being tested by CSE in the airport in 2012 has since become fully operational. The Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada, the independent agency that oversees compliance with privacy law, has stressed the need for greater transparency and accountability in Canada’s national security programmes and intelligence-gathering activities.

      I remind our respective governments that data protection law and privacy rights in Canada and the European Union limit the collection and use of personal information to what is necessary and that privacy rights must increasingly be regarded as essential human rights. The report’s call for innovations, including protection for whistle blowers, extra-territorial application of privacy principles, and encryption and codex tools to counter-balance mass surveillance by State agencies, is particularly welcome in my view.

      I agree with the rapporteur when he asserts that there is no contradiction between the protection of privacy and national security; they are both necessary for our societies. Our challenge is to uphold our shared values of openness, freedom, tolerance and trust of others while maintaining government’s role to protect us. Let us work together to meet this challenge successfully, and to ensure that the appropriate balance is struck between freedom and security. Colleagues, it can and must be done.

      Mr LOUKAIDES (Cyprus) – The revelations of Edward Snowden confirm what the whole planet always suspected: the United States secret services and their allies massively and indiscriminately intercept electronic and telephone conversations of governments, services and citizens from all around the world. This is not about “anti-American conspiracy”; these are verified facts that have been documented by our Assembly and the European Parliament. The fact that United States and European intelligence agencies refuse to co-operate with international organisations, as the rapporteur reconfirmed just before, over the dismantling of this global network of profile-keeping merely confirms that they have been engaged in these illegal activities.

      The appalling breadth and depth of the network demonstrates that the goal is not only the “war against terrorism” but military, political and economic espionage. Technological progress has been exploited so as to profile citizens, undermine privacy, and monitor movements and organisations. These developments require the modernisation and international safeguarding of personal data protection regulations in order to keep pace with the rapid changes in information technology.

      We must guarantee our citizens that the intelligence services are subject not only to parliamentary and judicial but also to public scrutiny. Intelligence agencies must respect the obligation of data protection under Article 52 of the European Convention on Human Rights. Member States of the Council of Europe should be asked to explain what measures they have put in place to protect the privacy of their citizens. A secure society is one in which women and men can use the Internet, their mobile phone or credit card regardless of any public supervision.

      We welcome the resolution’s provisions on the protection of privacy adopted within the framework of European Union negotiations with the United States on important bilateral agreements. It would be very useful to put pressure on the Americans further by suspending negotiations on the TTIP or TFTP and PNR agreements.

      Edward Snowden took great risks by revealing the actions of the United States intelligence agency and the “Five Eyes” alliance. We must expose the hypocrisy of countries that defend human rights only when it suits them. Edward Snowden, meanwhile, is now accused of being a traitor. Some even expressed the desire to see him executed. The United States must put an end to the persecution he experienced. For its part, Europe must do everything to avoid extradition. Refugee status should even be granted because Edward Snowden is a true modern hero.

      Ms JOHNSSON FORNARVE (Sweden) – I fully support this report, which draws attention to an important issue. Mass surveillance undermines fundamental rights such as the right to privacy, freedom of expression and freedom of information. It also violates several articles of the European Convention on Human Rights. Democratic governments cannot treat their citizens as potential criminals without violating the very principles on which their existence is based. The rule of law prevails over the monitoring of suspicious activities, which should be targeted, justified and subject to democratic control. Monitoring the worldwide communications of millions of people is not only a threat to our fundamental rights but an ineffective way to combat organised crime. As the report points out, there is no evidence that mass surveillance is effective. Indeed, the accumulation of data makes it difficult to identify relevant information.

      Edward Snowden, who lived quietly in Hawaii, revealed the actions of the NSA. The United States intelligence agency has monitored the emails, messages and calls of millions of people, including Heads of State from other countries. Edward Snowden wanted to alert citizens of democratic countries and make them question whether they want to live in a world where they are constantly monitored by the public authorities. International co-operation based on mutual trust is obviously essential between the various national intelligence agencies. I support the idea of setting up a technical framework for this co-operation. It is also important that we protect whistle blowers.

      I will support the draft resolution in its current form.

      The PRESIDENT* – Dear colleagues, I remind you that the ballot for the election of five judges to the European Court of Human Rights in respect of Andorra, Austria, Finland, Ireland and Liechtenstein, is under way. It will close at 1 p.m., resume at 3.30 p.m. and close again at 5 p.m.

      Mr DAEMS (Belgium) – We must find the right balance between privacy and mass surveillance. In my opinion, this is far from the case in many of our countries, where privacy and democracy are threatened. Public control of mass surveillance is necessary, and parliaments must set up elected bodies responsible for monitoring the actions of public intelligence authorities. Co-operation between democratic countries is also necessary to ensure that they do not attempt to control each other.

      The strategy of the terrorists is to push our authorities to increase mass surveillance and thus destabilise our societies. Our authorities must not give in. Mass surveillance is excessive at present, and the total lack of transparency is one of the greatest threats to democratic systems today. Have the terrorists who attack our values already managed to threaten them?

      The PRESIDENT* – Thank you. I call Mr Sabella from Palestine, Partner for Democracy.

      Mr SABELLA (Palestine) – Mass surveillance does not affect the poorest people who live in developing countries. It mainly affects people in urban centres and large cities that have huge, new information and communication media. Between these two extremes, mass monitoring does not seem to provide the security to citizens that it seeks to guarantee. It fails to target the groups that constitute the real threat.

      What tools will be useful? I hope that this report will allow the adoption of new parliamentary and democratic control mechanisms in Europe and in all the countries that share the fundamental values of the protection of human rights, the rule of law and democracy.

(Mr Walter, Vice-President of the Assembly, took the Chair in place of Mr Rouquet.)

      The PRESIDENT – Thank you. Given the time available, I am able to invite spontaneous contributions from the floor. If any members who have not already spoken wish to participate in the debate, they may now intervene in support or otherwise of the motion before us.

      As no member wishes to do so, we will move on. I call on Mr Omtzigt, rapporteur, to reply to the debate. Mr Omtzigt, formally you have three minutes, but given the time available until the start of the next item of business, I can give you a little longer in which to respond to the contributions made – that is a well-honed technique in my parliament.

      Mr OMTZIGT (Netherlands) – It is very dangerous to allow a politician to speak for longer than he is usually allowed. I will take a few more minutes, but unfortunately I cannot take up the whole half hour until the King of the Belgians is due to speak.

      A number of members stated clearly that it is up to national parliaments to find the security and democratic control mechanisms to balance power; Mr Davies and Mr Loukaides were clear on that. I was convinced by Mr Jakavonis, who lived through a period of too much dictatorial control in his country, when he described how important that balance is.

      The report is the beginning, not the end, of a process. There will be rapid technological progress and other, new means of surveillance. There will also be other ways of ensuring that we have some right to privacy. Encryption could be one way forward and a non-spying agreement could be the other.

      One notices in a second that the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights accepted unanimously most of the amendments tabled by the Committee on Culture, Science, Education and Media. Only six or seven amendments remain for consideration – we cannot use all the time, Mr President, because we have too few contentious amendments to the report. There are three or four outstanding issues on which I have already given a sneak preview.

      There are secret courts, but beware of them. You do not want them, because secret laws are compelling technology companies to put back doors into their systems that can be used not only by the security services but by Islamic State, to name but one thing that we do not want them to be used for.

      There was not enough co-operation with the United States Government on the report. Its replies amounted to just two lines and it kindly declined the opportunity to give any other statements. That is a pity.

      A number of you have very strong views on Mr Snowden and whistle blowing. Originally, two reports were merged, but in consultation with the committee I decided to demerge them. In June, there will be a special debate on whistle blowing and whether Mr Snowden is a hero or a villain. There are very different opinions on that here, which we can discuss in June. Here we are discussing only the issue of mass surveillance.

      On whether whistle blowing is legal or illegal, I can already give a hint. The people who expose such things are being prosecuted not for leaking, which they could be prosecuted for, but for high treason. With high treason, you do not have the defence that you acted in the public interest. Therefore, people are saying to whistle blowers, “You betrayed your country.” I do not think that that is so, but that will be the centre of the discussion next time.

      Mr Vovk, I understand your comments on the Culture Committee’s amendments. We have been trying to balance attacks by adopting five or six of them. We do not want to do anything in the report against any one country. That is why we are asking the Secretary General to use Article 52, which would look at all countries, not one in particular. One thing that we learned from the CIA secret rendition programme was that more countries were co-operating than one would think at first, so that might be something to look at.

      If the report is adopted – I hope that it will be – we will be able to say that we have a better balance between the right to privacy and combating terrorism. I for one think that the two things are not contradictory. The right to privacy, to protect certain bits of your private life, gives citizens rights versus the State. People here described how they lived before 1989 in States that had absolute power, such as East Germany, for which the Stasi needed hundreds of thousands of informants. Such power can now be executed with a relatively small force of a few hundred or a few thousand people who look at all communications in a whole country. That is not fiction: the NSA monitors every single phone call in at least two countries. If you want that, it can be done.

      The NSA is mostly a force for good; it is in a democratic country, which I highly value. However, if such technology develops and it falls into the hands of an anti-democratic regime, that regime could at once exert control over all of its citizens. We want to avoid that at any cost, so a balance between the power of the State or non-state actors who want to use such methods – rogue States and terrorist organisations – and that of the citizen is extremely important. That is why I wrote the report, and I thank you all for your support in taking controversial decisions, such as inviting Mr Snowden to give evidence, in an attempt to ensure that we can make Europe a slightly safer place and one in which we uphold human rights.

      The PRESIDENT – Thank you. Does the chairperson of the committee, Mr Clappison, wish to speak?

      Mr CLAPPISON (United Kingdom) – Thank you. I do support Mr Omtzigt’s proposals. It is fair to say that the committee appreciated the work that he put in and there is general support for the thrust of his report. A great deal of care was taken with it and, as the Assembly has heard, there were several hearings and a careful inquiry was conducted before conclusions were reached.

      The committee supports the general drive towards: putting mass surveillance in a proper legal framework; having targeted, defined and proportionate mass surveillance measures, which are to be brought within the ambit of parliamentary control; and making proper provision for whistle blowers in appropriate circumstances, which must be carefully defined. At the same time, there was awareness in the committee of the entirely legitimate work that the intelligence agencies do, and which, in a proper legal framework, they should do, in protecting the public and our nations from terrorist activity. We were aware of the gravity of the threat we face. We have seen, in all too vivid circumstances, what that can lead to. So there was support for this, but there was a feeling too that the surveillance would be more accepted and have public support if it was carried out within an appropriate legal framework that gave freedom to the intelligence agencies to do their work, but at the same time protected the public from excesses or straying beyond what was necessary to meet terrorist or criminal threats or for other reasons that are spelt out in the report.

      There was general support for what Mr Omtzigt has proposed and an appreciation of the hard work that he has put into it.

      The PRESIDENT – Thank you, Mr Clappison. The debate is closed.

      Before I move on to the amendments, I remind colleagues that the vote to elect judges to the European Court of Human Rights is in progress. The ballot will close at 1 p.m. and re-open during the afternoon sitting before closing at 5 p.m. Those who have not yet voted may do so by going to the area behind the Chair.

      The Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights has presented a draft resolution to which 18 amendments have been tabled, and a draft recommendation to which one amendment has been tabled.

      The amendments will be taken in the order in which they appear in the Compendium and the Organisation of Debates. I remind you that speeches on amendments are usually limited to 30 seconds, but I may be a little more generous on this occasion, although I will ensure parity between those who are for and those who are against,

      I understand that the Chairperson of the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights wishes to propose to the Assembly that Amendments 1, 14, 19, 3, 4, 9, 10, and 18 to the draft resolution and Amendment 17 to the draft recommendation, which were unanimously approved by the committee, should be declared as agreed by the Assembly.

      Amendment 15 was also unanimously approved by the committee, but will be considered individually when it is reached.

      Is that so, Mr Clappison?

      Mr CLAPPISON (United Kingdom) – That is indeed the case. Amendment 7 was also unanimously adopted but has two oral sub-amendments, so I am not sure whether we need to consider it separately. I look to you, Mr President, with your great knowledge of these matters to keep me right on this, but that was the position of the committee.

      The PRESIDENT – Amendment 7 was unanimously approved by the committee, but it will need to be considered with the sub-amendments.

      Does anyone wish to object?

      As there is no objection, I declare that the amendments to the draft resolution and draft recommendation agreed to.

      We come to Amendment 2.

      I must inform the Assembly that if this amendment is adopted, Amendment 16 falls.

      I call Lady Eccles to support Amendment 2 on behalf of the Culture Committee.

      Lady ECCLES (United Kingdom) – The committee supported the rapporteur’s opinion that paragraph 7 presents an unsupported series of assertions. Laws are passed by parliament and courts are established by law and may sit in camera – but it is a contradiction to call them secret. Therefore, this paragraph should be deleted.

      The PRESIDENT – Does anyone wish to speak against the amendment?

      I call Mr Omtzigt to speak against the amendment.

      Mr OMTZIGT (Netherlands) – In paragraphs 48 and 49 of my report, I deal extensively with that point. The FICS courts are either dealing with laws or with presidential orders that, at times, are secret. The laws are secret and the interpretation of the laws is secret. For instance, the technology companies were forced to lie about the existence of the courts and about the fact that they had to put back doors into their systems. So that is a statement of fact, well proven by the report, and that is why it is not necessary to take it out.

      The PRESIDENT – What is the opinion of the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights?

      Mr CLAPPISON (United Kingdom) – The committee is against.

      The PRESIDENT – The vote is open.

      Amendment 2 is rejected.

      We come to Amendment 16.

      I call Mr Omtzigt to support Amendment 16.

      Mr OMTZIGT (Netherlands) – Taking into account some criticism of the original wording, we reworded paragraph 7. We keep condemning the secret laws and regulations for a specific reason – they undermine public confidence in the judicial oversight mechanism. If you do not know the laws, how can you support or oppose them?

      The PRESIDENT – Does anyone wish to speak against the amendment? That is not the case.

      What is the opinion of the committee?

      Mr CLAPPISON (United Kingdom) – The committee is in favour.

      The PRESIDENT – The vote is open.

      We come now to Amendment 5.

      I call Lady Eccles to support Amendment 5 on behalf of the Committee on Culture, Science, Education and Media.

      Lady ECCLES (United Kingdom) – The right to whistle blow cannot be afforded unqualified protection as this would lead to the sale of confidential and sensitive information in self-interest rather than in the public interest. This amendment is based on an Assembly resolution on the protection of whistle blowers. The Assembly must remain consistent with its earlier decision.

      The PRESIDENT – Does anyone wish to speak against the amendment? I call Mr Omtzigt.

      Mr OMTZIGT (Netherlands) – There are two problems with the amendment. We have just adopted two amendments proposed by the Committee on Culture, Science, Education and Media. But on this amendment, there are whistle blowers who blow the whistle in the interests only of their company, for instance, if there is an unsafe workplace – where an explosion would not hit people outside, so it does not have to be public – and without personal gain. It is true that in the report we say that whistle blowing should be without personal gain, but the United States has legislation that allows whistle blowers to receive compensation or even a reward, which I think is a bad idea. But if we say “without personal gain”, we will disqualify every person who has been legally granted the status of whistle blower under United States legislation, and I do not think that we would want to do that in this report.

      The PRESIDENT – What is the opinion of the committee?

      Mr CLAPPISON (United Kingdom) – The committee is against.

      The PRESIDENT – The vote is open.

      Amendment 5 is rejected.

      I call Lady Eccles to support Amendment 6 on behalf of the Committee on Culture, Science, Education and Media.

      Lady ECCLES (United Kingdom) – Following the Snowden disclosures, the United States Congress started an inquiry, as did the Governments of Belgium, France, Germany, Spain and other countries. In addition, there is no indication of harsh treatment of Edward Snowden. He has been in Russia since the end of July 2013. Therefore, such harsh treatment cannot be pursued outside Russia.

      The PRESIDENT – Does anyone wish to speak against the amendment? I call Mr Omtzigt.

      Mr OMTZIGT (Netherlands) – We did invite the competent authorities – first and foremost the United States, but also the United Kingdom – to give evidence. We asked the United States twice. They did not want to give evidence to our committee – not even behind closed doors, which we offered. They did not want to give evidence by writing a letter, which the British and German Governments did to clarify their policies.

      Secondly, on harsh treatment, if you keep prosecuting someone with high treason without a public interest defence, that means that you ensure he gets stuck in Moscow, which is not the place of residence of choice for Mr Snowden.

      The PRESIDENT – What is the opinion of the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights on the amendment?

      Mr CLAPPISON (United Kingdom) – The committee is against the amendment.

      The PRESIDENT – The vote is open.

      Amendment 6 is rejected.

      We come to Amendment 7, to which two oral sub-amendments have been submitted. I call Lady Eccles to support Amendment 7 on behalf of the Committee on Culture, Science, Education and Media.

      Lady ECCLES (United Kingdom) – This amendment applies to the second half of the resolution. It says that surely the Assembly can trust that the inquiry committee of the German Parliament would be capable of assuming its parliamentary role, but that reference should be made to parliamentary oversight of the security services, as supported recently by the Venice Commission. In addition, governments should be reminded of the potential risk of outsourcing intelligence operations to private firms.

      The PRESIDENT – I have been informed that Mr Omtzigt wishes to propose two oral sub-amendments to this amendment on behalf of the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights. The first reads as follows:

      In amendment No. 7, after “In the draft resolution”, replace the words “paragraph 15, replace the second sentence with the following sentences” with “after paragraph 15, add the following new paragraph”.

      If that sounds complicated, I will tell you what it is in simple terms. In other words, the sub-amendment would keep the second sentence of paragraph 15 in the resolution, and insert the words of Amendment 7 as a new paragraph after paragraph 15.

      In my opinion, the oral sub-amendment is in order under our rules.

      However, do 10 or more members object to the oral sub-amendment being debated?

      That is not the case. I therefore call Mr Omtzigt to support the first oral sub-amendment.

      Mr OMTZIGT (Netherlands) – This is one of the seven or eight amendments of the Committee on Culture, Science, Education and Media that are extremely useful, but I do not think it is necessary to take out the last sentence of paragraph 15.

      The PRESIDENT – Does anyone wish to speak against the oral sub-amendment?

      That is not the case.

      What is the opinion of Lady Eccles?

      Lady ECCLES (United Kingdom) – I have no view.

      The PRESIDENT – The Committee on Culture, Science, Education and Media has no view on this oral sub-amendment.

      Is the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights in favour?

      Mr CLAPPISON (United Kingdom) – Yes.

      The PRESIDENT – I will now put the first oral sub-amendment to the vote.

      The vote is open.

      The oral sub-amendment is adopted.

      We will now consider the second oral sub-amendment. It reads as follows:

      In amendment No. 7, replace the words “the Report on the Democratic Control of the Armed Forces adopted by the European Commission for Democracy through Law (Venice Commission) in 2008” with “the Report on the Democratic Oversight of the Security Services adopted by the European Commission for Democracy through Law (Venice Commission) in 2015”.

      In my opinion, the oral sub-amendment is in order under our rules.

      However, do 10 or more members object to the oral sub-amendment being debated?

      That is not the case. I therefore call Mr Omtzigt to support the second oral sub-amendment.

      Mr OMTZIGT (Netherlands) – This oral sub-amendment states that the reference in the amendment should be to the 2015 report, which is a lot more recent than the 2008 report. The 2015 report deals with the democratic oversight of secret services, while the 2008 report deals only with the democratic control of armed forces. Obviously, secret services operate within the armed forces, but they also do so outside the armed forces. Therefore, it seems more relevant to include this reference. The Venice Commission is extremely consistent in its views and holds exactly the same view in its most recent report.

      The PRESIDENT – Does anyone wish to speak against the oral sub-amendment? That is not the case.

      What is the opinion of Lady Eccles?

      Lady ECCLES (United Kingdom) – As this oral sub-amendment does not in any way contradict the original amendment but updates it, I would like to support it on behalf of the Committee on Culture, Science, Education and Media.

      The PRESIDENT – I assume that the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights is also in favour?

      Mr CLAPPISON (United Kingdom) – Your assumption is correct, Mr President.

      The PRESIDENT – I will now put the second oral sub-amendment to the vote.

      The vote is open.

      The oral sub-amendment is adopted.

      We will now consider the main amendment, Amendment 7, as amended.

      Does anyone wish to speak against the amendment, as amended? That is not the case.

      What is the opinion of the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights on the amendment, as amended?

      Mr CLAPPISON (United Kingdom) – The committee is in favour.

      The PRESIDENT – The vote is open.

      I call Lady Eccles to support Amendment 8 on behalf of the Committee on Culture, Science, Education and Media.

      Lady ECCLES (United Kingdom) – In 2014, the European Parliament invited the Secretary General to launch a procedure against States under Article 52 of the Convention. If, within one year, he has decided not to launch an action against France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, the United Kingdom and other member States, it is not for the Assembly to seek to challenge his decision.

      The PRESIDENT – Does anyone wish to speak against the amendment? I call Mr Omtzigt.

      Mr OMTZIGT (Netherlands) – It is not up to the European Parliament to put a question to the Secretary General of the Council of Europe, which happens to have 19 members that are not members of the European Union; it is up to the Parliamentary Assembly. That is how Article 52 investigations are started, so that is why I propose in the resolution to have an Article 52 investigation. No time has lapsed. The proposal was in the original motion for resolution, so I have been pretty clear about it. It would give all nations in this Assembly a way of clarifying how to deal with human rights in relation to massive eavesdropping. I therefore strongly oppose the amendment.

      The PRESIDENT – What is the opinion of the committee?

      Mr CLAPPISON (United Kingdom) – The committee is against.

      The PRESIDENT – The vote is open.

      Amendment 8 is rejected.

      We will now move on to the next amendment.

      Mr WACH (Poland) – On a point of order, Mr President. There is something that I do not understand about the votes. Perhaps I do not understand the system clearly, but for the past three votes, the results I have seen on the screen do not add up. There is always a difference between the number of votes cast and the numbers of votes in favour and against – I am sure that has happened for the past three votes. Perhaps you can explain that.

      The PRESIDENT – I cannot explain that, Mr Wach, because I am not a technical whiz. The record shows the number of votes, which is the number of cards put in the slots, the number who vote yes, the number who vote no and the number who abstain. If someone does not carry out any of those three actions, the figures for the numbers of votes cast for and against and the number of abstentions will not add up to the number of cards in the slots. The others are silently abstaining. I think that is the explanation.

      Mr WACH (Poland) – Thank you very much. That could be the case.

      The PRESIDENT – I call Mr Omtzigt to support Amendment 15.

      Mr OMTZIGT (Netherlands) – I do not wish to move the amendment as it repeats what is already in paragraph 16.1 of the resolution. We have just rejected the amendment that proposed to take that paragraph out. If we accept Amendment 15, the resolution would have the same text twice.

      The PRESIDENT – Thank you for suggesting that you do not wish to move the amendment. I have to ask whether anyone else wishes to move the amendment. That is not the case. Amendment 15 is therefore not moved.

      We come to Amendment 11. I must inform the Assembly that if this amendment is agreed to, Amendment 13 falls. I call Lady Eccles to support Amendment 11 on behalf of the Committee for Culture, Science, Education and Media.

      Lady ECCLES (United Kingdom) – For reasons of consistency it is necessary for the Assembly to recall its resolution on the protection of whistle blowers. In addition, the granting of asylum to Edward Snowden has been refused by several countries – even Russia – on legal grounds, because they do not grant asylum to people who simply allege unfair prosecution.

      The PRESIDENT – Does anyone wish to speak against the amendment? I call Mr Omtzigt.

      Mr OMTZIGT (Netherlands) – First, the paragraph in the resolution that the amendment would amend does not say that asylum should be granted to Mr Snowden – he is not even mentioned – but simply opens up the possibility of granting asylum. We had a long discussion on that in a committee meeting on our second report about a month ago, in Paris. That is why we will propose a further amendment, Amendment 13, which reflects the opinion of the committee that countries may wish to give whistle blowers asylum, but do not have to do so. Amendment 11 is totally unnecessary and I ask members to reject it.

      The PRESIDENT – What is the opinion of the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights?

      Mr CLAPPISON (United Kingdom) – The committee is against.

      The PRESIDENT – The vote is open.

      Amendment 11 is rejected.

      I call Mr Omtzigt to support Amendment 13.

      Mr OMTZIGT (Netherlands) – In Paris in March, some members of the committee pointed out that not every country offered asylum protection for whistle blowers. The amendment changes the text to take account of that. It asks the countries that offer asylum for whistle blowers to think about such cases, but keeps the option open for countries not to do so.

      The PRESIDENT – Does anyone wish to speak against the amendment? That is not the case.

      What is the opinion of the committee?

      Mr CLAPPISON (United Kingdom) – The committee is in favour.

      The PRESIDENT – The vote is open.

      I call Lady Eccles to support Amendment 12 on behalf of the Committee on Culture, Science, Education and Media.

      Lady ECCLES (United Kingdom) – The reason for deleting the words “political” and “or diplomatic” is that there can be circumstances in which, for political or diplomatic reasons, surveillance by intelligence services is justified. The justification cannot, however, be extended to industrial espionage.

      The PRESIDENT – Does anyone wish to speak against the amendment? I call Mr Omtzigt.

      Mr OMTZIGT (Netherlands) – We are proposing a codex between allies – between nations that trust each other. It is not a sign of trust if a nation is eavesdropping on the diplomats of a nation that is an ally, so it is a bad idea to take out the words “political” and “or diplomatic”. “Political” refers usually to political enemies within one country. We have bad examples within the Council of Europe; we should not use such measures against political enemies within the same country either.

      The PRESIDENT – What is the opinion of the committee?

      

      Mr CLAPPISON (United Kingdom) – The committee is against.

      The PRESIDENT – The vote is open.

      Amendment 12 is rejected.

      We will now proceed to vote on the whole of the draft resolution contained in Document 13734, as amended.

      The vote is open.

      As Amendment 17 was agreed to unanimously, we will now proceed to vote on the whole of the draft recommendation contained in Document 13734, as amended.

      The vote is open.

      I congratulate the rapporteur and the committee on their work on that report.

      I have three announcements to make. First, the communication of the Committee of Ministers by the Foreign Minister of Belgium will take place tomorrow after the current affairs debate on the situation in Ukraine. You will recall that the Foreign Minister was unable to be with us yesterday. He will be with us tomorrow at 12.15 p.m. I presume that yesterday’s speakers list will remain in place.

      Other than those who are going behind the chair to vote, I ask members to remain in their places for the address in a few moments by His Majesty the King of the Belgians. I remind those who have not voted that the vote to elect judges to the European Court of Human Rights is in progress. The ballot will close at 1 p.m. and reopen during the afternoon sitting, closing at 5 p.m. I ask those who have not yet voted please to do so now and return to their seats for the address by His Majesty.

.

      (Ms Brasseur, President of the Assembly, took the Chair in place of Mr Walter)

4. Address by His Majesty, the King of the Belgians

      The PRESIDENT* – Your Majesty, it is an immense honour for us to welcome you here today, with your spouse, Her Majesty, Queen Mathilde, in our hemicycle. Please be welcome in this house of democracy and human rights.

      Within the framework of the Belgian chairmanship in office of the Committee of Ministers, your presence among us is of high symbolic importance. Please allow me, first, to welcome the fact that you are so committed to humanitarian issues, which find an echo most particularly within the Council of Europe and the Parliamentary Assembly. We are very sensitive to the various causes promoted and defended by the Belgian monarchy, especially those that have to do with protecting the rights of the child. That cause is very dear to our hearts, because, as you well know, through our One in Five campaign against sexual violence perpetrated against children, the Council of Europe works to protect children against any exploitation and abuse, especially sexual abuse, on our continent and even beyond.

      Your Majesty, you are a symbol of unity and continuity in Belgium, a country of tremendous cultural richness, with three official languages, and three times that of regional dialects, and a tremendous variety of traditions. It is truly a crossroads capital of Europe. Belgium, living together, is an example par excellence of unity and diversity, and in this complex society you work actively to promote mutual understanding, as well as intercultural dialogue, among the three great communities of the Kingdom of Belgium. It is precisely that unity and diversity, at a time when the countries of Europe need very much to come back together around the common values that they all support, that we would like to promote. And it is that unity and diversity that is being offered to you today in our hemicycle, through the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, which represents the peoples of our 47 member States. We are very impatient to hear your message, and, therefore, Your Majesty, it is my great pleasure to give you the floor without further ado.

      HIS MAJESTY, THE KING OF THE BELGIANS* – Madam President of the Parliamentary Assembly, Chairman of the Committee of Ministers, Secretary General, ladies and gentlemen, members of the Assembly, today your Assembly represents 47 member States and more than 800 million inhabitants. Since 1949, the European family has gradually drawn closer and grown, building on the essential foundations of democracy, the rule of law and human rights. All this is both a cause for optimism and a tremendous responsibility.

      I am speaking to you at a time when Belgium has the honour of chairing the Committee of Ministers. My presence in this Chamber is a token of the profound commitment of my country to all the institutions of the Council of Europe. Collectively, they act as the custodians of an edifice of fundamental values that has been centuries in the building. If we considered it necessary, throughout history and, more particularly, since the Second World War, to establish custodians of our values, it is because these values remain vulnerable. The Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms of 1950 was the response of Europe – an ever-evolving response – in the face of tyranny, oppression and acts of barbarity, in particular, the events during the Holocaust. Human rights are and must remain a bulwark against the worst examples of evil of which human beings are capable; they aim to protect what is human in humankind. Rights and freedoms are rooted in the concept of a decent society, by which I mean a society that will not tolerate abuses of authority, indignities or humiliation.

      The context has changed tremendously since then, but this original source of inspiration needs to be continually re-enlivened, in particular when we see that in a great many of our countries there is an increasing trend to fragmentation and individualism, and because at the beginning of this 21st century our world is still being afflicted by acts of barbarity. Despite the undeniable improvements, there are still too many situations in contemporary society in which women and men are not being treated with dignity. The report on intolerance and discrimination in Europe drawn up in 2011 by the Group of Eminent Persons of the Council of Europe highlighted certain shameful responses that are emerging in our societies in the face of pressure from migration. As stated in the report, those attitudes cannot be ascribed to individuals alone but are sometimes of an institutional nature. The recent tragic events in the Mediterranean remind us of how urgent this issue is for Europe.

      Closer to home, we experience daily situations of human indignity. Despite the substantial efforts that have been made to correct this in Europe, we are still confronted with the difficulties involved in finding jobs and in working conditions that give precedence to performance over personal development. Despite the tremendous achievements in the areas of health care and provision for the elderly, we still see human values losing ground.

      Furthermore, there is an insidious indifference that can often conceal an attitude of contempt towards other people. That is the case whenever we turn a blind eye to poverty, fragility and loneliness, which are still omnipresent in society and are affronts to human rights. If we are to construct and preserve a society based on decency, we need to restore the vision of human beings in their full dimension, a concept that pervades the European Convention on Human Rights and all the normative and political instruments of the Council of Europe. An individual has not only rights but duties with respect to the community in which he or she lives. Our collective responsibility today involves creating, as stated in Article 28 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, a “social and international order” that means that the fundamental civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights can fully prosper.

      What do we mean by “human beings in all their fullness”? Human beings are unique and apparently isolated in the world, but they are also naturally drawn to other people and dependent on the world within which they live, so they are a compound of autonomy and openness. They are inward-looking, but they also have a sense of belonging. On the one hand, each individual is entitled to his or her inner space, private sphere, intimacy and secrets – a life governed by individual choices. This means respecting the right to privacy, as enshrined by Article 8 of the Convention. Individuals should be safe from any outside interference. On the other hand, human beings should be open to contact with others and with the world at large, as stated in Article 11 of the Convention, which enshrines freedom of assembly and association.

      Those two dimensions are not only complementary but mutually enhancing. Human beings construct themselves and develop through authentic interpersonal relations based on respect, empathy and a commitment to tolerance. It is only through this constant mutual enrichment that we can create and foster a decent society and a civilisation. For humans to attain fulfilment, they need to nurture both those dimensions in a balanced way. If we are too self-contained and inward looking, it will lead to further fragmentation and excessive individualism. We will lose sight of common sense, which will impede the transmission of values and traditions. A fragmented society lends itself to being built on indifference, slander and contempt, which in turn may be conducive to intolerance and violence. However, being too outward looking may lead to relativism, the loss of identity and a sense of loyalty, and over-dependence on others. Furthermore, although a certain measure of transparency is necessary, absolute transparency between individuals is a mere illusion. It hampers mutual trust, and trust, after all, is the basic foundation of all human relations, including economic relations.

      The mission of the greater Europe that you represent here in the Council of Europe, and of which you are the custodians, is to construct every day a culture conducive to the development of self-sufficiency and autonomy, but also to openness to others. This would be a culture in which decency and civility would take precedence over indifference and humiliation – a culture of enablement, allowing each individual to fully develop his or her potential and personality. It would enable him or her to engage fully with others and reach fulfilment, and to assume responsibilities and take risks while respecting others and co-operating with them. Only such a culture is conducive to the effective implementation of human rights, of which we are all the custodians.

      In order actively to promote that culture of dignity, our societies have many instruments at their disposal. Respect for fundamental human rights and rejecting the denial of other people’s humanity requires training and education that focuses on individual development in the full sense of the term. It requires education in the family setting, in schools and through the media, which are fundamental. It goes far beyond just teaching our children to defend individual rights. It is basically what we do whenever we try to foster mutual respect in relations at work. We are trying to achieve the same aim by forging tools for social cohesion; by fighting against trafficking in human beings; by seeking to regulate how to assist human beings in a humane way when they fall sick or become old and vulnerable; by fighting against hate speech that incites people to violence; or by drawing up action plans against extremism and radicalisation. In fact, that is the core assignment of the institutions of the Council of Europe, and I would like strongly to encourage you to sustain that commitment.

      Finally, the decent society that we would like to develop and preserve together is one that creates links beyond the immediate future and transcends the short term. We are all the heirs of the generations that have gone before us. With respect to our values, culture, science and the law, we have all been shaped by our history. Respect for the dignity of all should extend to future generations as well – we do not want to disinherit our children.

      Madam President of the Parliamentary Assembly, Chairman of the Committee of Ministers, Mr Secretary General, ladies and gentlemen, members of the Assembly, it was our forebears who painstakingly built up this edifice of democracy and the rule of law. By establishing human rights, they wished to sustain that achievement by giving pride of place to human beings.

      We now need to build on and further improve this legacy. We are duty-bound to remain committed to these underlying values and to embody them in a decent society.

      The PRESIDENT* – I would like to thank you for this very strong message, which has touched our hearts and which indeed gives us food for thought. On the position of human beings, you talked about rights but also about duties: the duties of every individual. And at the end, you made an appeal that I think all of us need to take home to our capitals and send as a message to anyone who shoulders responsibility in our countries: we should not allow our children to be disinherited. That is a strong message that you have given today, and on behalf of everyone here I would like to thank you most warmly for what you have said.

      I invite you to leave the Chamber as we applaud, because I have one more announcement to make before we can close for the morning. Thank you very much, your Majesty, for being here today and thank you above all for the very strong message that you have sent out.

      (Applause.)

5. Next public business

      The PRESIDENT* – Voting in the election of judges to the European Court of Human Rights is now suspended until 3.30 p.m.

      The Assembly will hold its next public sitting this afternoon at 3.30 p.m. with the agenda that was approved on Monday morning.

      The sitting is closed.

      (The sitting was closed at 1 p.m.)

CONTENTS

1. Changes in the membership of committees

2. Election of judges to the European Court of Human Rights

3. Mass surveillance

Presentation by Mr Omtzigt of the report of the Committee on Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights, Document 13734

Presentation by Lady Eccles of the opinion of the Committee on Culture, Science, Education and Media Document 13734

Speakers: Mr Büchel (Liechtenstein), Ms Konrádsdóttir (Iceland), Mr Jónasson (Iceland), Mr Vercamer (Belgium), Mr Le Borgn’ (France), Mr Recordon       (Switzerland), Mr Pozzo di Borgo (France), Mr Nicolaides (Cyprus), Mr Wach (Poland), Ms Sotnyk (Ukraine), Mr Karlsson (Sweden), Mr Vovk (Ukraine), Mr Šircelj (Slovenia), Mr Jakavonis (Lithuania), Mr Davies (Canada), Mr Loukaides (Cyprus), Ms Johnsson Fornarve (Sweden), Mr Daems (Belgium), Mr Sabella (Palestine)

Amendments 1, 14, 19, 3, 4, 9, 10, 18, 16, 7, as amended, and 13 adopted

Draft resolution in Document 13734, as amended, adopted

Amendment 17 adopted

Draft recommendation in Document 13734, as amended, adopted

4. Address by His Majesty, King of the Belgians

5. Next public business

Appendix I

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

Pedro AGRAMUNT

Alexey Ivanovich ALEKSANDROV*

Brigitte ALLAIN/ Jean-Claude Frécon

Jean-Charles ALLAVENA*

Werner AMON

Luise AMTSBERG/Annette Groth

Athanasia ANAGNOSTOPOULOU*

Liv Holm ANDERSEN*

Lord Donald ANDERSON

Paride ANDREOLI

Ben-Oni ARDELEAN

Khadija ARIB/Marit Maij

Volodymyr ARIEV

Egemen BAĞIŞ

Theodora BAKOYANNIS*

David BAKRADZE/Chiora Taktakishvili

Gérard BAPT

Doris BARNETT

José Manuel BARREIRO/Ángel Pintado

Deniz BAYKAL

Marieluise BECK*

Ondřej BENEŠIK/Gabriela Pecková

José María BENEYTO

Deborah BERGAMINI/Giuseppe Galati

Sali BERISHA*

Anna Maria BERNINI/ Claudio Fazzone

Maria Teresa BERTUZZI/Francesco Verducci

Andris BĒRZINŠ

Gülsün BİLGEHAN

Brian BINLEY/ Robert Neill

Ľuboš BLAHA*

Philippe BLANCHART/ Dirk Van Der Maelen

Maryvonne BLONDIN

Jean-Marie BOCKEL

Olga BORZOVA*

Mladen BOSIĆ

António BRAGA

Anne BRASSEUR/Marc Spautz

Alessandro BRATTI

Piet De BRUYN/Petra De Sutter

Beata BUBLEWICZ/Michał Stuligrosz

Gerold BÜCHEL

André BUGNON

Natalia BURYKINA*

Nunzia CATALFO

Elena CENTEMERO*

Irakli CHIKOVANI*

Vannino CHITI

Christopher CHOPE*

Lise CHRISTOFFERSEN

Henryk CIOCH

James CLAPPISON

Igor CORMAN

Telmo CORREIA

Paolo CORSINI

Carlos COSTA NEVES*

Celeste COSTANTINO/Ferdinando Aiello

Yves CRUCHTEN

Zsolt CSENGER-ZALÁN

Katalin CSÖBÖR

Joseph DEBONO GRECH

Reha DENEMEÇ

Alain DESTEXHE

Manlio DI STEFANO

Arcadio DÍAZ TEJERA

Peter van DIJK*

Şaban DİŞLİ

Sergio DIVINA

Aleksandra DJUROVIĆ

Namik DOKLE

Elvira DROBINSKI-WEIß

Daphné DUMERY/ Hendrik Daems

Alexander [The Earl of] DUNDEE*

Nicole DURANTON/Marie-Christine Dalloz

Josette DURRIEU

Mustafa DZHEMILIEV/ Andrii Lopushanskyi

Mikuláš DZURINDA*

Lady Diana ECCLES

Tülin ERKAL KARA

Franz Leonhard EßL*

Bernd FABRITIUS*

Joseph FENECH ADAMI

Cătălin Daniel FENECHIU

Vyacheslav FETISOV*

Doris FIALA

Daniela FILIPIOVÁ*

Ute FINCKH-KRÄMER/ Gabriela Heinrich

Axel E. FISCHER

Gvozden Srećko FLEGO

Bernard FOURNIER

Hans FRANKEN

Béatrice FRESKO-ROLFO/Christian Barilaro

Martin FRONC*

Sir Roger GALE/Lord Richard Balfe

Adele GAMBARO

Karl GARĐARSSON

Iryna GERASHCHENKO*

Tina GHASEMI

Valeriu GHILETCHI

Francesco Maria GIRO

Pavol GOGA*

Carlos Alberto GONÇALVES

Alina Ştefania GORGHIU/Corneliu Mugurel Cozmanciuc

Svetlana GORYACHEVA*

Sandro GOZI*

Fred de GRAAF*

François GROSDIDIER/Jacques Legendre

Andreas GROSS

Dzhema GROZDANOVA*

Mehmet Kasim GÜLPINAR*

Gergely GULYÁS*

Jonas GUNNARSSON/Lotta Johnsson Fornarve

Nazmi GÜR

Antonio GUTIÉRREZ/Jordi Xuclŕ

Maria GUZENINA/Sirkka-Liisa Anttila

Márton GYÖNGYÖSI*

Sabir HAJIYEV

Margus HANSON/Rait Maruste

Alfred HEER

Michael HENNRICH/Volkmar Vogel

Martin HENRIKSEN*

Françoise HETTO-GAASCH/Marcel Oberweis

Oleksii HONCHARENKO

Jim HOOD*

Arpine HOVHANNISYAN*

Anette HÜBINGER

Johannes HÜBNER/Barbara Rosenkranz

Andrej HUNKO

Ali HUSEYNLI/Sahiba Gafarova

Rafael HUSEYNOV/Sevinj Fataliyeva

Vitaly IGNATENKO*

Florin IORDACHE/Daniel Florea

Tadeusz IWIŃSKI

Denis JACQUAT/Damien Abad

Gediminas JAKAVONIS

Gordan JANDROKOVIĆ/Ingrid Antičević Marinović

Tedo JAPARIDZE/Guguli Magradze

Michael Aastrup JENSEN*

Frank J. JENSSEN/Kristin Řrmen Johnsen

Florina-Ruxandra JIPA/Viorel Riceard Badea

Ögmundur JÓNASSON

Aleksandar JOVIČIĆ/Stefana Miladinović

Josip JURATOVIC*

Antti KAIKKONEN

Mustafa KARADAYI/Hamid Hamid

Marietta KARAMANLI*

Niklas KARLSSON

Andreja KATIČ*

Vasiliki KATRIVANOU

Ioanneta KAVVADIA*

Charles KENNEDY*

Tinatin KHIDASHELI*

Danail KIRILOV/Kancho Filipov

Bogdan KLICH

Haluk KOÇ*

Igor KOLMAN

Željko KOMŠIĆ

Unnur Brá KONRÁĐSDÓTTIR*

Ksenija KORENJAK KRAMAR

Attila KORODI

Alev KORUN

Rom KOSTŘICA*

Elvira KOVÁCS

Tiny KOX

Borjana KRIŠTO

Julia KRONLID*

Marek KRZĄKAŁA/Killion Munyama

Zviad KVATCHANTIRADZE

Athina KYRIAKIDOU/Nicos Nicolaides

Serhiy LABAZIUK/ Sergiy Vlasenko

Inese LAIZĀNE

Olof LAVESSON

Pierre-Yves LE BORGN

Jean-Yves LE DÉAUT

Igor LEBEDEV*

Valentina LESKAJ

Terry LEYDEN

Inese LĪBIŅA-EGNERE

Georgii LOGVYNSKYI

François LONCLE*

George LOUKAIDES

Yuliya L’OVOCHKINA*

Jacob LUND

Trine Pertou MACH*

Philippe MAHOUX

Thierry MARIANI

Soňa MARKOVÁ/Pavel Holík

Milica MARKOVIĆ

Meritxell MATEU PI

Ana MATO

Pirkko MATTILA/Mika Raatikainen

Frano MATUŠIĆ

Liliane MAURY PASQUIER/Luc Recordon

Michael McNAMARA/Jim D’arcy

Sir Alan MEALE

Ermira MEHMETI DEVAJA/Imer Aliu

Evangelos MEIMARAKIS

Ivan MELNIKOV*

Ana Catarina MENDES*

Attila MESTERHÁZY/Gábor Harangozó

Jean-Claude MIGNON

Philipp MIßFELDER*

Olivia MITCHELL

Igor MOROZOV*

Joăo Bosco MOTA AMARAL

Arkadiusz MULARCZYK

Melita MULIĆ

Oľga NACHTMANNOVÁ*

Hermine NAGHDALYAN*

Piotr NAIMSKI

Sergey NARYSHKIN*

Marian NEACŞU

Andrei NEGUTA

Zsolt NÉMETH*

Miroslav NENUTIL

Baroness Emma NICHOLSON*

Michele NICOLETTI

Aleksandar NIKOLOSKI

Marija OBRADOVIĆ

Žarko OBRADOVIĆ

Judith OEHRI

Carina OHLSSON

Joseph O’REILLY

Maciej ORZECHOWSKI/Jagna Marczułajtis-Walczak

Sandra OSBORNE*

José Ignacio PALACIOS

Liliana PALIHOVICI

Judith PALLARÉS CORTÉS

Ganira PASHAYEVA

Florin Costin PÂSLARU*

Waldemar PAWLAK/Marek Borowski

Vladimir PLIGIN*

Cezar Florin PREDA

John PRESCOTT

Gabino PUCHE*

Alexey PUSHKOV*

Carmen QUINTANILLA

Mailis REPS*

Andrea RIGONI

François ROCHEBLOINE/Yves Pozzo Di Borgo

Soraya RODRÍGUEZ

Alexander ROMANOVICH*

Maria de Belém ROSEIRA

René ROUQUET

Rovshan RZAYEV

Indrek SAAR*

Ŕlex SÁEZ

Vincenzo SANTANGELO/Maria Edera Spadoni

Milena SANTERINI*

Kimmo SASI

Nadiia SAVCHENKO/Boryslav Bereza

Deborah SCHEMBRI*

Stefan SCHENNACH

Ingjerd SCHOU

Frank SCHWABE*

Urs SCHWALLER/Elisabeth Schneider-Schneiter

Salvador SEDÓ

Predrag SEKULIĆ

Ömer SELVİ

Aleksandar SENIĆ

Senad ŠEPIĆ*

Samad SEYIDOV

Jim SHERIDAN*

Bernd SIEBERT*

Valeri SIMEONOV*

Andrej ŠIRCELJ

Arturas SKARDŽIUS

Leonid SLUTSKY*

Serhiy SOBOLEV

Olena SOTNYK

Lorella STEFANELLI

Yanaki STOILOV

Karin STRENZ

Ionuţ-Marian STROE

Valeriy SUDARENKOV*

Krzysztof SZCZERSKI

Damien THIÉRY

Lord John E. TOMLINSON

Antoni TRENCHEV

Goran TUPONJA

Ahmet Kutalmiş TÜRKEŞ

Tuğrul TÜRKEŞ

Theodora TZAKRI*

Ilyas UMAKHANOV*

Dana VÁHALOVÁ

Snorre Serigstad VALEN/Hans Fredrik Grřvan

Petrit VASILI

Imre VEJKEY

Stefaan VERCAMER

Mark VERHEIJEN/Pieter Omtzigt

Birutė VĖSAITĖ

Anne-Mari VIROLAINEN*

Dimitris VITSAS*

Vladimir VORONIN*

Viktor VOVK

Klaas de VRIES*

Nataša VUČKOVIĆ

Draginja VUKSANOVIĆ/Snežana Jonica

Piotr WACH

Robert WALTER

Dame Angela WATKINSON*

Tom WATSON*

Karl-Georg WELLMANN*

Katrin WERNER

Morten WOLD

Gisela WURM/ Nikolaus Scherak

Maciej WYDRZYŃSKI

Leonid YEMETS/ Vladyslav Golub

Tobias ZECH

Kristýna ZELIENKOVÁ

Sergey ZHELEZNYAK*

Marie-Jo ZIMMERMANN

Emanuelis ZINGERIS*

Guennady ZIUGANOV*

Naira ZOHRABYAN

Levon ZOURABIAN

Vacant Seat, Cyprus*

Vacant Seat, ‘‘The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia’’*

ALSO PRESENT

Representatives and Substitutes not authorised to vote

Andrzej JAWORSKI

Kerstin LUNDGREN

Marcel OBERWEIS

Bence TUZSON

Observers

Eloy CANTU SEGOVIA

Corneliu CHISU

Don DAVIES

Percy DOWNE

Héctor LARIOS CÓRDOVA

Michel RIVARD

David TILSON

Partners for democracy

Hanane ABOULFATH

Mohammed AMEUR

Mohammed Mehdi BENSAID

Nezha EL OUAFI

Omar HEJIRA

Bernard SABELLA

Mohamed YATIM

Appendix II

Representatives or Substitutes who took part in the ballot for the election of the judges to the European Court of Human Rights in respect of Andorra, Austria, Finland, Ireland and Liechtenstein

Pedro AGRAMUNT

Brigitte ALLAIN/ Jean-Claude Frécon

Werner AMON

Luise AMTSBERG/Annette Groth

Lord Donald ANDERSON

Paride ANDREOLI

Ben-Oni ARDELEAN

Khadija ARIB/Marit Maij

Egemen BAĞIŞ

Gérard BAPT

Doris BARNETT

Deniz BAYKAL

Ondřej BENEŠIK/Gabriela Pecková

Deborah BERGAMINI/Giuseppe Galati

Gülsün BİLGEHAN

Brian BINLEY/ Robert Neill

Philippe BLANCHART/ Dirk Van Der Maelen

Maryvonne BLONDIN

Mladen BOSIĆ

António BRAGA

Anne BRASSEUR/Marc Spautz

Alessandro BRATTI

Piet De BRUYN/Petra De Sutter

Gerold BÜCHEL

André BUGNON

Vannino CHITI

Lise CHRISTOFFERSEN

Henryk CIOCH

James CLAPPISON

Igor CORMAN

Paolo CORSINI

Celeste COSTANTINO/Ferdinando Aiello

Reha DENEMEÇ

Şaban DİŞLİ

Aleksandra DJUROVIĆ

Namik DOKLE

Elvira DROBINSKI-WEIß

Nicole DURANTON/Marie-Christine Dalloz

Josette DURRIEU

Lady Diana ECCLES

Tülin ERKAL KARA

Joseph FENECH ADAMI

Cătălin Daniel FENECHIU

Doris FIALA

Gvozden Srećko FLEGO

Bernard FOURNIER

Hans FRANKEN

Béatrice FRESKO-ROLFO/Christian Barilaro

Sir Roger GALE/Lord Richard Balfe

Valeriu GHILETCHI

Carlos Alberto GONÇALVES

Alina Ştefania GORGHIU/Corneliu Mugurel Cozmanciuc

Nazmi GÜR

Maria GUZENINA/Sirkka-Liisa Anttila

Sabir HAJIYEV

Margus HANSON/Rait Maruste

Alfred HEER

Michael HENNRICH/Volkmar Vogel

Françoise HETTO-GAASCH/Marcel Oberweis

Oleksii HONCHARENKO

Anette HÜBINGER

Ali HUSEYNLI/Sahiba Gafarova

Rafael HUSEYNOV/Sevinj Fataliyeva

Florin IORDACHE/Daniel Florea

Gordan JANDROKOVIĆ/Ingrid Antičević Marinović

Tedo JAPARIDZE/Guguli Magradze

Frank J. JENSSEN/Kristin Řrmen Johnsen

Ögmundur JÓNASSON

Aleksandar JOVIČIĆ/Stefana Miladinović

Antti KAIKKONEN

Mustafa KARADAYI/Hamid Hamid

Danail KIRILOV/Kancho Filipov

Bogdan KLICH

Ksenija KORENJAK KRAMAR

Attila KORODI

Alev KORUN

Elvira KOVÁCS

Borjana KRIŠTO

Marek KRZĄKAŁA/Killion Munyama

Zviad KVATCHANTIRADZE

Serhiy LABAZIUK/ Sergiy Vlasenko

Olof LAVESSON

Pierre-Yves LE BORGN

Jean-Yves LE DÉAUT

Valentina LESKAJ

Terry LEYDEN

Inese LĪBIŅA-EGNERE

Philippe MAHOUX

Soňa MARKOVÁ/Pavel Holík

Milica MARKOVIĆ

Meritxell MATEU PI

Ana MATO

Pirkko MATTILA/Mika Raatikainen

Frano MATUŠIĆ

Liliane MAURY PASQUIER/Luc Recordon

Michael McNAMARA/Jim D’arcy

Jean-Claude MIGNON

Olivia MITCHELL

Joăo Bosco MOTA AMARAL

Arkadiusz MULARCZYK

Melita MULIĆ

Piotr NAIMSKI

Andrei NEGUTA

Miroslav NENUTIL

Marija OBRADOVIĆ

Žarko OBRADOVIĆ

Judith OEHRI

Joseph O’REILLY

Maciej ORZECHOWSKI/Jagna Marczułajtis-Walczak

Liliana PALIHOVICI

Judith PALLARÉS CORTÉS

Ganira PASHAYEVA

Waldemar PAWLAK/Marek Borowski

Carmen QUINTANILLA

Andrea RIGONI

Maria de Belém ROSEIRA

Ŕlex SÁEZ

Kimmo SASI

Nadiia SAVCHENKO/Boryslav Bereza

Stefan SCHENNACH

Ingjerd SCHOU

Urs SCHWALLER/Elisabeth Schneider-Schneiter

Ömer SELVİ

Aleksandar SENIĆ

Samad SEYIDOV

Andrej ŠIRCELJ

Serhiy SOBOLEV

Olena SOTNYK

Lorella STEFANELLI

Yanaki STOILOV

Krzysztof SZCZERSKI

Lord John E. TOMLINSON

Antoni TRENCHEV

Tuğrul TÜRKEŞ

Dana VÁHALOVÁ

Petrit VASILI

Stefaan VERCAMER

Mark VERHEIJEN/Pieter Omtzigt

Viktor VOVK

Piotr WACH

Robert WALTER

Katrin WERNER

Morten WOLD

Gisela WURM/ Nikolaus Scherak

Maciej WYDRZYŃSKI

Leonid YEMETS/ Vladyslav Golub

Kristýna ZELIENKOVÁ

Naira ZOHRABYAN