AA16CR24

AS (2016) CR 24
Provisional edition

2016 ORDINARY SESSION

________________________

(Third part)

REPORT

Twenty-fourth sitting

Wednesday 22 June 2016 at 3.30 p.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 amendments 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 verbatim report.

(Mr Agramunt, President of the Assembly, took the Chair at 3.35 p.m.)

      The PRESIDENT – The sitting is open.

1. Address by Mr Alexis Tsipras, Prime Minister Of Greece

      The PRESIDENT – We will now hear an address by Mr Alexis Tsipras, Prime Minister of Greece. After his address Mr Tspiras will take questions from the floor.

      Prime Minister, it is an honour and a pleasure for me to welcome you to our Assembly, which brings together members of parliament from all over Europe and beyond to support human rights, democracy and the rule of law. We are all too well aware of the great challenges facing Greece and of the sacrifices that your people and government have had to make. Your country continues to face serious economic, social and humanitarian challenges, and finds itself on the front line of a large-scale arrival of migrants, asylum seekers and refugees seeking shelter from persecution and poverty. Your country has had to take difficult decisions that have required strong political leadership, but you did not step back from Europe, and now Europe must not turn its back on Greece. European solidarity is essential. The timing of your address to our Assembly is all the more pertinent as this week we have been discussing the situation of refugees in Greece.

      Mr Prime Minister, we are keen to hear your message to us. You have the floor.

      Mr TSIPRAS (Prime Minister of Greece)* – Mr President, Secretary General of the Council of Europe, dear colleagues, members of the Parliamentary Assembly, ladies and gentlemen, it is a great honour for me to address the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. I appreciate this honour.

      I stand here as a representative of my country, Greece, and would like to start by expressing my deep feelings and gratitude. Like all other Greek citizens, I cannot forget the significance of the words extended by the Council of Europe to the Greek people when we were fighting for democracy under the dictatorship of the Colonels. The Council of Europe made it possible for those who resisted the Colonels to express themselves and to give witness to the fact that there were political prisoners and that people were being tortured. That was heard everywhere in Europe.

      The Council of Europe isolated and condemned the regime of the Colonels. On 30 January 1969, the consultative council closed the door to Greece and recommended to the Committee of Ministers that Greece be excluded from the Council of Europe. That resolutely democratic decision was very much in line with the values and objectives of the Council of Europe. It was a unique attitude among international organisations, and one that protected human rights, the parliamentary system and the rule of law in the member States.

      That move honoured the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms – a Convention that, together with the European social charter, which was signed in Turin in 1961, constitutes the cornerstone of our common post-war European approach to the organisation of societies. The recognition of the right of workers to a dignified salary; the protection of trade union rights; the protection of the right to engage in collective bargaining; the right of the elderly to social security; the combating of poverty and social exclusion – all these provisions are to be found in the revised European social charter. This is not just our continental acquis, if you will, but it points the way to an appropriate development of our societies in the future. It is really the only way to go for social democracy. That is the way to ensure the dignity of individuals and social cohesion. Freedom and democracy are in danger when social rights are not guaranteed.

      My country, Greece, did not ratify the social charter of 1961 until 23 years later in 1984 – an inexcusable delay – and the revised social charter was ratified 20 years after it was adopted. For our government, this ratification is a sign of our attachment to social justice in Europe. It is also proof of our will to apply the principles of social justice and the rule of law.

      Unfortunately, the European social charter is not binding. It does not contain binding provisions, but is simply, through the notorious Turin procedure, an effort to promote social rights through the work of national parliaments. That is why, although the European social charter is a balancing force, it is insufficient to protect people from the destruction of the European social model through more and more deregulation. And this despite the fact that the European Union social charter recognises and integrates these fundamental social rights.

      It is important that the European social charter is transformed from a text of recommendations and pious wishes into something more binding, because social rights in Europe are often not protected and are often undermined by those who should be their guarantors. There are social rights ŕ la carte, depending on which country you are in. The internal policies of austerity, budgetary rigour, deregulation imposed by the European Union through the financial support MoUs are pushing States towards a situation in which they do not respect the basic commitments they took on ratification of the European social charter.

      In its recent case law, after collective proceedings brought by Greek trade unions, the European Committee of Social Rights itself considered that the European social charter is being violated by a number of the measures being implemented in Greece. That must stop. What Greece needs today is clear-cut reorganisation of an already flexible labour market –and not its levelling.

      Dear colleagues, ladies and gentlemen, I stand here before the Council of Europe one day before the British referendum, in which British voters will decide whether or not to keep the United Kingdom within the European Union. Please allow me to share my opinion about the referendum with you. I think we would all agree that Europe today finds itself in crisis. The very fact that tomorrow’s referendum is taking place shows how deep rooted the crisis is. Of course, any pro-European force must react positively and urge the UK to remain within the European Union.

      However, I am convinced that whatever the result of tomorrow’s referendum, the consequences for our common European home will be deleterious. Leaving the European Union and going back into splendid isolation would be very harmful to the UK and the European Union, but even the negotiation of some special status and the refusal to afford the same social rights to non-British EU citizens in the UK would be a very negative development in the conservative direction. It would set a negative precedent in Europe.

      At the same time, I believe that we need to rethink our Europe. We must understand that today, the European social model is becoming a neo-liberal model. Whatever the choice of the British people, we must all ask ourselves the crucial question about which direction Europe should take at this crossroads. We can take advantage of the crisis to engage in deep-rooted and far-reaching reform. We need to take a hard look at our model and how it is functioning, as well as at the management of our three simultaneous and parallel crises – the economic crisis, the refugee crisis and the security crisis.

      All of this has pushed Europe into a political and social crisis – a crisis that is shaking Europe at its very foundations and undermining European unity. The dominant forces in Europe are continuing to apply the rules and the rules are resulting in a lot of problems. Let me take the example of countries that have a high public debt, a situation that has become worse because of austerity policies and the economic crisis. This has made it very difficult for those countries to return to growth. The only credible solution to put the crisis behind us must be based on investor confidence. Investors will put their trust in those countries again once they return to a sustainable level of public debt. Countries should be able to finance their own debt and have access to financial markets. Of course, when I talk about those countries, I have in mind first and foremost my own country, Greece.

      The failure of the neo-liberal model to manage the crisis, with austerity as the main weapon to be deployed, has become clear. We have 22 million people unemployed in Europe. That shows that the crisis is not behind us. It is ongoing and well entrenched in Europe. Indeed, about half of those 22 million people were long-term unemployed as of 2015, a figure that has doubled since 2008. This shows that unemployment in Europe is systemic. Twenty-two million unemployed, 11 million of them long term – that is an entire country wiped off the map of Europe. Long-term unemployment is a serious political problem that Europe must confront head on. The failure of austerity policies at the national level, with recession, excessive debt and plummeting remuneration, shows that we are confronted by a problem with a European dimension. Competition among States for salaries can result in competitive advantage in theory, but the differences between the northern and southern countries are becoming larger, with people looking at their own nations for solutions, despite the inter-State competition. That is why there is growing Euroscepticism in the southern part of Europe.

      In the northern part of Europe we are seeing a tendency to call for derogations from applying the acquis communautaire. The growing economic crisis has awoken the monster of populism and extreme right-wing policies. Those who were formerly isolated have now appeared in the political arena. In some countries the extreme right even threatens to take over political power or at least undermine or destabilise the existing power. A Europe that is closing its borders to refugees and opening them to austerity; a Europe of supranationalism when it comes to common rules for refugees but which forgets about national sovereignty when it comes to austerity – that is a Europe that is trampling on its fundamental values, its unity and its cohesion. It is a Europe that has pushed itself into a profound crisis and become incapable of convincing peoples that it is in their interest to support and strengthen Europe.

      It is blatantly obvious that the response to the crisis can be neither the neo-liberal model nor a growing nationalism, with each country trying to manage on its own. We have to fill that gap and quickly. We have to react collectively, not on the basis of any particular ideology or preconceived notions, but by returning to the principles of democracy, justice, solidarity, equality and respect for human rights and social rights, in order to strengthen our cohesion and be more unified in moving forward. We all need more Europe, not less Europe, but first and foremost we need a better Europe. To achieve that we need to change our policies, strengthen democracy and get back in touch with European citizens by strengthening the institutions of democratic governance and combating inequality. We need to strengthen the social dimension of Europe, and to do that we must come to an agreement about social cohesion. We cannot opt for policies that are most disadvantageous to European workers. We need a new social contract for Europe. That is something we must fight for.

      Dear colleagues, the economic crisis and the refugee and migrant crisis are challenges for Europe as a whole. They are challenges that call on us to confront them with joint and common mechanisms so that we can promote European values. As you all know, Greece has been confronted with and buffeted by these crises perhaps more than anyone else, especially when it comes to the refugee crisis. The Greek Government, Greek volunteers, foreign volunteers, and local authorities and NGOs in mainland Greece and on the islands are all making Herculean efforts every day, with a view to being able to welcome and support the at least 1 million refugees who arrived in Greece in 2015. More than 160 000 lives have been saved at sea, most of them children, the elderly or members of other vulnerable groups. I am pleased that this has now been recognised by the Council of Europe, with the award of prizes to two Greek NGOs.

      These efforts are ongoing. In Greece we currently have 58 000 migrant refugees. Over a 20-day period, the Balkan countries unilaterally decided to close their borders, despite the contrary decision taken by the European Council, which meant that 58 000 people were trapped in my country. That may seem a very small number to you, but compared to the Greek population, 58 000 refugees is not a small number. The equivalent numbers for Germany, France and Italy would be between 100 000 and 200 000, and they are the result of the closure of the border between Greece and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. The Idomeni camp on the border was finally emptied in peace, without using force, after eight weeks, whereas in other countries such illegal camps remain for years and then evacuated with a lot of force and violence.

      We have created 55 000 shelters for the individuals concerned, and obviously their living conditions are not ideal, but we are doing everything we can to improve conditions. We offer those individuals all the conditions needed for survival – their primary needs are met. Of course, we need European funding to continue doing that, and we are co-operating with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and with non-governmental organisations, which directly receive two thirds of the European funds that we use to take care of refugees. We try to address the daily difficulties by registering and identifying every individual who arrives on a Greek island. We take care of them from the moment they submit their request for asylum.

      The Asylum and Refugees Authority, following European and international law, informs all refugees and migrants of their rights and obligations, examines their asylum applications separately and individually and fully respects the rights of each applicant. I underscore that these are applications for asylum in Greece because, as Frontex has noted, individuals have been encouraged, even by legitimate organisations and NGOs, to submit applications for asylum not with a view to remaining in Greece but in the hope that pathways to other parts of Europe will open once again. I thank the European Commission and the European Asylum Support Office for their support and responsible approach.

      We take particular care of vulnerable groups, especially unaccompanied minors, and we seek to achieve family reunification for those who became stuck in our country after the unilateral closure of the Balkan route. Their applications are examined on a priority basis. Some 500 unaccompanied minors are hosted in existing structures. Following an action plan drawn up with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and NGOs, we will introduce additional special infrastructures for the hosting of an additional 400 unaccompanied minors in July. A number of other internal measures are being introduced, including: a register of tutors; strengthening the possibility of placing children with foster families; and the development of an electronic platform for tracing minors, for which we will hopefully be able to take advantage of a contribution from the Council of Europe Development Bank – that work is a very high priority for us. We will be submitting a proposal to the European Commission to the effect that unaccompanied minors who are less than 10 years old and who have been stuck on Greek territory since before 19 March should be priority candidates for relocation to other European States, whatever their nationality. That would be a positive step.

      The financial crisis and the migration crisis clearly cannot be resolved through the instruments of nationalism and retrenchment and through policies that would put responsibility on the shoulders of the most vulnerable countries, as that would violate the rights of the most vulnerable groups. Xenophobic policies, such as refoulement at sea and actions that seek to treat migrants as a problem only for front-line countries, violate European values and threaten the future of Europe’s ethics. Greece continues to try to deal with the problem, but the migration crisis requires solidarity – we must work together. Only by co-operating with transit countries and with the countries of origin will we be able to address the phenomenon appropriately.

      We must stress the resolution of conflicts through humanitarian co-operation and more interconnection between our migration policy and our foreign policy. In that respect, Greece has strengthened its co-operation with Turkey, which together with Jordan and Lebanon is one of the three countries that have received the most refugees – there are 3 million refugees in Turkey. There has been Euro-Turkish co-operation, and a related NATO operations in the Aegean Sea, and thanks to the huge efforts of Greek, Turkish and European authorities the flow of 7 000 to 8 000 migrants a day to the Aegean islands last November has now been staunched to fewer than 1 00 a day. Most importantly, we have not been seeing the tragic deaths at sea that we all deplored on the smuggling routes in the recent past. The irregular routes taken by smugglers have been replaced by a legal route into Schengen States from Turkey, so the former situation, of which we were all so ashamed, has now been resolved. The new route has been used by hundreds of refugees over the past few months, and we expect it to become a permanent route for thousands of individuals who want to settle in Europe.

      Many efforts have been made, but we need to do more to improve the migration management process. On a daily basis, the Asylum Service and the migration ministry, which did not even exist a few years ago, are sharing a huge burden and making tremendous efforts to fulfil their mission. I publicly thank the Greek people – the woman and man on the street – the volunteers and the ministries, and I particularly thank the minister responsible for the migration ministry, Ioannis Mouzalas, all of whom are fighting daily to ensure humanitarian support for refugees. The minister has not come from a political milieu, but has broad experience as a physician and has been a member of humanitarian organisations. He is an excellent organiser and has managed to ensure good co-ordination among all those who are contributing to dealing with this humanitarian problem, nationally and internationally.

      As of now, we expect that there will be fair distribution of the burden of welcome across Europe. The front-line countries should not bear all of the burden. We expect our partners to take up their responsibilities on the basis of solidarity – not just solidarity towards Greece but solidarity towards the values of an organisation that they have chosen to join. Solidarity means that we share the problem without undermining those working with us to deal with it. We expect a significant speeding up of relocation processes and a fair revision of the Dublin Agreement so that everyone takes up the burden that is rightfully theirs.

      We also hope to be able to co-operate with the Council of Europe to take advantage of its expertise, especially in the field of human rights. It was with particular pleasure that I recently welcomed the Secretary General and the President of the Parliamentary Assembly to Greece. We had an opportunity to talk about how we can work together. It is clear that we can confront the migrant and refugee crisis effectively only by looking at the root causes that have given rise to it – armed conflict, impoverishment, climate change and the violation of human rights. We must therefore co-ordinate more to avoid a further deterioration in the security crisis in Europe, which is resulting in not only the destabilisation of countries close to Europe but the setting up of terrorist networks within our European societies. Europe is called upon to find the solution that will protect it and its values, and which will make it possible for us to confront terrorism abroad and ensure that we have the right conditions for peace, security and reconciliation in the countries affected. We need solutions that will protect European citizens and the rule of law in Europe.

      Greece, as a European country located on the Mediterranean and close to countries of the Black Sea, continues to be active in its multi-dimensional foreign policy. During this period of increased regional confrontation and destabilisation, we must enter into dialogue and work bilaterally and multilaterally with our neighbouring countries in the Mediterranean, the Black Sea and the Balkan countries. We must use international law to defend our sovereign rights. In this regard, we strongly support the cross-community talks for a fair and viable solution to the Cyprus problem, based on the resolutions of the United Nations Security Council and the EU membership of Cyprus; a solution which shall infuse a sense of security to the people of Cyprus, both Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots, with no occupying forces and outdated institutions, such as guarantees.

      We are in favour of UN initiatives to support peace and stability in Ukraine, Libya and all countries affected by conflict. We are in favour of finding solutions to the situation in the Middle East, and we want to see a sovereign Palestinian State that can co-exist peacefully with Israel. We want to strengthen the monitoring of our borders, and we will co-operate with our partners to deal with the issues of terrorism and extremism while respecting international law, European law and human rights.

      As you will understand, over the past 18 months we have been undertaking significant efforts to deal with the migration crisis and the financial crisis while security challenges were increasing. However, the need to protect human rights in Greece means that we have been active in many other areas as well. In December we introduced civil partnerships for same-sex couples, putting an end to a cycle of regression and injustice for all Greek citizens. We opened a new cycle of equality and dignity for all people of whatever gender and sexual orientation. We want to protect all people from fear and intolerance – that is our democratic inheritance, and it has led to an improvement in the lives of many Greeks. Changes in the law have also resolved many issues relating to divorce and inheritance.

      However, there is still a long way to go in our daily struggle against all forms of discrimination and racism. We are also looking to change our law on nationality to guarantee that second-generation children of immigrants can have Greek citizenship. If children born in Greece to migrant parents want to study in our country, we want to make that easier for them. We also have a legislative programme to improve the situation in our prisons, because we want to deal with the problem of over-population. We are working on reforms to our national health system to link it with penitentiary institutions, and we want to improve our centres for those suffering from drug addiction.

      We are working to improve the situation of our Roma population, because the Roma population both in Greece and in Europe as a whole are extremely vulnerable. We have established the National Supervisory Mechanism for Roma Policies, and we will set up a Special Secretariat within the Ministry of Social Solidarity to examine and resolve the issues with which they are confronted.

      In the near future, we are going to build a mosque and a Muslim cemetery in Athens, which has been planned for a long time. We want to respect the Muslim population of Athens, but that is not the only reason for doing it – we also want to firmly safeguard our own values and principles.

      Today, Europe is confronted with a major challenge. We need to re-establish economic stability and, at the same time, protect social rights and social cohesion. Your Assembly, which is a vital body within an institution that provides models for the rule of law, democracy and human rights, is in a privileged position, and as such you are the conscience of European citizens. Your task is a difficult one. You have to study the responses available and offer solutions to the challenges that threaten both the European construction and human rights.

      Greece believes that the role of the Council of Europe, as a unifying force based on shared principles and values, is irreplaceable, and Greece has contributed to, and will continue to contribute to, fulfilling the Council’s goals. Allow me to underscore our ongoing commitment to the construction of a democratic Europe: a Europe of solidarity; a Europe of tolerance; and a Europe based on the values and the principles of the Council of Europe. This is vital if we are to confront the challenges that our countries face, and we must confront them at an institutional and constitutional level, as we have done for the past two years. I am sure that you will work as best you can to this end.

      Ladies and gentlemen, we are counting on you. We believe that your efforts cannot be replaced.

      The PRESIDENT* – Thank you very much, Mr Prime Minister. Unfortunately, your speech has taken up most of the time allotted. We will find it very difficult to move on to the list of speakers.

      (The speaker continued in English.)

      I will give the floor to the five speakers on behalf of the groups, to ask questions together. If there is time after, we will follow the list of speakers. I am very sorry about that.

      Mr KOX (Netherlands, Spokesperson for the Unified European Left) – Mr Prime Minister, as you said, we are living in dangerous times, in which we see growing tensions on our continent and international co-operation under threat. We especially notice tensions between Russia, the biggest member State of the Council of Europe, and the European Union, which 28 of our member States are also members of. There has been the imposition of serious sanctions, back and forth, and sanctions that may be reconsidered in the near future. You are now known in both Brussels and Moscow. Can you see any way out of this dangerous policy of confrontation and a way towards co-operation?

      Mr EẞL (Austria, Spokesperson for the European People’s Party)* – Prime Minister, the refugee crisis is a major challenge and Greece must not be left alone. However, Greece has brought itself into a very difficult economic position. You referred to neo-liberalism. Frankly, I think that communism is a system that has failed and we need to consider the welfare of our own people at home. What do the Greek authorities intend to do to improve the financial situation and to finance yourselves on the capital markets?

      Ms MIKKO (Estonia, Spokesperson for the Socialist Group) – Mr Tsipras, it is crystal clear that as far as the refugee crisis is concerned Europe must show more solidarity. Solidarity is one of our basic and beautiful values. At the same time, however, it must also apply to our consideration of refugees. I have certain concerns about the refugees in respect of the European Convention on Human Rights and the Geneva Convention. Could you please explain how the Greek Government are implementing the request of the European Court of Human Rights in this respect?

      Ms BRASSEUR (Luxembourg, Spokesperson for the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe) – Prime Minister, thank you for having accepted my invitation to address this Assembly. Your country has been undergoing very severe budgetary restrictions. Can you see the light at the end of the tunnel and how will you comply with the principle of accountability, keeping in mind that we want all Greeks to benefit in the near future from all these reforms, so that they can live a life of dignity, serenity and certainty about the future?

      Mr OBREMSKI (Poland, Spokesperson for the European Conservatives Group) – The fight against the economic crisis in Greece has gone on for several years. What was the main mistake made by the EU and the eurozone in the advice, recommendations or ultimatums that were given to Greece, or were the mistakes only made by Greece in the past? I ask because a good answer from you could be important not only for Greece but for a rethinking of Europe.

      Mr TSIPRAS – I will try to reply to the five questions that have been asked.

      The first question, if I remember rightly, was from Mr Kox from the Netherlands and it was on sanctions and Russia. I am absolutely convinced that we cannot go back towards the Cold War, and I am also convinced that anything that is contrary to international law should be condemned. However, having taken note of these violations of international law, we need to find ways to work together to establish agreement and to bring matters back into line with international law, through dialogue and negotiation.

      Up to now, these sanctions have not been effective and it is my view that we cannot speak of any shared security architecture in Europe without including Russia. Therefore, I consider that the way forward in the near future – slowly and step by step – is to make sure that the Minsk agreements are implemented, and to show that that will be merely the first step on the way out of the sanctions process and towards improving the relationship between the European Union and Russia.

      The second question was put by our colleague from the EPP. Of course the communist model was a failure – nobody would disagree with that – but I say to you that the neo-liberal model has also been a failure. We need to find the way to achieve social cohesion in Europe and to bring it back to its basic values: social cohesion, democracy and solidarity.

      I will now try to reply to the question of when we are going to get out of the economic crisis, which is of concern to millions of my fellow Greeks. There is so much that the Greek people have done over the last few years and so much that they have suffered. Many say that they have suffered in spite of applying the programmes. The truth is that the programmes were not very well constructed and that is why they were badly implemented.

      Returning the Greek economy to growth will require more than the ill-assessed measures that were applied. Now, for the first time, we have a moderate adjustment programme that offers the prospect of getting out of recession, especially if, after Greece fulfils its commitments, our partners fulfil theirs, and of course that has to do with lessening the debt burden. On 24 May, at a meeting of the Euro Group, we spoke about keeping that below 15% of GDP. I think that decision is a just one, and not only for Greece, but for all European countries. For if we are europhiles, we should not just be seeking concessions for our country; we should be trying to achieve a good deal and prosperity for all the peoples of Europe. We therefore need to look at the public debt of other countries as well. That is of primary importance. What was decided for Greece was that we would have a mutualisation of the debt and that that could lead us towards a European solution. At the same time, everything that was decided for Greece needs to become more specific and more immediate; we should not have to wait years to see the application of decisions that seem perfectly logical and clear today.

      In answer to the question from our Estonian colleague on human rights and the Geneva Convention, I would like to be very clear that throughout this whole period the Greek Government, and indeed all of Greece, has found itself in a very difficult situation. On the one hand we had to adhere to the European conventions and receive the refugees, but on the other hand we had to face a very unilateral approach at the same time. From the time when our northern frontiers were closed unilaterally, the prospect of Greece becoming the place where thousands of people would be locked in – 5 000 to 7 000 arriving every day – was a very serious danger. We had to find a way out of that pressure cooker. We did so by providing our own effective solutions to the refugee crisis, in full respect of international law, human rights and the Geneva Convention. Today, every asylum application is taken on a case-by-case basis. Every individual on any Greek island has their rights respected according to the Geneva Convention and international law, obviously with courts and an appeal process. Each case and each application for asylum is determined on a case-by-case basis, treating each migrant and each refugee individually.

      In answer to the question on the principle of accountability, at the beginning of this grand adventure that followed the economic crisis we had elections, after the signing of the programme agreement. The Greek people went to those elections with all the cards on the table and in full knowledge of what they were deciding upon. The government was there in order to apply the agreement that was signed. Back then, in 2015, we received a mandate to negotiate. We negotiated and achieved a compromise. We then went back to the Greek people so that they could judge, and in September 2015 they requested that we continue. The programme was very difficult, but we were trying to protect their social rights and the most vulnerable groups. I hope that we will achieve that and that we will not have to cross any of the red lines that we laid down when we signed the agreement.

      The fifth question, which was from our Polish colleague, is a very interesting one: what was the basic mistake? Was it a mistake by the European Union, or were others also responsible for the crisis, and not just our partners? Were Greek mistakes part of that? I do not like pointing the finger at our partners at every turn, and it is obvious that many of the mistakes were made in Greece, under Greek management. Why were Greek Governments unable to see this when Greece became a member of the eurozone? In those years of growth Greek Governments were more concerned with organising the Olympics, rather than establishing a modern Greek State, and we know what that led to: over-indebtedness and everything else.

      Obviously Greece was also in error. The day when the Greek Government was no longer able to borrow money on the markets, when we were no longer soluble, led to that lack of solvency and then to the current situation. At the time, unemployment in Greece was slightly higher than in Germany, at 7.5%. Today, unemployment is below 7% in Germany but above 20% in Greece. That is a clear sign of the failure of the austerity policy that was applied to us. All of this began with the fact that Greece was in such deep debt.

      What was the European Union’s main mistake? It did not have confidence in the European institutions. It allowed technocrats to take decisions – it was not politicians who took those decisions. As a result, today Europe faces a political and democratic crisis. It is a crisis of confidence. European citizens no longer trust Europe. That is the consequence of failed policies, not only in Greece but in Spain, Portugal and other countries in the European south.

      I think there is one question that I have not replied to – no, I am being told that I have replied to all the questions. If there is time I would be delighted to reply to any other questions.

      The PRESIDENT – Time has absolutely run out, but thank you very much again for being with us today. I look forward to our continuing future co-operation. That brings to an end the questions to Prime Minister Tsipras.

      Members on the questions list who have been present in the Chamber but have not been able to ask their question may submit it to the Table Office for answer in writing and publication in the Official Report.

2. Personal statement

      The PRESIDENT – I understand that Ms Butler wishes to make a personal statement. I remind the Assembly that, under Rule 35.6, no debate may arise on a personal statement.

      Ms Butler, you have the floor. You have two minutes.

      Ms BUTLER (United Kingdom) – I want to speak about Jo Cox MP, who was murdered five days ago. Today would have been Jo’s 42nd birthday. Our gift to Jo is to show the world that there is more that unites us than divides us. Jo’s husband, Brendan, has asked us to come together in love and solidarity, and to celebrate Jo’s life. Today, around the world, global parliamentarians pay tribute to Jo Cox, and I am proud that we are part of that call to action here at the Council of Europe, standing together against hate and extremism. The #NoHateNoFear campaign started by President Agramunt is an excellent example of encouraging others to show solidarity, along with #moreincommon, Jo’s own words.

      Jo was brutally murdered outside her constituency surgery for what she believed in: democracy, freedom, love and compassion for others. Jo was a mother, a campaigner and an MP. Some of you have said you wish you had known Jo. I say you did know Jo: she was one of us. It is important that we send a message to those who try to divide us, to those who try to stop us living our lives, to the extremists: you will not divide us. There are more of us than there are of you, and we will defeat you. We will not allow you to define us or our way of life.

      Bernard Kenny was stabbed trying to save Jo from her murderer. He is a hero, and in a strange but wonderful coincidence it is also his birthday today. I wish him a happy birthday.

      Jo was a friend of mine and of many others. She campaigned hard for Africa and for children, and was passionate about Syria. I would like to conclude with the words of a Syrian female poet:

      “It does not matter that I love her endlessly…Sh

      She lives in a world that the devil dreams to flee…

      And yet she stands strong with a smile shining through her lips…

      With a laugh musical, poetry to my ear…

      She is a brave women…gentle and free.”

      She was one of us. We have more in common, so let us celebrate #NoHateNoFear.

      The PRESIDENT – Thank you, Ms Butler, for your personal statement.

(Mr Nikoloski, Vice-President of the Assembly, took the Chair in place of Mr Agramunt.)

3. Debate (continued): The functioning of democratic institutions in Turkey

      The PRESIDENT – We now resume the debate on the functioning of democratic institutions in Turkey. I remind you that we have already agreed that in order to finish by 6 p.m. we shall interrupt the list of speakers at about 5 p.m. to allow time for the reply and the votes.

      Mr KANDEMIR (Turkey)* – According to our records, Fırat was 13, Tahsin was nine, Sadik was five, Mevlüde was six months and Harun was four. Those kids have died during PKK attacks in the past six months. I have a whole list, which I cannot go through now. In fact, the PKK attacked a kindergarten just last week. As members of the Assembly have witnessed, Turkey has turned into a country where civilians are being killed. They are attacked by suicide bombers, and trucks loaded with bombs explode everywhere.

      Unfortunately, Turkey is under attack from both Daesh and the PKK. It is currently carrying the huge burden of the refugee crisis almost alone. It neighbours two bankrupt states. Furthermore, it lies in a region where ensuring stability and national security is very challenging. That is why we feel that we are not being judged correctly and fairly by the report, especially with regard to two aspects.

      The first is the issue of refugees from the south-eastern part of Turkey. The first question we should ask on that is why those people had to leave. Turkey is currently hosting 3 million Syrians. Given that it is offering hospitality to those 3 million people, would Turkey want to make people refugees in their own land? I will answer the question for you: no, definitely not. The issue has been caused by PKK terror – because of the trenches the PKK has dug, and the massacres and killings. Just last week, in Diyarbakir, 15 tonnes of bombs exploded, killing 16 Kurds. The PKK are calling for terror, and attending the funerals of suicide bombers and digging more trenches. We need to take democratic measures against such actions.

      I wish to touch on the issue of parliamentary immunity, which has been mentioned again and again. I draw the Assembly’s attention to one fact. During the vote, three out of four political parties voted in favour of the lifting of parliamentary immunity – 376 of 550 members voted in favour. Those people love their country as much as you love yours. I understand the concerns, but the point of the measure is to make sure that people can be tried. It is not about the immediate detention of people.

      Turkey is a part of Europe. We need our European friends more than ever, and we need fairness more than ever.

      The PRESIDENT – I call Mr Schennach. He is not here, so I call Ms Mikko.

      Ms MIKKO (Estonia) – Let me thank our two rapporteurs. Their work needed patience and political skills, and they have succeeded in their work. Turkey, a strategic partner for Europe, is facing many challenges at the moment, from terrorist attacks to the massive flows of refugees, but the fight against terrorism should not come at the cost of human rights.

      As a former journalist, I am most concerned about the deterioration of the freedom of the press and of freedom of expression in Turkey. According to the latest Freedom House report on the freedom of the press, the media in Turkey is not free and the Internet is only partly free. That report states: “The government, controlled by President…Erdoğan’s Justice and Development Party (AKP), aggressively used the penal code, criminal defamation legislation, and the country’s antiterrorism law to punish critical reporting”. In 2014, Reporters Without Borders classified Turkey as one of the countries where journalists were the most threatened and attacked physically. Turkey has fallen in recent years in various rankings of press freedom, corruption and the rule of law.

      It is unacceptable that investigative journalists in Turkey researching topics of general interest are at risk of prosecution. One huge threat to democracy and media pluralism is the fact that a large number of websites have been blocked and that there are restraints on social media, such as Twitter takedown requests. As a Twitter user, I know what a platform it offers citizens for open discussion. That benefits democracy, and no free and transparent country need be afraid of it.

      If Turkey wants to be a part of the European family, it needs to respect the values of Europe’s family members. A precondition of becoming a member of the European Union is fulfilling the three Copenhagen criteria, under which democracy and the rule of law are equally as important as the existence of a free market. As Turkey has long had an ambition to become a member of the European Union, it cannot ignore democracy and – even more so – the rule of law. The latter is especially important from the perspective of the Council of Europe as a human rights Organisation. Without freedom of expression, there is no point in pretending that everything is fine with democracy

      I wish Turkey good luck on the bumpy road to democracy. The Turkish people deserve treatment that is appropriate for Europeans. We need the great country of Turkey in our European family, and that is why we care about Turkey and give it such advice.

      Ms KERESTECİOĞLU DEMİR (Turkey) – I thank the rapporteurs for the effort they have put into this report during these difficult days for the people of Turkey. I want to start by outlining the process that has drastically changed the political climate in Turkey. How did we end up losing hundreds of civilians and security officers in the warlike conditions in Turkey?

      As you may remember, in the last session Mr Muižnieks brought up the issue of the dead body of a young man, Hacı Lokman Birlik, being dragged behind an armoured police vehicle in Şırnak. According to Mr Muižnieks, the Turkish authorities informed him that two members of the security forces were placed under investigation and suspended. However, the outcome of the investigation only reinforced the chronic problem of impunity in relation to the actions of the security forces. The only punishment given to the security personnel was to be unable to receive any promotion for 16 months.

      Why has the peace process, which was received favourably by the majority in our society, collapsed? Please remember that the HDP took a strong stance against the all-powerful presidential system during the June 2015 election campaign. In the end, the Justice and Development Party failed to win the two-thirds majority in Parliament that would have allowed it to amend the constitution. The HDP has been targeted since its success in the elections. Accusations of terrorism were used as an excuse to convict academics, journalists, politicians and even us – members of parliament. Our immunities were lifted and 55 deputies from our party now face the threat of imprisonment. Erol Önderoğlu, the Turkish representative of Reporters Without Borders, Şebnem Korur Fincancı, a professor of forensic medicine and head of the Human Rights Foundation of Turkey, and Ahmet Nesin, a writer and journalist, were jailed yesterday just for participating in a solidarity campaign for media freedom. As we participate in every session, we feel deep sorrow at finding that another friend is in jail or, like Tahir Elçi, has been killed.

      War is corrosive for every society, with growing hate and increasing discrimination. We face the effects of those changes: the vested rights of women are under attack, child abuse is increasing and Istanbul Pride marches, which have been organised peacefully for many years, are being banned. Our only demand is the ability to live in a country where we can express ourselves freely. That is the most fundamental need of all societies. Our mission should not become a matter for negotiation for any reason: whether democracy succeeds in Turkey is really a question about whether the Council of Europe succeeds in its mission.

      The PRESIDENT – I call Mr Di Stefano on a point of order.

      Mr DI STEFANO (Italy)* – For the second time in a question session, members of the Parliamentary Assembly have been humiliated by being deprived of the opportunity of asking questions. We have been deprived of the opportunity to put questions to the Greek Prime Minister, and this is not the first time it has happened. We are elected representatives who, given our position, must be able to ask questions during such sessions. It is a great pity that the time allocated was so short.

      The PRESIDENT – Thank you, Mr Di Stefano. I take note of your point of order – I think you are right – and will pass it on to the Bureau for further consideration. I hope that future speakers will respect the right of members of this Assembly to ask them questions because that is what we are here for.

      We will now continue with the debate. I call Ms Anttila.

      Ms ANTTILA (Finland) – I thank our co-rapporteurs, Ms Godskesen and Ms Vučković, for their excellent report on the functioning of democratic institutions in Turkey, on which I congratulate them. Turkey is currently confronted with the consequences of the ongoing war in Syria and the surrounding countries. It is hosting 3 million refugees, and faces continuous terrorist threats and attacks, notably by Daesh and the PKK. Such attacks have been condemned.

      Turkey was one of the first members of the Council of Europe, and is now a very important strategic and co-operative partner for Europe. As a full member of the Council of Europe, Turkey’s legislation and legal practices are expected to comply with our standards in the fields of democracy, human rights and the rule of law. Terrorism and security operations have led to enormous suffering among civilians, and the role of Turkey will be crucial in resolving the growing refugee problem. The war in Syria should be stopped through negotiations to bring peace to the region, and the main aim should be to help refugees near their homeland. In this respect, Turkey is the correct place for refugees from Syria and Asia.

      Another important aim should be to stop the escalation of violence in Turkey. The Turkish Parliament should provide a political forum for peace and dialogue. Political solutions are needed and are made possible through talks between all the political forces involved.

      The Turkish problems must be resolved democratically. Democracy is the best way to develop societies. The co-rapporteurs are expected to return to Turkey by the end of this year in order to continue their work. We firmly believe that Turkey needs to overcome its current challenges and reconnect with its reform agenda. Turkey is a wonderful country with its own culture and history.

      Thank you for your attention.

      Mr WIECHEL (Sweden) – We have before us today a complete and highly objective report that speaks to a growing sense of worry, which is felt around Europe and the rest of the world, about what is happening in and to Turkey. Not too long ago, Turkey enjoyed internal peace and dialogue, rapid economic, social and democratic development, and a foreign policy that Turkey itself called one of zero problems. Turkey was used as an example across the world as a model for how a Muslim country could be a democracy that modernised its institutions and manifested its good intentions in all geographical directions. Somehow, its path has turned at the same time as we have seen a number of tragic developments. There has been the disastrous Syrian conflict, with 2 million Syrian refugees seeking shelter on Turkish soil. There have been outrageous terrorist attacks, and a world economic slowdown that hit an emerging economy such as Turkey’s hard.

      The dimming of democracy and the tightening repression in Turkey which the report discusses, however, go far beyond what could ever be explained or excused by the developments that have just been referred to. We have seen massive armed interventions against Kurdish-populated areas, along with a hardening stance against any formal recognition of a distinct Kurdish ethnicity with special rights. We have seen armed incursions into Syrian territory in pursuit of Kurdish forces fighting the Islamic State. We have seen severe limitations placed on the media and journalists, including imprisonment, as well as repeated intrusions by the executive into the supposedly independent judicial sphere. We have seen serious erosions of parliamentary immunity that seem to be directed especially at the political opposition, notably the Kurdish representatives. We have also seen how the Turkish Government has withdrawn diplomats from countries because they rightly describe the Ottoman massacre of Armenians in 1915 as an act of genocide.

      I could go on raising other aspects of the sad current weakening of Turkish democracy, but I refer my esteemed colleagues to the report itself and to the detailed recommendations that it contains. As a Council of Europe member State since its founding year in 1949, Turkey has a special obligation to uphold and respect the principles of this Organisation. We as Assembly members owe it both to Turkey and to the Council of Europe to help guide the country back to its former, better self.

      THE PRESIDENT – I must now interrupt the list of speakers. The speeches of members on the speakers list who have been present during the debate but have not been able to speak may be given to the Table Office for publication in the Official Report. I remind colleagues that the texts are to be submitted in typescript, electronically if possible, no later than four hours after the list of speakers is interrupted.

      I call the co-rapporteurs, Ms Vučković and Ms Godskesen, to reply. You have one minute and 30 seconds between you.

      Ms VUČKOVIĆ (Sweden) – First, I thank all who took part in the debate. We all agree that Turkey is an important member of the Council of Europe and that we should greatly appreciate its hosting of almost 3 million refugees. We understand the complexity of the situation and the exposure to terrorism and to the consequences of the war in Syria, but we cannot accept the further degrading of democracy and the violation of human rights. Political dialogue should be established and transparency put in place, the media should be open and free, and the fight for the independence of the judiciary should take serious roots. The right messages should be sent from here today to the Turkish Government and to the democratic forces in Turkey. We should not expose them to an even more difficult situation and to increased risks.

      This is not a post-monitoring report; this is only a report on the functioning of the democratic institutions in Turkey. Next year, a post-monitoring report is planned that will address all 12 issues that are the subjects of the post-monitoring dialogue. That is why we focused on only three fields. Let me say to all colleagues who envisage the opening of the monitoring procedure early next year that we believe that we should wait for the post-monitoring report to be presented to the Assembly. At that point the Assembly will have the opportunity to decide to continue either the monitoring procedure or the post-monitoring procedure. We think that our Turkish colleagues need some time to address the very strong requirements proposed to them by the resolution.

      Thank you very much for your understanding.

      THE PRESIDENT – Thank you. Vice-president of the Monitoring Committee, Mr Mahoux, you have two minutes.

      Mr MAHOUX (Belgium)* – In my turn, Mr President, I express my thanks to the rapporteurs for their work. We are well aware of the difficulties encountered. We heard this morning that the committee operated in full respect of the rules and impartially in order to ensure the proper conduct of our debates. The committee looked at some fundamental issues concerning the rule of law. We looked at the links between the executive, the legislature and the 150 parliamentarians, and at the role of the constitutional court. We discussed democracy, the independence of the media and human rights very openly, to which we added women’s rights in the public session.

      I would like to make a couple of points here. The committee has worked, and I believe that the rapporteurs have worked, in an ongoing way. Information kept coming in if not daily then fairly constantly and had to be factored in, and it was very important to take account of these developments.

      I represent the committee here, and indeed the Venice Commission is called on quite frequently to provide opinions, sometimes quite critical opinions, on the situations that are of concern to us. I therefore conclude by thanking our rapporteurs for this report and for their extremely tricky job of work.

      THE PRESIDENT – The debate is now closed.

      The Committee on the Honouring of Obligations and Commitments by Member States of the Council of Europe has presented a draft resolution with 40 amendments.

      I understand that the Monitoring Committee wishes to propose to the Assembly that Amendments 9, 3, 14 and 4 to the draft resolution, which were unanimously approved by the committee, should be declared as agreed by the Assembly. I note that Amendments 1 and 15 were also unanimously approved by the committee, but because these amendments are dependent on other amendments, they must be taken separately.

      Does anyone object? As there is no objection, I declare that Amendments 9, 3, 14 and 4 to the draft resolution have been agreed.

      We come now to Amendment 16. I call Mr Dişli to support the amendment. You have 30 seconds.

      Mr DİŞLİ (Turkey) – The report mentions problems relating to Syrian refugees, including their education. Taking care of Syrian refugees is the responsibility of all member States. The lack of adequate international assistance must be underlined in this paragraph.

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

      Mr OMTZIGT (Netherlands) – If refugees reside in Germany, Germany is responsible for their education. If they reside in Turkey, Turkey has primary responsibility for their education. A strong signal is being sent that 400 000 Syrian children are without education. The line should remain in the resolution, so please vote against the amendment and support the rapporteurs.

      The PRESIDENT – What is the opinion of the committee?

      Mr MAHOUX (Belgium)* – The committee is against.

      The PRESIDENT – The vote is open.

      Amendment 16 is rejected.

      We come now to amendment 17. I call Mr Dişli to support the amendment. You have 30 seconds.

      Mr DIŞLI (Turkey) – The words “erosion of” are not justified. It would be enough to mention “developments…pertaining to…the rule of law”.

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

      Mr OMTZIGT (Netherlands) – The report contains many examples of the erosion of the rule of law: a quarter of the judges – thousands of judges and prosecutors – have been moved; the law on curfews is illegal, according to the Venice Commission; the judges have been removed from the high Council of State, which has been dismissed and will be halved in size; 1.6 million people have been driven from their homes in south-east Turkey. There is some erosion of the rule of law, so the words should remain in the report.

      The PRESIDENT – What is the opinion of the committee?

      Mr MAHOUX (Belgium)* – The committee is against.

      The PRESIDENT – The vote is open.

      Amendment 17 is rejected.

      We now come to amendment 5. I call Mr Hunko to support the amendment. You have 30 seconds.

      Mr HUNKO (Germany)* – We are talking about human rights violations in the context of the so-called anti-terrorism operations. The proposal is to delete the word “alleged” before “human rights violations”. There is much documentation of human rights violations. The Commissioner for Human Rights of the Council of Europe has visited the country and confirmed this. I move that “alleged” be deleted.

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

      Mr ÖNAL (Turkey) – The anti-terror operations are carried out in line with international law. The main instruction given to the security forces is to protect the lives of the citizens. The duration of the operations and the number of soldiers and policemen is an indication of that.

      The PRESIDENT – What is the opinion of the committee?

      Mr MAHOUX (Belgium)* – The committee is in favour.

      The PRESIDENT – The vote is open.

      Amendment 5 is adopted. 

We now come to Amendment 18. If this amendment is adopted, Amendment 19 falls. I call Mr Dişli to support the amendment. You have 30 seconds.

      Mr DIŞLI (Turkey) – The people in question have not been subject to any judicial process and have been acquitted by the parliament. We would therefore like to delete the words.

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

      Mr SCHENNACH (Austria) – As I said in committee, there is an investigation into exactly these people. If we accept the amendment, we will weaken the report, so please reject it.

      The PRESIDENT – What is the opinion of the committee on the amendment?

      Mr MAHOUX (Belgium)* – The committee is against.

      The PRESIDENT – The vote is open.

      Amendment 18 is rejected.

      We now come to amendment 19. I call Mr Dişli to support the amendment. You have 30 seconds.

      Mr DIŞLI (Turkey) - The son of Mr Erdoğan was never accused in law. The reference to him only reflects the rumours on social media, and the report should not include rumours on social media.

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

      Mr SCHENNACH (Austria) – No, it is not as Mr Dişli says. The matter concerns four ministers and the son of former Prime Minister Erdoğan. If we did not agree in the last amendment to delete the reference to the four ministers and the son, why should we do so now? The investigation is into those people, so we should reject the amendment.

      The PRESIDENT – What is the opinion of the committee on the amendment?

      Mr MAHOUX (Belgium)* – The committee is against.

      The PRESIDENT – The vote is open.

      Amendment 19 is rejected.

      We come now to amendment 20. I call Mr Eseyan.

      Mr ESEYAN (Turkey)* – The peace process was ended unilaterally as a result of the PKK attacks. On 6, 7 and 8 October, there were demonstrations in 30 cities. Even after that, the government did not end the peace process, so it would be wrong to distort the facts. That is why I ask you to vote in favour of the amendment.

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

      What is the opinion of the committee on the amendment?

      Mr MAHOUX (Belgium)* – The committee is against.

      The PRESIDENT – The vote is open.

      Amendment 20 is rejected.

      We come now to Amendment 6. I call Mr Hunko to support the amendment. You have 30 seconds.

      Mr HUNKO (Germany)* – The amendment proposes a very clear description of the beginning of the ongoing escalation in violence. The Erdoğan Government served notice on the peace talks in April 2015 and then the anti-terror operations began; but it all began in April 2015.

      The PRESIDENT – I call Ms Vučković to support the sub-amendment on behalf of the Monitoring Committee.

      Ms VUČKOVIĆ (Serbia) – We think that the wording in the sub-amendment is better.

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

      What is the opinion of the mover of the main amendment?

      Mr HUNKO (Germany) – I agree with the sub-amendment.

      The PRESIDENT – The committee is obviously in favour of the sub-amendment.

      Mr MAHOUX (Belgium)* – Yes, the committee is in favour.

      The PRESIDENT – I shall now put the sub-amendment to the vote. The vote is open.

      The sub-amendment is adopted.

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

      What is the opinion of the committee?

      Mr MAHOUX (Belgium)* – The committee is in favour.

      The PRESIDENT – The vote is open.

      Amendment 6, as amended, is adopted.

      We come to Amendment 21. I call Mr Eseyan to support the amendment.

      Mr ESEYAN (Turkey)* – Significant steps have been taken with respect to democratisation, cultural rights and language rights. There have been significant improvements with respect to the use of languages such as Kurdish and those are ongoing. There is no link between the demands of the Kurdish citizens and the PKK; these are two different things. The rights of the Kurds and the PKK have to be separated from one another.

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

      What is the opinion of the committee?

      Mr MAHOUX (Belgium)* – The committee is against.

      The PRESIDENT – The vote is open.

      Amendment 21 is rejected.

      We come to Amendment 7. I call Mr Hunko to support the amendment.

      Mr HUNKO (Germany)* – We are talking about immunity being stripped from a number of members of parliament. The amendment gives a slightly clearer description of the basis on which that is being done.

      The PRESIDENT – We now come to the sub-amendment, tabled by the Monitoring Committee, which proposes to delete the words: “notably by better aligning the definition of terrorism with that set out in framework decision 2002/475/JHA as amended”.

      Who wishes to support the sub-amendment on behalf of the Monitoring Committee?

      Ms VUČKOVIĆ (Serbia) – We propose that we do not refer to the European Union documents, as it is better to stick to Council of Europe sources.

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

      What is the opinion of Mr Hunko?

      Mr HUNKO (Germany)* – I agree.

      The PRESIDENT – The committee is obviously in favour of the sub-amendment.

      I shall now put the sub-amendment to the vote.

      The vote is open.

      The sub-amendment is adopted.

      Does anyone wish to speak against the amendment, as amended? I call Mr Önal.

      Mr ÖNAL (Turkey)* – Significant changes have been introduced to the anti-terror law recently. The definition of crimes amounting to terrorism has been narrowed down and the periods of detention have been reduced. The language in the amendment does not reflect the situation, so I am against it.

      The PRESIDENT – What is the opinion of the committee?

      Mr MAHOUX (Belgium)* – The committee is in favour.

      The PRESIDENT – I shall now put the amendment, as amended, to the vote.

      The vote is open.

      Amendment 7, as amended, is adopted.

      We come to Amendment 8. If this amendment is agreed to, Amendment 22 falls.

      I call Mr Hunko to support the amendment.

      Mr HUNKO (Germany)* – This paragraph refers to the so-called security operations in south-east Turkey and their effects. The amendment gives a clearer description of what has happened and the results of that.

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

      Mr ÖNAL (Turkey)* – All daytime curfews in the region have ended and the majority of people who were displaced due to terrorism have returned to their homes. The amendment is one-sided and gives a distorted view of the facts. I am therefore against it.

      The PRESIDENT – What is the opinion of the committee?

      Mr MAHOUX (Belgium)* – In favour.

      The PRESIDENT – The vote is open.

      Amendment 8 is adopted.

      We come to Amendment 23. I call Mr Eseyan to support the amendment.

      Mr ESEYAN (Turkey)* – The explosives are claimed to have been buried by the PKK. We have to clarify this. Tens of thousands of bombs have been dug in by the PKK. Why does that not appear clearly in the report?

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

      What is the opinion of the committee?

      Mr MAHOUX (Belgium)* – The committee is against.

      The PRESIDENT – The vote is open.

      Amendment 23 is rejected.

      We come to Amendment 24. I call Mr Kandemir to support the amendment.

      Mr KANDEMIR (Turkey) – All the political parties and various NGOs have conducted independent examinations in the region, and many reports criticising the government have been published afterwards. The call that is made in the fifth sentence has no meaning.

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

      Mr OMTZIGT (Netherlands) – The problem is that if you let independent NGOs do the verification of the facts, the facts are constantly disputed by the government and it is free to do that. It is up to the government, not political parties, to take care of its own citizens and ensure that the right facts are found out. I therefore think it is good to keep this phrase in the report.

      The PRESIDENT – What is the opinion of the committee?

      Mr MAHOUX (Belgium)* – The committee is against.

      The PRESIDENT – The vote is open.

      Amendment 24 is rejected.

      We come to Amendment 10. I call Mr Hunko to support the amendment.

      Mr HUNKO (Germany)* – The issue here is human rights violations in the south-east of Turkey, in particular in the town of Cizre. The amendment provides some specific examples, which would make the paragraph more precise.

      The PRESIDENT – We now come to the sub-amendment, tabled by the Monitoring Committee, which is, in amendment 10, replace the words “at the end of paragraph 13, insert the following sentences” with the following words: “after paragraph 13, insert the following paragraph”. Does anyone wish to support sub-amendment on behalf of the Monitoring Committee? That is not the case.

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

      What is the opinion of Mr Hunko?

      Mr HUNKO (Germany)* – I agree.

      The PRESIDENT – The committee is obviously in favour of the sub-amendment.

      I shall now put the sub-amendment to the vote.

      The vote is open.

      The sub-amendment is adopted.

      Does anyone wish to speak against the amendment, as amended? I call Mr Önal.

      Mr ÖNAL (Turkey)* – Some of the people mentioned in the amendment are members of the PKK terrorist organisation. It is up to your conscience whether you agree to the amendment. Just imagine, we are talking about a country that has to use armoured ambulances during operations but which is also being blamed.

      The PRESIDENT – What is the opinion of the committee?

      Mr MAHOUX (Belgium)* – In favour.

      The PRESIDENT – I shall now put the amendment, as amended, to the vote.

      The vote is open.

      Amendment 10, as amended, is adopted.

      We come to Amendment 11. I call Mr Hunko to support the amendment.

      Mr HUNKO (Germany)* – In this amendment we are talking about the military personnel who have participated in human rights violations and whether they are criminally liable or not. This is important. I call on you to vote in favour of the amendment.

      The PRESIDENT – We now come to the sub-amendment, tabled by the Monitoring Committee, which is, in Amendment 11, replace the words "would infringe" with the following words: "could further infringe". I call co-rapporteur Ms Vučković to support the sub-amendment on behalf of the committee.

      Ms VUČKOVIĆ (Serbia) – The sub-amendment would improve the wording.

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

      What is the opinion of Mr Hunko?

      Mr HUNKO (Germany) – I agree.

      The PRESIDENT – The committee is obviously in favour of the sub-amendment.

      I shall now put the sub-amendment to the vote.

      The vote is open.

      The sub-amendment is adopted.

      Does anyone wish to speak against the amendment, as amended? I call Mr Eseyan.

      Mr ESEYAN (Turkey)* – The draft law has not yet been adopted by the plenary of the parliament. It is not correct to refer to it in the report because there is supremacy of duly ratified international conventions in Turkey.

      The PRESIDENT – What is the opinion of the committee?

      Mr MAHOUX (Belgium)* – In favour.

      The PRESIDENT – I shall now put the amendment, as amended, to the vote.

      The vote is open.

      Amendment 11, as amended, is adopted.

      I call Mr Kandemir to support Amendment 25. You have 30 seconds.

      Mr KANDEMIR (Turkey) – Turkey has already spent billions of the dollars in the region to remedy the damage caused by the PKK and to help citizens to access health, education and all necessary social services, so I propose to replace “to take” with “continue to take”.

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

      Mr SCHENNACH (Austria) – If we accept this amendment, we will reverse the opinion of rapporteurs. They say that we expect Turkey to take care, not to continue to do so, because there are too many cases where Turkey has to show that it is doing more than it has done, so please reject this amendment.

      The PRESIDENT – What is the opinion of the committee?

      Mr MAHOUX (Belgium)* – Against.

      The PRESIDENT – I shall now put the amendment to the vote.

      The vote is open.

      Amendment 25 is rejected.

      I call Mr Kandemir to support Amendment 26.

      Mr KANDEMIR (Turkey) – Saying that "tensions and clashes among the communities could spread to other parts of the country" is a malignant estimate that is not compatible either with the social facts in Turkey or the values of this Assembly.

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

      Mr OMTZIGT (Netherlands) – In the past few years we have seen tensions in several parts of Turkey, including in Taksim square. Tensions are high in Turkish society, especially as there are 1.6 million people who have had to flee. That is just a statement of fact and we are concerned. We hope that Mr Kandemir is right that those tensions do not spread, but there is a risk in the country.

      The PRESIDENT – What is the opinion of the committee?

      Mr MAHOUX (Belgium)* – The committee is against.

      The PRESIDENT – I shall now put the amendment to the vote.

      The vote is open.

      Amendment 26 is rejected.

      We come to Amendment 12. I call Mr Hunko to support the amendment.

      Mr HUNKO (Germany)* – In the second sentence of the same paragraph, the PKK are urged to stop the terrorist attacks and to lay down their arms, but in the next sentence there is a call for a political solution. The call for a political solution needs to be targeted at the Turkish Government. That is the background to this amendment.

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

      Ms VUČKOVIĆ (Serbia) – We would like to preserve the original text because it is up to all parties in the conflict to resume their efforts to resolve tensions peacefully.

      The PRESIDENT – What is the opinion of the committee?

      Mr MAHOUX (Belgium)* – In favour.

      The PRESIDENT – I shall now put the amendment to the vote.

      The vote is open.

      Amendment 12 is adopted.

      We come to Amendment 13. If this amendment is agreed to, Amendment 1 falls. I call Mr Hunko to support the amendment.

      Mr HUNKO (Germany)* – This amendment talks about the mayors in the Kurdish area of south-east Turkey who have been arrested. Those arrests, and the figures, need to be mentioned in the report.

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

      Mr ESEYAN (Turkey)* – In the south-east and east of Anatolia, certain mayors and municipalities are under the full control of the PKK, and machinery and heavy vehicles have been used to dig trenches and to plant bombs. We have initiated court cases against such acts, so I ask the Assembly the vote against the amendment.

      The PRESIDENT – What is the opinion of the committee?

      Mr MAHOUX (Belgium)* – In favour.

      The PRESIDENT – The vote is open.

      Amendment 13 is adopted.

      We come to Amendment 2. Who wishes to support the amendment on behalf of the Monitoring Committee? I call Ms Vučković.

      Ms VUČKOVIĆ (Serbia) – We want to limit the use of the word “terrorism” to how it is used in the language of the Council of Europe.

      The PRESIDENT – We now come to the sub-amendment, tabled by the Monitoring Committee, which proposes that the following words be added, “in full respect of human rights, the rule of law and Council of Europe standards”. Does anyone wish to support the sub-amendment on behalf of the Monitoring Committee? That is not the case.

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

      The Committee is obviously in favour of the sub-amendment.

      I shall now put the sub-amendment to the vote.

      The vote is open.

      The sub-amendment is adopted.

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

      What is the opinion of the committee?

      Mr MAHOUX (Belgium)* – In favour.

      The PRESIDENT – The vote is open.

      Amendment 26, as amended, is adopted.

      We come to Amendment 27. I call Ms Yaşar to support the amendment.

      Ms YAŞAR (Turkey)* – This paragraph makes a very serious claim that needs to be proved with evidence. Perhaps recommendations would be better.

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

      Mr SCHENNACH (Austria) – There was a time when Turkey had a pluralistic media scene, but that pluralism no longer exists. Media organisations have been closed and journalists are in prison. Since we discussed the report, three more journalists have been imprisoned. Political influence on the media is a fact. Do not weaken the report.

      The PRESIDENT – What is the opinion of the committee?

      Mr MAHOUX (Belgium)* – Against.

      The PRESIDENT – The vote is open.

      Amendment 27 is rejected.

      We come to Amendment 28. I call Ms Yaşar to support the amendment.

      Ms YAŞAR (Turkey)* – We see nothing in the jurisprudence of the European Court that suggests that a law against the defamation of a country’s president would violate the European Convention, so it is not appropriate to include this paragraph.

      The PRESIDENT – Does anyone wish to speak against the amendment? I call Ms Vučković.

      Ms VUČKOVIĆ (Serbia) – The abusive application of article 299 raises a lot of questions and concerns. There have been 2 000 court cases in two years, which is why we are against the amendment.

      The PRESIDENT – What is the opinion of the committee?

      Mr MAHOUX (Belgium)* – Against.

      The PRESIDENT – The vote is open.

      Amendment 28 is rejected.

      We come to Amendment 40. I call Mr Omtzigt to support the amendment.

      Mr OMTZIGT (Netherlands) – Not only are people being prosecuted in Turkey for insulting the president, but in the Netherlands, as in other countries, the consul actively asked for citizens with dual Turkish-Dutch nationality to report it to the embassy and the consulate if they see President Erdoğan being insulted on the Internet. Turkey is preparing a blacklist of those people. Turkey’s behaviour is unacceptable.

      The PRESIDENT – Does anyone wish to speak against the amendment? I call Ms Eseyan.

      Ms ESEYAN (Turkey)* – It is out of the question that the Turkish Foreign Ministry has such a goal. This is just a rumour that should not be included in the report.

      The PRESIDENT – What is the opinion of the committee?

      Mr MAHOUX (Belgium)* – In favour.

      The PRESIDENT – The vote is open.

      Amendment 40 is adopted.

      We come to Amendment 29. I call Ms Yaşar to support the amendment.

      Ms YAŞAR (Turkey)* – Suggesting that investigative journalists are being prosecuted would be misleading because the paragraph refers to only two people. The prosecutions involve not journalism but espionage.

      The PRESIDENT – Does anyone wish to speak against the amendment? I call Ms Vučković.

      Ms VUČKOVIĆ (Serbia) – We call on the Turkish authorities to make decisions in accordance with European standards and the European Court of Human Rights. We should not remove this paragraph.

      The PRESIDENT – What is the opinion of the committee?

      Mr MAHOUX (Belgium)* – Against.

      The PRESIDENT – The vote is open.

      Amendment 29 is rejected.

      I call Ms Yaşar to support Amendment 30.

      Ms YAŞAR (Turkey)* – The 110 000 websites that have been blocked are pornography and child abuse websites. This has nothing to do with freedom of information.

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

      Mr OMTZIGT (Netherlands) – The amendment says that the blockage of social media was about the PKK and Daesh, but now the Turkish delegation is using a different explanation to defend it, which seems very strange. The suspension of social media on such a large scale was a political move.

      The PRESIDENT – What is the opinion of the committee?

      Mr MAHOUX (Belgium)* – The committee is against.

      The PRESIDENT – I shall now put the amendment to the vote.

      The vote is open.

      Amendment 30 is rejected.

      I call Ms Yaşar to support Amendment 31.

      Ms YAŞAR (Turkey)* – The claims in the report are far from reflecting reality. Custodial officers are appointed by independent courts.

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

      Mr SCHENNACH (Austria) – It would be nice if what the report says was not the reality, but it is. The pressure on journalists in particular is so high than I can only ask that we keep the rapporteurs’ wording.

      The PRESIDENT – What is the opinion of the committee?

      Mr MAHOUX (Belgium)* – The committee is against.

      The PRESIDENT – I shall now put the amendment to the vote.

      The vote is open.

      Amendment 31 is rejected.

      I call Ms Günay to support Amendment 32.

      Ms GÜNAY (Turkey)* – The same article of the penal code is mentioned in paragraph 25.1 as in paragraph 21. The amendment is therefore intended to prevent any repetition.

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

      Mr OMTZIGT (Netherlands) – The amendment would not prevent repetition. In paragraph 21 there is an explanation of why there has been abusive application of the penal code, and paragraph 25 lists bullet points of what we ask of Turkey. We do not ask anything in paragraph 21, but we need to ask Turkey to repeal article 299 of the penal code, which is being abused – 2 000 people have been prosecuted for insulting the president.

      The PRESIDENT – What is the opinion of the committee on the amendment?

      Mr MAHOUX (Belgium)* – The committee is against.

      The PRESIDENT – I shall now put the amendment to the vote.

      The vote is open.

      Amendment 32 is rejected.

      I call Ms Günay to support Amendment 33.

      Ms GÜNAY (Turkey)* – Article 301 of the penal code has already been amended in line with calls that have been made before. A request for its implementation to be corrected would be much more suitable.

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

      Mr OMTZIGT (Netherlands) – Paragraph 25.2 is in line with what is said earlier in the draft resolution. Article 301, on “degrading the Turkish nation”, is being abused to prosecute a minority, so we ask for it to be either repealed or amended so that it is not used too often. If we asked only for a review of its use, the text of the article would remain as it is. It would be used just as much as it is now, which we really do not want.

      The PRESIDENT – What is the opinion of the committee?

      Mr MAHOUX (Belgium)* – The committee is against.

      The PRESIDENT – I shall now put the amendment to the vote.

      The vote is open.

      Amendment 33 is rejected.

      I call Ms Günay to support Amendment 34..

      Ms GÜNAY (Turkey)* – The amendment was presented to the committee as a resolution, and the relevant paragraph has to be made more consistent.

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

      Mr SCHENNACH (Austria) – The words used by our rapporteurs in the original text are “the unlawfulness of the pretrial detention of investigative journalists, which was based on the case law of the European Convention on Human Rights.” If we accepted the amendment, we would delete that, which we should not do.

      The PRESIDENT – What is the opinion of the committee on the amendment?

      Mr MAHOUX (Belgium)* – The committee is against.

      The PRESIDENT – I shall now put the amendment to the vote.

      The vote is open.

      Amendment 34 is rejected.

      I call Ms Günay to support Amendment 35.

      Ms GÜNAY (Turkey)* – Paragraph 29 of the draft resolution makes a very general and severe allegation and gives no concrete example of the executive’s involvement in the judiciary.

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

      Mr OMTZIGT (Netherlands) – Our Turkish colleague says that there is no example. What about the president himself denouncing the high court for taking the wrong decisions? How many examples do you want?

      The PRESIDENT – What is the opinion of the committee on the amendment?

      Mr MAHOUX (Belgium)* – The committee is against.

      The PRESIDENT – I shall now put the amendment to the vote.

      The vote is open.

      Amendment 35 is rejected.

      The PRESIDENT – We come to Amendment 36. If this amendment is agreed to, Amendments 15, 37 and 38 will fall. I call Ms Günay to support Amendment 36.

      Ms GÜNAY (Turkey)* – Turkey has mostly fulfilled the conditions set down in 2004 and 2013, and we are continuing an uninterrupted reform process. For the Parliamentary Assembly’s reports to be beneficial, they must be constructive and realistic, so we would like the amendment to be supported.

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

      Mr OMTZIGT (Netherlands) – As a matter of fact, the whole report is a long list of conditions that have not been fulfilled. The Venice Commission has ruled that the law on curfews is illegal, and we have noted a lot of pressure on the judiciary and on journalists. To say “Well, progress is being made” would be the wrong conclusion. I support the rapporteurs’ original conclusions.

      The PRESIDENT – What is the opinion of the committee on the amendment?

      Mr MAHOUX (Belgium)* – The committee is against.

      The PRESIDENT – I shall now put the amendment to the vote.

      The vote is open.

      Amendment 36 is rejected.

      I call Mr Hunko to support Amendment 15.

      Mr HUNKO (Germany)* – The issue here is that human rights violations are not just alleged but have been proved by international human rights organisations and the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights.

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

      Mr ÖNAL (Turkey)* – The operations for fighting against terrorism are conducted in accordance with international law, and the main directions issued to law enforcement are about the safety and security of citizens and the duration of the operation. The law enforcement officers who have been killed are an indication of that.

      The PRESIDENT – The committee is obviously in favour.

      I shall now put the amendment to the vote.

      The vote is open.

      Amendment 15 is adopted.

      We come to Amendment 37. If this amendment is agreed to, Amendments 38 and 39, and Oral Amendment 1, will fall.

      I call Mr Rouquet to support Amendment 37. You have 30 seconds.

      Mr ROUQUET (France)* – Following the discussions in the Committee, we withdraw Amendments 37 and 38, in a spirit of compromise. So only Amendment 39 remains, which in our view would make minimum requirements of Turkey from the Assembly, taking into account the hours of discussion that would ensue.

      The PRESIDENT – So Amendment 37 is withdrawn.

      Mr DESTEXHE (Belgium)* – Does the rule say that we can demand that we should vote anyway on Amendment 37?

      The PRESIDENT – The person who proposed the amendment wants to withdraw it, but if anybody else wants to support the amendment then we will vote for it. Do you want to support the amendment?

      Mr DESTEXHE (Belgium)* – Yes, I support Amendment 37

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

      Mr SCHENNACH (Austria) – Amendments 37, 38 and 39 are all on the same topics, but I want to appeal to the Assembly. Our rapporteurs proposed an oral amendment for compromise, which is well balanced. Please vote for this oral amendment, which we presented before Amendment 39. Please reject this amendment.

      The PRESIDENT – What is the opinion of the Committee on Amendment 37?

      Mr MAHOUX (Belgium)* – The Committee is against.

      The PRESIDENT – I shall now put the amendment to the vote.

      The vote is open.

      Amendment 37 is rejected.

      We come to Amendment 38. It was withdrawn, unless somebody wants to support it. Does anyone want to support Amendment 38?

      That is not the case.

      Amendment 38 is withdrawn.

      We come to Oral Amendment 1, from Ms Vučković and Ms Godskesen, which is, in the draft resolution, at the end of paragraph 32, insert the following sentence: “The Assembly notes that progress made on all 12 items of the post-monitoring dialogue, including on the items discussed in the present resolution, will be assessed in the post-monitoring report to be presented in 2017.”

      The President may accept an oral amendment on the grounds of promoting clarity, accuracy or conciliation and if there is not opposition from 10 or more members to it being debated.

      In my opinion, the oral amendment meets the criteria of Rule 34.7.a. Is there any opposition to the amendment being debated? How many objections are there? Are there 10? Although I count some objections, it does not appear to be the case that 10 people are objecting, so I shall now call Ms Vučković –

      It is now the case. We will therefore proceed to the next amendment, because 10 people objected.

      I call Mr Dişli on a point of order.

      Mr DİŞLİ (Turkey) – I think a piece of theatre is being played. You have counted, there were not enough people, then Armenian guys stand up and then you said there were enough objections. That should be ruled out. You already declared that there were not enough people who stood up and then you started counting again. This should be –

      The PRESIDENT – I was very clear. I asked for 10 members to stand if they were against the oral amendment being debated. When I was counting, there were six people who were against and I started to call Ms Vučković to speak. That is the case and that is recorded. In the meantime, other people stood up and I clearly said here that colleagues should stand up on time, which means that, according to the rules, there were not 10 people against when I asked the question, and I accept the point of order of Mr Dişli. I will now give the floor to Ms Vučković.

      Ms VUČKOVIĆ (Serbia) – This is a very important moment, because as my co-rapporteur and I have already stated we are working and we will continue to work on preparation of the post-monitoring report in 2017 – next year – which is going to respond to all those questions that are the subject of the post-monitoring dialogue with Turkey. This report that we are debating now is only reporting on three items. So, when we have the post-monitoring dialogue report, we will then assess whether we will continue the post-monitoring dialogue or whether we will reopen the monitoring procedure. We think that we should give some time to our Turkish colleagues to address what – in my opinion – are the very, very difficult requirements of this resolution. They should be given some time and I think that we should not aggravate the situation and the position of those who are fighting for democracy and human rights in Turkey, and we should not put them at more risk than they already face in Turkey.

      The PRESIDENT – Thank you.

      Does anyone wish to speak against the oral amendment? That is not the case.

      What is the opinion of the Committee?

      Mr MAHOUX (Belgium)* – The Committee is in favour.

      The PRESIDENT – I shall now put the oral amendment to the vote.

      The vote is open.

      Oral Amendment 1 is adopted.

      We come to Amendment 39, which is, in the draft resolution, after paragraph 32, to insert the following paragraph:

      “The Assembly resolves to closely follow the situation in Turkey on the basis of information provided by its Monitoring Committee. It reserves the right to reopen the monitoring procedure at its January 2017 session if no marked and concrete progress has been made on the items in this resolution.”I

      I call Mr Omtzigt to support the amendment.

      Mr OMTZIGT (Netherlands) – We have seen extremely serious problems. As our rapporteurs said, these are very difficult requirements. The amendment would give the Turkish authorities six months – nine months if the oral sub-amendment is adopted – which is how long the rapporteurs say it will take them to prepare a new report on what has happened. We will then have to decide whether to go back to monitoring or stay in post-monitoring. We think that the problems are so serious that we will have to go back to monitoring if no serious progress is made. Given all the difficulties, I think that is a fair balance. That is why it was supported by the leaders of a number of political groups.

      The PRESIDENT – I have been informed that the Monitoring Committee wishes to propose an oral sub-amendment to Amendment 39, which is to replace the word “January” with the word “April”.

      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 call Mr Omtzigt to support the oral sub-amendment.

      Mr OMTZIGT (Netherlands) – The oral sub-amendment came about because the rapporteurs said that they are visiting Turkey in November. Their progress report will not be ready for us to discuss in January. We need to discuss whether or not real progress has been made, and to do so we need a thorough report from the rapporteurs. That is why we have suggested April.

      The PRESIDENT – Thank you, Mr Omtzigt. Does anyone wish to speak against the oral sub-amendment? I call Mr Fischer.

      Mr FISCHER (Germany)* – I think that there is a bit of confusion here. The committee assumed that adoption of the oral sub-amendment would resolve the issue. We can move from January to April, but I recommend that all colleagues who support the amendment should reject modifying it with the oral sub-amendment, because it would no longer make any sense.

      The PRESIDENT – What is the opinion of the mover of Amendment 39 on the oral sub-amendment?

      Mr OMTZIGT (Netherlands) – We discussed this in the committee and decided that both amendments are possible. This amendment says something else. It says that if life does not improve, we will reopen the monitoring process. Also, I note that Mr Fischer’s name is underneath Amendment 39, so I am very happy with that.

      The PRESIDENT – The committee is obviously in favour.

      I will now put the oral sub-amendment to the vote.

      I call Mr Destexhe on a point of order.

      Mr DESTEXHE (Belgium) – Mr President, we need the text of the oral sub-amendment before we can vote on it.

      The PRESIDENT – I read the oral sub-amendment very slowly and I think that everything was clear, but I will read it again. Please follow this carefully. The oral sub-amendment is, in Amendment 39, to replace the word “January” with the word “April”. That is what I read.

      The vote is open.

      The oral sub-amendment is adopted.

      Does anyone wish to speak against Amendment 39, as amended? I call Ms Vučković.

      Ms VUČKOVIĆ (Serbia) – As we have adopted the oral sub-amendment, in substance it is no different from what we had in Amendment 39. It is within the competence of this Assembly, once we have considered the post-monitoring report, to take a position on whether we should reopen monitoring, continue the post-monitoring or stop the post-monitoring dialogue. It is not necessary to mention this amendment after we have voted for the oral sub-amendment.

      The PRESIDENT – What is the opinion of the committee?

      Ms MAHOUX (Belgium) – The committee is in favour.

      The PRESIDENT – The vote is open.

      Amendment 39, as amended, is rejected.

      We will now proceed to vote on the whole of the draft resolution contained in Document 14078, as amended.

      The vote is open.

      The draft resolution in Document 14078, as amended, is adopted, with 96 votes for, 24 against and 10 abstentions.

      I thank everyone for their contributions to this interesting and challenging debate.

4. Debate: Administrative detention

      The PRESIDENT – We come now to the debate on the report titled “Administrative Detention”, Document 14079, presented by Lord Balfe on behalf of the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights.

      I remind you that speaking time is limited to three minutes. In order to finish this debate by 7 p.m. we must interrupt the list of speakers at about 6.50 p.m. to allow time for the reply and votes.

      I call Lord Balfe. You have 13 minutes in total, which you may divide between presentation of the report and replying to the debate.

      Lord BALFE (United Kingdom) – Thank you, President. I am pleased to continue the excitement of the afternoon, but I hope we can catch up on some time.

      I am the third rapporteur on this report, which has been ongoing for some years now. The report contains the resolution adopted by the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights. It covers not only the original motion on administrative detention but a second motion, presented by my friend and colleague Mr Wold and others, entitled “When human rights provide protection to individuals who represent a threat to national security”. Mr Wold had in mind individuals such as Mullah Krekar in Norway, who could not be deported because no other country would have him except his country of origin, Iraq, where he was threatened with the death penalty. Despite that, he still continues to cause considerable harm to the security of Norwegian citizens. I remind colleagues that Norway suffered an extremely serious terrorist attack some years ago and is well aware of the consequences. Many people would say that Mullah Krekar has stretched his welcome far beyond what is normal.

      Following an exchange of views with a number of legal experts, our committee agreed to follow the established legal rules, which I have summed up in my report, in relation to the three main fields of application of administrative detention, namely for purposes of immigration control, as a means of repressing political opponents in some member States and for reasons of security. The report stresses the importance of the right to liberty and security guaranteed in Article 5 of the European Convention on Human Rights and recalls that the list of exceptions enumerated in paragraph 1 of Article 5 is closed. That means that no other exceptions are possible.

      In preparing the report, I have taken a closer look at the case law of the European Court of Human Rights regarding the use of administrative detention in the three main fields I have mentioned. Based on that analysis, the draft resolution recalls first that detention in immigration cases is allowed only if it is based on a precise, accessible legal framework, ensuring that detention has a prompt procedural purpose, respects certain protective standards, including a maximum duration, and passes the necessity test, being the means of last resort to ensure that entry controls or expulsions are effective. That means that detention becomes unlawful as soon as the intended purpose – for example, an expulsion – becomes definitely impossible or otherwise not feasible in the foreseeable future. In that case, an alternative must be sought.

      Secondly, administrative detention must not be abused for unlawful purposes, such as punishing or hindering political opponents, obtaining confessions in the absence of a lawyer or under duress, or stifling peaceful protests, for example by arresting would-be participants on the way to the location of a protest. The report gives a number of examples showing that administrative detention has unfortunately been abused in certain member States to punish political opponents, to obtain confessions in the absence of a lawyer or under duress, or, apparently, to stifle peaceful protests. Although a number of specific examples are given in the explanatory report, the countries concerned are not listed in the draft resolution, in order to avoid the risk of its being incomplete and therefore perceived as unfair.

      Thirdly, purely preventive detention of persons suspected of intending to commit a crime is not permissible under Article 5. It is possible to have reasonable grounds for suspicion that someone has committed a crime in the past, and such reasonable grounds would indeed allow detaining a person on remand for purposes of pre-trial detention. But suspicion regarding the future is really only speculation and does not provide grounds for arrest. Thinking back to the Norwegian problem, that situation must surely arise in other, similar ways and should also be looked at.

      I want to offer practical solutions that conform to legal principles. I have therefore pointed out that mere restrictions of the right to liberty and security guaranteed in Article 5 – as opposed to complete deprivation of liberty – are indeed permissible in the interests of national security or public safety and for the prevention of crime. The draft resolution thus encourages states to make use of available tools that respect human rights in order to protect national security or public safety. I give a number of examples of such tools, for example banishing persons suspected of constituting a risk to national security from certain places or even obliging them to remain within a certain area so that their activities can be disrupted. Such restrictions could even be enforced by electronic tagging. The draft resolution also recalls the legal requirement for such alternatives to detention. All restrictions to liberty must also be based on a clear, predictable legislative authorisation that ensures that the restrictions are “necessary in a democratic society” for the specific purpose pursued. In particular, there must be no discrimination on the basis of nationality.

      To sum up, on the one hand our draft resolution recalls the legal limits governments must respect in imposing administrative detention for the benefit of the protection of the right to liberty for all. On the other hand, for the benefit of security for us all our text provides for helpful alternatives, including certain partial restrictions of liberty, as opposed to the total deprivation of liberty implied in detention. I hope that I can count on your support.

      Before I finish, I note that on the speakers list are two speakers from Palestine and one from Israel, so I would like to say the following. The committee considered on three occasions whether we should enter into what is in effect a paper war between Palestine and Israel. The report is about the Council of Europe and its member States. On three separate occasions we decided not to get involved in the Israel-Palestine dispute, and as such, on behalf of the committee and with the support of the Chairman, we will be resisting the amendments. I would like speakers to concentrate on the actual report, rather than conduct a proxy war on the basis of the report. Thank you.

      The PRESIDENT – Thank you very much. You have four minutes and 48 seconds remaining to use at the end of the debate.

      Mr MAHOUX (Belgium, Spokesperson for the Socialist Group)* – First, I remind colleagues of something that we have just heard that is extremely important, namely the general rule whereby under certain circumstances it might be possible to grant exceptions. That principle is enshrined in Article 5 of the Convention, which stipulates that everyone has the right to freedom and security, and no one should be deprived of his or her liberty except in special circumstances, and through legal channels.

      In the member States of the Council of Europe and, notwithstanding what the rapporteur has said, in some observer States, there have clearly been abuses of administrative detention. Let us remember that certain exemptions may be possible, but there must be a very strict legal framework for any such derogations in the case of refugees and, I would add, stateless people and children, all of whom may be subject to administrative detention. A number of political opponents of the government are subject to administrative detention without having appeared before a court.

      Finally, some individuals have clearly been deprived of their liberty for reasons of security, and I take the view that such a step is perfectly legitimate on the grounds of liberty. The right to liberty is of course accorded to all inhabitants of this planet as a human right, and the right to security must not give way to the systematic abuse of the rule of law as enshrined in Article 5. There is of course a difference between someone suspected of constituting a threat and someone about whom there are serious grounds for believing that they have committed a criminal offence, such as preparatory acts for particularly serious crimes or activities related to terrorism.

(Ms Mateu, Vice-President of the Assembly, took the Chair in place of Mr Nikoloski.)

      Ms TAKTAKISHVILI (Georgia, Spokesperson for the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe) – I congratulate the rapporteur, Lord Balfe, on this excellent report.

      As Liberals, we always stand for the highest standard of protection for human rights because we consider freedom to be one of the most important values. Administrative detention, with unclear or insufficient legal guarantees for detainees, is one form of the deprivation of liberty. We believe that the much-needed fight against terrorists does not justify the violation of Article 5 of the European Convention on Human Rights. Administrative detention should not be used as a means of managing migration flows. The Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe welcomes the campaign launched by our Liberal colleague Ms Doris Fiala. We once again call on all member States to stop the detention of migrant children.

      We are particularly alarmed that legislation in some Council of Europe member States allows selective and politically motivated use of administrative detention. In seven Council of Europe countries, civil activists and political opponents are subject to administrative detention. In Romania, Azerbaijan, Russia, Georgia, Ukraine, Moldova and Turkey, activists are detained to prevent them from taking part in protest rallies or to deter them from participating in future demonstrations. Today, the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe has adopted a special statement on the situation in Georgia, in which we deplore the use of violence with impunity. We call on the Georgian authorities to stop using violence against politicians and journalists and to bring to justice all those involved in the recent violent attacks against United National Movement leaders and Rustavi 2 journalists.

      There are hundreds of cases of civil activists in Georgia being arrested for participating in protest rallies. This is a clear demonstration of such selective justice. The problem was highlighted in the recent reports by Human Rights Watch and the Georgian ombudsman. I also want to mention the cases of Green activists protesting against the Panorama project initiated by the billionaire Ivanishvili, and those of Free Zone youth movement activists and Tabula TV station journalists. We call on all member States to stop using administrative detention against political and civil activists and journalists as a way of restricting their freedom of expression. We also call on all members of the Assembly to support Lord Balfe’s draft resolution, every paragraph of which we support.

      Mr WOLD (Norway, Spokesperson for the European Conservatives Group) – I congratulate Lord Balfe on his extremely thorough and well researched report on such a difficult topic. My point of departure is the section dealing with Mullah Krekar and the protracted process of trying to expel him from Norway. This man has appeared in court over 50 times, at immense cost to the Norwegian public purse. The Norwegian authorities consider Krekar to be a national security risk, which is why an expulsion order was issued in 2003. The expulsion order has been upheld by the city court, the Court of Appeal and, finally, the Supreme Court, yet it cannot be carried out until the Norwegian authorities have been given assurances by their Iraqi counterparts that Krekar will not be executed or tortured on his return. Without such a guarantee, sending him back would contravene Norway’s commitments to international law.

      Among other things, Krekar has been sentenced to several years in prison for making death threats. For more than 10 years, successive Norwegian Governments have tried to expel him. An extradition would be easier to implement once the European arrest warrant, which will simplify extradition procedures, has come into force. However, Norway’s parallel agreement on the European arrest warrant has not yet taken effect, and will not affect any ongoing deportation cases. The result is that the Krekar case is being tried under the 1975 Extradition Act and the 1957 European Convention on Extradition.

      Italy is the most recent country to give notice of its wish to bring Krekar to trial, accusing him of planning terrorist actions on Italian soil. Since 2014, the Norwegian Government has negotiated with the Italian authorities, but complex legal factors have so far prevented his extradition. During all this time, there has been an ongoing debate in Norway regarding Mullah Krekar’s freedom of movement. In January last year, the Government instructed the police to place restrictions on it once he was released from prison. After that, the Oslo police district decided to compel Krekar to live in an asylum seekers reception centre in Kyrksćterřra in central Norway. Although the Oslo City Court upheld this decision, it was revoked by the Court of Appeal. Norwegians are now waiting for the court ruling on the extradition request from Italy. Whatever the court’s decision, it is likely that the case will be appealed to the very top and may well end up in the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.

      Mr JÓNASSON (Iceland, Spokesperson for the Group of the Unified European Left) – I thank the rapporteur for presenting his report and recommendations. The report states that “administrative detention has been abused in certain member States for purposes of punishing political opponents, obtaining confessions in the absence of a lawyer and/or under duress, or apparently for stifling peaceful protests.” That statement is clear and categorical, and is to be commended, but which are the “certain member States” that are abusing administrative detention?

      It would be useful to go back in history to find out what the report was supposed to be about. This resolution was adopted by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe in spring 2012: “Considering that all members of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe subscribe to the same values and the practices deriving thereof: Considering that the Palestinian National Council and the Israeli Knesset are partners in the Assembly; Concerned that the detention of individuals without recourse to due process on the arbitrary basis of “security considerations” is a practice not in keeping with the values of membership and partnership in the Council of Europe; Concerned that a partner of the Assembly can detain members of the parliament of another partner; Given that the use of administrative detention, otherwise known as internment, is strictly regulated by International Humanitarian Law, The Assembly should investigate the practice of administrative detention in general and how it is applied by Israel to Palestinians.”

      This is what the report should have dealt with, but it does not. Instead, we hear the rapporteur refer to what he calls a “paper war” between Israel and Palestine and to the 750 Palestinians who are in administrative detention in Israel. This is no paper existence that they are experiencing, so I object very strongly to the term and say to the Assembly that a new motion in line with the motion passed here in 2012 will be put forward again.

      THE PRESIDENT* – Thank you, Mr Jónasson. That concludes the speeches by speakers on behalf of political groups.

      Lord Balfe, do you want to answer now or wait?

      Lord BALFE (United Kingdom) – I will wait.

      THE PRESIDENT* – Thank you. We will carry on with the other speakers.

      Ms YAŞAR (Turkey)* – Dear colleagues, administrative detention is an important issue that has always been at the core of Europe’s human rights values, and today, as we are discussing freedom and security, one of the first things that come into our minds is administrative detention. I thank the rapporteur for giving it such value. The report is excellent. Administrative detention needs to be furnished with measures to ensure that its arbitrary practice can be avoided.

      I will give you some examples from Turkey. In the past 14 years, the party in power, of which I am a member, has made many improvements in relation to fundamental rights and liberties. The United Nations and the Council of Europe conventions have been adopted by us, we have achieved a number of reforms and made a number of improvements to our constitution, and we have improved our criminal law and criminal procedural law. This has also improved our system of arrest and detention, and includes some fundamental rights and safeguards such as the presence of a lawyer and the right to communication with the family.

      We have shortened the duration of pre-trial detention and policy custody, improved the physical conditions in detention centres and prisons, and improved our interview rooms to comply with the European convention standards. We have also improved our detention centres and opened them up to visits by independent national and international experts. We therefore now have universal standards that are completely applicable in Turkey. We have also been approved in many decisions by the European Court on Human Rights, and the experience of international organisations has been helpful.

      Ms SOTNYK (Ukraine) – First, I thank and congratulate our rapporteur on this profound report.

      It is no big secret that each country battles with administrative offences and that each country uses all possible elements, from fines to administrative detention, to reduce the number of such offences. In this fight, governments learn and work constantly to improve. Today, member States are faced with the problem of possible irregular migrants in Europe. Nowadays a lot of them are being detained by police in a preventive struggle against irregular migrants, which is not acceptable in democratic countries.

      Each use of administrative detention in immigration cases should comply with the rule of law, which states that detention should be used only within a legal framework, ensuring that it has a prompt procedural purpose and respects protective standards. For these reasons, it is critical to stress that all European legislation on administrative detention should state that all restrictions on liberty must have a clear, predictable, legislative basis and respect the rule of law.

      Additionally, one of the most important things for Europe is to provide right of access to a lawyer in the case of administrative detention. Despite the many differences between the member States, in each country the detainee’s right to a lawyer and the right to a confidential meeting with a lawyer should be guaranteed. It is not only a legal right; it is a moral obligation. Moreover, member States must avoid intimidating lawyers with the aim of discouraging them from defending certain detainees, especially human rights activists. We cannot afford reprisals against lawyers who protect human rights activists.

      We should adopt this resolution, but, more importantly, we should implement it in our countries, because today the challenge for Europe is to ensure the protection of human rights and the rule of law in each member State.

      Mr LOUCAIDES (Cyprus) – When referring to administrative detention, inevitably one recalls the brutal and systematic practice by the State of Israel to throw Palestinians in prisons, holding them captive for months without trial, without sentencing, and without pressing any charges against them, let alone the shocking reality of Palestinian children locked in jails. In this case, the abuse of administrative detention is yet another weapon used by Israel to oppress the people of Palestine and silence any voice of resistance to the ongoing occupation and colonisation. Unfortunately, and despite the initial intentions of the signatories to the motion to expose Israel’s abusive practice, the rapporteurs decided not to include these important facts in the report or in the draft resolution before us.

      Administrative detention is also used against immigrants without papers, or against refugees who, if not already drowned in the waters of the Mediterranean, have reached Europe by boat. This unacceptable practice is also inflicted on asylum seekers and fellow human beings who end up being detained for months in modern concentration camps, even though they have committed no crime but have simply attempted to flee death and misery. The report correctly states that the living conditions of refugees and migrants in these areas are much worse than those prevailing for convicted criminals in prisons. Here, administrative detention has virtually become part of the EU anti-immigrant policy that is building a fortress Europe.

      Furthermore, administrative detention reminds us of the Guantanamos and Abu Ghraibs which the USA created in the frenzy of the infamous war that it waged against terror. Who can overlook the fact that over half the people who were imprisoned at Guantanamo were eventually released without being charged? Such practices are a disgrace to modern human civilisation and must not continue or be repeated. Under no circumstances should we allow the arbitrary and broad interpretation of legal provisions to authorise the deprivation or restriction of individual freedoms. Such developments could lead to black holes in our countries’ legal systems, a European Guantanamo and real Kafka trials for our fellow citizens.

      The danger of arbitrary measures and the abuse of power has become disproportionately large and constitutes a threat to democracy itself, since the practice of administrative detention has been used by governments to restrict dissident political action and to curb mobilisation. The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, its member States and individual parliamentarians must resist these abusive practices and stand on the side of freedom, individual rights, democracy and the rule of law.

      Mr SABELLA (Palestine, Partner for Democracy) – In July 2012, a motion for a resolution on administrative detention was tabled by 23 members of the Assembly that specifically called on the Assembly to “investigate the practice of administrative detention in general and how it is applied by Israel to Palestinians”. We, the Palestinian delegation to the PACE, having gone over the report, were disappointed that it addressed administrative detention in member States but did not investigate its practice as applied by Israel to Palestinians.

      It is unacceptable to argue that the report could not investigate the practice in conflict areas, such as Israel and Palestine, and to lump Israel and Palestine together with Somalia, Iraq and Syria. Israel and Palestine have representatives in the Assembly and as such are called upon to apply the same code of conduct as member States. Otherwise, why should we be partners and why should there be an observer status? We were disappointed to find, when we followed up the report with Ms Brasseur and President Agramunt, that some in the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights had opted to put aside the second part of the motion – about investigating the administrative detention of Palestinians by Israel.

      This behaviour has led us to question whether our partnership here is simply a convenience to some. It is repeated ad infinitum that the Council of Europe and the Parliamentary Assembly encourage dialogue between Israelis and Palestinians, but when it comes to our people’s right to exist without being discriminated against or having their basic human rights violated by administrative detention and other such measures, some in this august Assembly turn a blind eye. If we are to consolidate our partnership and advance the prospects for peace, we must look into matters that are difficult – if not, for some, impossible – to tackle. Otherwise, why the partnership and why this talk of shared values, democracy and human rights? I hope that you will consider the amendment concerning an investigation into administrative detention as applied by Israel to Palestinians.

      The PRESIDENT* – This is a very interesting debate, but we are under pressure from time, so I am afraid that we have to stop the speakers’ list there. I know that some feel a little hard done by, but those who have been present during the debate but have not been able to speak may give their written speeches to the Table Office for publication in the Official Report. The texts are to be submitted, electronically if possible, no later than four hours after the list of speaks is interrupted.

      I call Lord Balfe, the rapporteur, to reply. You have five minutes left.

      Lord BALFE (United Kingdom) – Thank you, Madam President.

      The problem is that administrative detention covers a wide horizon. The most serious cases are those such as Mullah Krekar’s. His case is causing great distress to the citizens of one of Europe’s leading law-abiding countries, Norway. When I visited Norway, I could not find anyone in favour of what Mullah Krekar was doing. We need a way of dealing with the problems presented by people ritually abusing the European Convention on Human Rights and the protection it affords them. The point has been made about demonstrations and the use of administrative detention in preventing citizens of member States from fairly expressing their opinions. We clearly need to look at that – we need a rule of law whereby administrative detention is not misused – but we must draw a huge distinction between Mullah Krekar and a group of people going to a demonstration.

      We should draw a third distinction between the latter and the huge problem with migrants in Europe. We face not just refugees but a huge business operation that brings people to Europe who then use the European Court of Human Rights and the European structures to establish residence in Europe. In my city, Cambridge, near the main shopping centre, there is a firm of lawyers with a huge sign outside that reads: “Immigration Advice Here”. These are three separate problems of administrative detention, and each is susceptible to different reasoning, but I have a lot of sympathy with the concerns expressed about all three; each is worthy of a separate report.

      Since it was mentioned, I will touch on the Palestine-Israel problem. We deliberately decided not to deal with it. I find it an impossible problem – it probably needs its own report – so I purposely have not become deeply involved. I accept Israel’s right to exist – that is where we have to start from – but from there I see many problems. I am not aware, for instance, that Israel has any suicide bombers running around. We cannot, however, just look at administrative detention. I spoke earlier about a paper war. Had the report dealt with the Palestine-Israel problem, whatever it said it would have been used by one side to beat the other over the head with – and that would have done absolutely no good. On the other hand, by looking at the problem of Mullah Krekar, we can help the Norwegian authorities; by looking at the problem of demonstrations and the right to free expression, we can set down guidelines; and by looking at the migrant issue – well, I think we need to look at that whole situation again.

      As I have said, we ask the Assembly to reject both the amendments. I thank those who have said kind words about me, and I regret those who have said not-so-kind words about me – we came to the decision that we did, and the committee supported us.

      The PRESIDENT* – Thank you very much, Lord Balfe.

      Does the chairperson of the committee, Mr Destexhe, wish to speak? You have two minutes.

      Mr DESTEXHE (Belgium)* – I just want to confirm that our rapporteur, Lord Balfe, received full support from the committee on this brief. On the Bureau’s request, the report covers a motion tabled by our colleague, the vice-chair of the committee, Mr Morten Wold.

      As Lord Balfe just explained to the Assembly, the issue of Israel and the Palestinian Territories was discussed at great length in committee. I say to our colleagues from Palestine that following the debate, the rapporteur convinced us that we should not cover it. I understand how you might feel about that. It certainly does not call into question our partnership. As Lord Balfe rightly pointed out, it would merit a separate report and that might well be advisable. Please understand that there is absolutely no hostility on the part of the committee in respect of this issue.

      I would like to have heard the last three speakers on the list. I am sure that they feel short-changed, especially as we did not hear from the representatives of Israel in the debate. I am saddened by that.

      On a lighter note, Belgium is playing football against Sweden tonight. There are not many Swedes in the Chamber and I hope that all of us will be released in time to watch the fixture.

      The PRESIDENT* – Thank you very much, Mr Destexhe. In fairness, you did not hear from the representative from Israel because we had to cut the list of speakers short.

      The debate is closed.

      The Committee on Legal Affairs and Human rights has presented a draft resolution, to which two amendments have been tabled.

      Rule 62.5 states that the members of delegations that have the status of observers or partners for democracy can participate in the debate, but cannot participate in the debate on the amendments.

      We come to Amendment 1. I call Mr Kox to support the amendment.

      Mr KOX (Netherlands) – As I was the mover of the original motion for a resolution, I am very much aware that that motion called for an investigation of administrative detention in member States and other States that are related to our Assembly. The amendment proposes to add that so that we remember that administrative detention is relevant not only to Council of Europe member States, but to guest States and partner for democracy States. I hope that the Assembly will support the amendment.

      The PRESIDENT* – Does anyone wish to speak against the amendment? I call Lord Anderson.

      Lord ANDERSON (United Kingdom) – The committee decided not to extend the scope of the report, and today the committee rejected the amendments. The phrase “special relationship” is wide and legally imprecise. It could, for example, include Algeria, Egypt, Kazakhstan, Belarus and the Kyrgyz Republic, which I suspect also have administrative detention. If people want to include Israel and Palestine, which would dominate the debate, there could be a separate report.

      The PRESIDENT* – What is the opinion of the committee?

      Mr DESTEXHE (Belgium)* – The committee is against.

      The PRESIDENT* – The vote is open.

      Amendment 1 is rejected.

      We come to Amendment 2. I call Mr Kox to support the amendment.

      Mr KOX (Netherlands) – As the rapporteur and Lord Anderson have just told us, this matter was too complex for this report, so we need another report. I can help them immediately, because this amendment says that we should come back to the specific matter of Israel and Palestine and investigate it. I hope that the rapporteur, Lord Anderson and the whole Assembly are on my side, because the motion for the resolution explicitly mentioned this as the subject of a report.

      The PRESIDENT* – Does anyone wish to speak against the amendment? I call Lord Anderson.

      Lord ANDERSON (United Kingdom) – It is simply a question of why we should single out Israel. There are many other countries with which we have a special relationship, and which I suspect are as guilty of this practice as Israel. At least I agree with my good friend Tiny Kox in this respect: let there be a special report and then we can discuss the matter, if the Assembly agrees.

      The PRESIDENT* – What is the opinion of the committee?

      Mr DESTEXHE (Belgium)* – Despite Mr Kox’s argument, I am afraid the committee was against.

      The PRESIDENT* – The vote is open.

      Amendment 2 is rejected.

      We will now proceed to vote on the whole of the draft resolution contained in Document 14079. A simple majority is required.

      The vote is open.

      The draft resolution in Document 14079 is adopted, with 53 votes for, 2 against and 5 abstentions.

(Mr Agramunt, President of the Assembly, took the Chair in place of Ms Mateu.)

5. Current affairs debate

      The PRESIDENT – The next item of business this afternoon is a current affairs debate on “Reaffirming the role of the Assembly as a pan-European forum for inter-parliamentary dialogue and co-operation”. I remind you that we have agreed that the speaking time until the end of today will be limited to three minutes. The Bureau has decided that the debate will be opened by Mr Axel Fischer, who has 10 minutes.

      Mr FISCHER (Germany)* – Our Organisation, the Council of Europe, was founded on 5 May 1949 on the basis of the Treaty of London. Initially we had 10 member States; today we have 47. The Council of Europe was founded to pursue one objective in particular, namely to promote unity and co-operation in Europe in the areas of economics, social affairs, culture and science. In particular, our purpose was to make our contribution towards greater democracy and the implementation of human rights.

      If we are talking about the very beginnings of the Council of Europe, it is important to recall Sir Winston Churchill. You may remember his famous Zurich address of 1946, just one year after the end of the Second World War. In that address, Mr Churchill spoke of his clear vision for the future of Europe, saying: “Our constant aim must be to build and fortify the strength of the United Nations Organisation. Under and within that world concept, we must re-create the European family in a regional structure called, it may be, the United States of Europe. The first step is to form a Council of Europe. If at first all the States of Europe are not willing or able to join the Union, we must nevertheless proceed to assemble and combine those who will and those who can.” Similarly, the French Foreign Affairs Minister at the time, Mr Robert Schuman, said: “The Council of Europe is, to be sure, the laboratory in which experiments in European co-operation are conducted”. That quotation still applies to this very day. If you look at our debates or our inter-parliamentary dialogue, you will find that the Council of Europe is indeed still very much a laboratory – a laboratory where we try our best to defend the interests of our citizens.

      Following the creation of the Council of Europe, the first task we set ourselves was to work on the most important pillar, namely the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms. It was signed in Rome in 1950 and entered into force as a convention in 1953. To this day, more than 60 years down the road, the judgments handed down by the European Court of Human Rights are based on the convention. For citizens of member States of the Council of Europe, the European Court of Human Rights is the last legal instance they can turn to.

      That brings me to the important role played by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe – although I am not forgetting the importance of another body in our Organisation, namely the Committee of Ministers. When it comes to appointing judges to sit on the European Court of Human Rights, it is the Parliamentary Assembly that elects individuals to sit on the Court. That is the most visible expression of the Parliamentary Assembly’s true calling, namely to protect and implement the most fundamental values of the European Convention on Human Rights, democracy and the rule of law.

      We all know, of course, if we look at the situation in many member States of the Council of Europe, that that protection was and continues to be very much needed. In the meantime, the role of our Assembly has extended well beyond that. You can see that quite clearly in our reports, resolutions and recommendations, which touch upon various areas in the lives of our citizens around the Council of Europe. It did not go without saying at the beginning, when we were first created, that the Parliamentary Assembly would do so much. In fact, our Assembly was initially an advisory assembly of the Council of Europe. It was meant to be a consultative body advising the Committee of Ministers, but over the years the Parliamentary Assembly developed and, against the resistance of the Committee of Ministers, decided to call itself a Parliamentary Assembly proper.

      Of course, that meant that our Assembly became an important forum for direct, face-to-face dialogue between members of parliament from various member States, with their different cultural traditions and political backgrounds, bringing all of us together. That is a true asset of our Assembly – something that we need to make the most of. What we are talking about is trying to understand the other, trying to get a hearing for our own views and wherever possible working towards a viable and balanced solution to any problems. That is not something we can always achieve and it is not always a success – sometimes it is, sometimes it is not – but we constantly attempt to do so, and in my view the mere fact that we try to achieve balanced solutions is important in itself. This Assembly is also a unique forum for dialogue and inter-parliamentary co-operation. It is there to create trust. Very often we are involved in exploratory talks that do not necessarily make the headlines, but which help us out of critical situations and conflicts – what one might call parliamentary diplomacy.

      To conclude, I would like to quote another founding father of Europe, the leader of my political party, the CDU, and also Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany, Konrad Adenauer. On the occasion of the Federal Republic of Germany joining the Council of Europe, Mr Adenauer said: “it is…greatly significant that here…there is a place where almost the whole of Europe gathers together.” At the time, we were talking about 10 countries altogether. Today we are talking about 47 member States. What a breath-taking development we have witnessed! Members of parliament from these 47 member States need to build on our achievements and should continue to dedicate their work to our common European values and objectives.

      Colleagues, our doors are very much open even to countries outside Europe – countries that are willing to share our values with us; countries that are willing to engage in inter-parliamentary dialogue; countries that are happy to discuss things with us and talk about our values, namely human rights, the rule of law and democracy. It is important to do that with the clear objective in mind of promoting those values. These values and principles are so important for Europe, so we should never underestimate them. We need to consistently defend them. The rule of law, democracy and human rights are important for our Organisation and the people in our countries.

      Of course we can have political discussions and there will sometimes be conflicts with neighbouring states or between member States – it can happen. Nevertheless, I am quite convinced that if we all stand together, engage in dialogue and remain willing to talk to one another, then we stand a good chance of achieving a good result. The one thing we need to remember is that dialogue is always preferable to not addressing a conflict and then ending up with a much worse situation. It is always better to talk. Therefore, I am delighted that this item has been placed on the agenda and that we are about to have a discussion on this basis.

      The PRESIDENT – Thank you, Mr Fischer. The next speaker is Mr Anne Mulder from the Netherlands.

      Mr MULDER (Netherlands, Spokesperson for the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe) – ALDE stresses that this is not just a meeting place or a discussion room but a Parliamentary Assembly united on basic liberal values that bind us. Sometimes one or more countries find it difficult to act and live according to those basic values, but they still apply to every country. We have to beware of special treatment. When thinking about inter-parliamentary dialogue, we might also take into account, although it is difficult, the relationship between the executives and the parliaments of our respective countries. It is about how a parliament checks and challenges the work and policy of the executive; it is about the scrutiny role of parliaments. As Mr Fischer said, parliamentary dialogue is a good thing, but ALDE does not want us to become just a pan-European dialogue forum. We are a Parliamentary Assembly with values that have to apply to every country.

      Mr LIDDELL-GRAINGER (United Kingdom, Spokesperson for the European Conservatives Group) – I once served as a soldier in Germany, where my colleague Axel Fischer also served. I looked across the wall into the east with binoculars and watched Russian troops who were watching us. One thing I learned as a junior soldier in the British army was that it is so much better to talk to people than to try to go over the wall with tanks.

      The current situation is more sad than anything else. Axel rightly said that the Council of Europe is the home of democracy. We were set up to foster democracy, to fight for democracy and to demand democracy, which is what we should be doing now. We must have dialogue. It is not right to castigate 140 million people because we categorise them according to one or two people at the top. We should not be allowed to say, “We don’t really want to talk to you” just because we will not fight for democracy. I strongly believe that we need to fight for democracy. We all know that many things in Russia are wrong, but we have just had a debate on Turkey. We do not need a debate to know that every one of our countries has problems – none of us is perfect – but we have to understand that, because of that imperfection, parliamentarians across Europe need to stand together and say, “Let’s do what we can to change this situation.”

      Belarus is still outside the family, and it should be in the family. Even with its failings, Russia knows what it has done. I do not need to tell the Russian Ambassador or any Russian member of parliament what Russia has done in Ukraine or elsewhere in the world, such as on the edge of Turkey or in Syria; they know. We need to make it clear that we do not approve, but just shouting at Russia via emails, news articles and whatever else is not the same as talking to it face to face. Ultimately, we are all the same. It does not matter whether you are socialist, right wing or mainstream, we are still parliamentarians who represent groups of people in our respective countries. That is our highest duty and our greatest honour, and it is no different in Russia, the United Kingdom or Germany – I sit next to a Georgian. It is the same for all of us and, for all our failings, we have not fought for all this time and given all this effort and all this blood to allow democracy not to be fought for. For all our failings, that is what makes us stronger because, united and working together, we can bring people on board, get them to change and make them understand. It is the greatest honour for any of us to represent democracy in the finest and highest degree. I urge us to support the resolution.

      Mr KOX (Netherlands, Spokesperson for the Group of the Unified European Left) – I thank the previous speakers, with whom I very much agree. It took us two decades after the fall of the Berlin wall before we were able to bring all European member States together in one Council of Europe with one Parliamentary Assembly. That was a huge achievement. After those two decades, the Assembly asked, “Okay, what is our goal?” So we adopted a resolution promoting parliamentary diplomacy. The resolution was drafted by our former colleague Mr Mota Amaral, who yesterday received a diploma for his great services to this Assembly. Paragraph 5 of the resolution stated: “The Assembly recognises that dialogue and co-operation among parliamentarians, which are the very essence of parliamentary diplomacy, make a positive contribution to easing inter-state tensions and finding feasible solutions to complex problems, namely those in the field of human rights, parliamentary democracy and the rule of law.” With that resolution we said to each other and to all member States that this is the forum where we debate what is happening. We are not softies, so we will say what we have to say. Sometimes we might shout and be impolite, but this is where we will meet to discuss important issues and to seek solutions. That is difficult at home, and it is far more difficult here in such a broad Assembly with parliamentarians from all member States. Nevertheless, we ordered ourselves to do so.

      I see several colleagues who were not here when we adopted the resolution, but it has never been withdrawn. It is still our guideline for how the Assembly should function. In order to function we need everybody, those who are friendly and those who are not so friendly, because just as Ian Liddell-Grainger said, it does not help to shout outside this building; we need to have debates here. Unfortunately, the Russian delegation did not present its credentials because it opposes the measures taken against it by the Assembly after the Russian Government took decisions that violated international law. Now they are not here, which makes no sense. After the upcoming Duma elections, I hope that the delegation of the Russian Federation will again deliver its credentials for us to examine. I hope that will be a basis on which all the member States of the Council of Europe can be represented here to do what we ordered ourselves to do in 2010.

      Mr BILLSTRÖM (Sweden, Spokesperson for the Group of the European People’s Party) – On behalf of my group I thank the Bureau for the opportunity to have this timely, important and crucial debate. Intra-parliamentary co-operation is important to this Assembly, and dialogue has always been, and will always remain, a fundamental tool for democracy. Through dialogue we create platforms and pave the way for negotiations and political achievements. Without dialogue there is little room for manoeuvre in politics. For dialogue to be functional and productive, however, at least two requirements have to be fulfilled. One is to uphold the fundamentals, the values and the rules and regulations that shape the process. The instrument for doing so in this Assembly is the observation of the rules of procedure and the work of the Monitoring Committee. Only by constantly assessing and evaluating the credibility of our respective undertakings as member States is it possible for us to uphold trust in the decisions and the work of this Assembly as a pan-European organisation.

      The other requirement is to refrain from diverting or abandoning the values of the European Convention on Human Rights, of dignity and the rule of law, when we choose to engage in partnership or dialogue. We must therefore remain wary in situations such as the one that confronts us with one of our member States, the Russian Federation. The illegal annexation of Crimea and the war waged against another member State of this Assembly in eastern Ukraine have rightly been criticised in Resolutions 1990 and 2034. As a consequence, the delegation representing the Russian Federation has actively, and of its own accord, chosen not to participate in the work of this Assembly.

      I will not hide the fact that everything I have just said about the need for dialogue is put at risk by one of the member States of the Assembly not engaging in our work. Nor will I avoid, however, the essential fact that if a new dialogue is to be launched and confidence restored, the Russian Federation must show a genuine and sincere willingness to adhere to the principles that guide the work of this Assembly. There can be no exception to that condition.

      If we are to see the Russian Federation represented in our midst again in the future, we have to ask for proof of sincerity, supported by hard facts and clear action. The only way forward is to negotiate with a mandate that is neither infringed nor harmed. That should be our clear message to our interlocutors.

      Mr NICOLETTI (Italy, Spokesperson for the Socialist Group)* – This debate is all about the pan-European idea. That is not some bizarre notion; rather, it is about a Europe made up of all its parts, a Europe that we have painstakingly built through history, as Axel Fischer recalled. We have people here from Lisbon, from St Petersburg, from Iceland, from Lampedusa and from Istanbul, and we would not have a Europe without all its individual components.

      That Europe came about as a result of a call to Europeans in 1948, when our founding fathers said that the biggest danger for Europe would come about as a result of its division. Tomorrow, of course, there is an important referendum in the United Kingdom. The Council of Europe’s history is one of success – it has been the driving force behind greater and greater unity. It would certainly be sad if our generation were to pass a smaller Europe on to its descendants. Europe is not just a geographical fact but is about our very identity. It is about democracy, the rule of law and respect among equals. Each individual country has to respect all other countries on an equal footing. It is self-evident that we do not want to see imperialism of any sort.

      As we build Europe, we also put in place a legal underpinning. The Council of Europe is not just a forum for debate. We have a Committee of Ministers, a Court and a Parliamentary Assembly. We have a genuine European civil society, even though we are not a State. Let us not do anything to weaken that.

      We need to draw a distinction between loyalty to institutions and the instruments that we use. There are some pretty hard-hitting instruments – Mr Tspiras was right to remind us that we used them back in 1969, when Greece was expelled because it had a fascist dictatorship. The situation today is quite the opposite. The Parliamentary Assembly is the prime forum for dialogue with our partners, who are also in the Committee of Ministers and the Court. That is why I believe we should reiterate the call for peace and reconciliation. It was with great pleasure that I listened to our colleague Ms Savchenko inaugurating this session with words of such peace and reconciliation. We cannot do away with all suffering and discrimination, but we can point the way ahead.

      Mr DZHEMILIEV (Ukraine)* – I am a representative of the autonomous nation of Crimea – the Crimean Tatars, who were deported at the end of the Second World War under Stalin. More than 40% of our population were lost in the deportation and genocide, and those who survived have since conducted a non-violent campaign to return to their native land. Now, since the occupation, we yet again find ourselves under a chauvinistic and thuggish regime, which recalls to us the worst years of communist rule.

      Independent media outlets have been silenced, and there have been hundreds of unfounded and humiliating searches of homes, schools and religious institutions; dozens of illegal arrests; brutality against people in prisons; and abductions and killings. The Crimean Tatars’ supreme organisation, the Mejlis, has been dubbed an extremist organisation and banned. Its president has been banned from Crimea, and its first vice-president is in prison and its second vice-president under house arrest. Many others are under threat of arrest.

      This little corner of paradise on our planet, this green peninsula, has become a place of fear and terror. People are afraid to talk to each other about politics in the street, let alone by telephone or email, which are monitored and tapped by the Russian agencies.

      We know, of course, that there can currently be no prospect of a decent life not only for the Crimean Tatars but for anyone in Crimea. We cannot liberate Crimea through military means, because that would just lead to the annihilation of the native population and the reduction of the peninsula to an uninhabitable wasteland. The only hope we have is tough sanctions that will really hit the aggressor and lead to it leaving Crimea.

      There has been a lot of discussion today about whether we should keep a dialogue open with the Russians or restore their voting rights. I very much doubt that is wise, because when the Russian delegates were here, did we ever hear any of them say one word against their leadership’s policies? No. All the MPs who were here condoned the crimes in our land. The only person who spoke up against the occupation of Crimea, Mr Ponomarev, is a wanted man, and if they get him he will be put in prison on a trumped-up charge. We should not weaken the sanctions against the aggressor, because that would just encourage it to commit further crimes in the occupied territories.

      Mr LOGVYNSKYI (Ukraine) – Being a victim of the aggression by one of the Council of Europe’s member States, we seek support and protection from the Parliamentary Assembly. We speak about the Assembly as a platform for dialogue, but what is a dialogue? According to the Oxford dictionary, it is a “discussion between two or more people or groups, especially one directed towards the resolution of a problem”. The word “dialogue” thus presupposes that the parties are ready to resolve a problem. Do we see that readiness on the part of the Russian Federation? What assurance can we have that it is willing to have a dialogue? Has it demonstrated anything that can be interpreted as a desire to achieve a compromise?

      Colleagues might remember that sanctions were imposed on the Russian Federation following Resolution 1990, which made it clear that the Crimean situation was at the heart of the sanctions. Maybe I have missed something, but since they have occupied Crimea did they stop the persecution of Crimean Tatars? Maybe they released Haiser Dzhemilev, Ahtem Chyihos and other hostages? Unfortunately, we have not seen any positive movement from the Russian side; in fact, we have seen the opposite. What we have seen is an attempt to imitate taking steps forward – hiding an ugly face behind a false smile. They have released Nadiia Savchenko, exchanging her for two war criminals, and at the same time they arrested several Crimean Tatars in Crimea and sent more lethal arms to Donbass, which they continue to support militarily and financially. They have also imposed prohibition on the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar people, labelling this body an “extremist” organisation in order to eliminate it. That should not escape your attention. Do we need this aggressor in this chamber?

      What we see today in Russia is repression, dictatorship, and suppression of human rights and freedoms. Those things are exactly what the founding fathers of the Council of Europe wanted to protect Europe from. To the Russians’ values, we can only say, “Never again”. Do not allow the Russian viruses of aggression, paranoia and hate to be spread here. Sanctions against Russia should be maintained for as long as their language remains a language of force and not a language of law, European values and mutual respect. The last day of sanctions must be the last day of Russian occupation of our territory.

      Lord ANDERSON (United Kingdom) – Russia is a great country that has made a huge contribution to our European civilisation over the years, but since it entered the Council of Europe it has always had turbulent relationships with the Assembly and the Court.

      Some may argue that our values are dialogue and parliamentary diplomacy, and that those principles should have priority over all others, regardless of whatever concerns we may have about Russia. However, we do have many concerns. For example, there is the climate of national deception, which led this week to the decision on the Rio Olympics; the Litvinenko case, whereby a dissident was poisoned in London; Magnitsky, the whistle-blower who was tortured and killed in a Moscow prison; and most importantly of all, the invasion, occupation and annexation of part of a member State, Ukraine, and the destabilisation of another substantial part of that member State’s territory.

      Do we seriously believe that dialogue with the toothless Duma will lead Mr Putin to say, “Sorry, I’ve made a terrible mistake over Crimea”? How credible would our stand on the rule of law be if we overlooked Russia’s record? What signal would we give if we gave priority to dialogue and ignored these concerns?

      Yet we are faced with a dilemma. The danger is that the international community has painted itself into a corner over Crimea. The use of sanctions has been renewed this week and sanctions will continue until Russia abandons its occupation, but there is no realistic chance of Russia abandoning Crimea. Does that mean that there can be no dialogue for ever and ever? No. In my judgment, we should seek – step by step, and cautiously – to move towards dialogue, to see if there is any reciprocity or any response on the part of Russia. Then, and only acting really cautiously, we will see if there is such a response.

      However, we should recognise throughout that Russia first invaded Georgia, of course, and then it invaded and annexed Crimea, contrary to all international law. Certainly, Mr Putin hopes that we in the Council of Europe will have a sort of creeping amnesia, as we have had over Georgia, and that step by step we shall forget what Russia has done and also forget that our Russian colleagues who were here were part of a quasi-Stalinist monolith. Not one of them ever criticised Putin and his record.

      We should not forget Crimea, but we should move – step by step – and adopt a more cautious approach to Russia, and see whether there is any response.

      Ms SOTNYK (Ukraine) – My speech is about the idea of strength. First of all, I thank Mr Fischer for quoting the founding father of the Council of Europe, Mr Churchill, and I will also quote Mr Churchill; in fact, I shall quote from the same speech. He said, “From what I have seen of our Russian friends and Allies during the war, I am convinced that there is nothing they admire so much as strength, and there is nothing for which they have less respect than weakness, especially military weakness.”

      The existence of any organisation is jeopardised if its members do not respect or fulfil its decisions. The mistakes of the past pushed our founding fathers to establish the Council of Europe and I totally understand that each decision, especially a common decision, needs some consensus. However, achieving such a consensus must always be limited by some principles and values, and I call on all the members of the Council of Europe not to be misled, and not to mix principles and values with double standards.

      I want to remind you that sanctions were imposed on Russia in this honourable place because it was aggressive against Ukraine – it invaded Donbass and occupied Crimea. We have six resolutions that make specific demands of Russia, with a particular demand that they restore the sovereignty of Ukraine. None of those resolutions, none of those demands, was met.

      Finally, it was the decision of the Russian Federation to leave the Council of Europe; it was unwilling to carry on any dialogue. What has changed since then? Nothing has changed, because tyrants do not intend to cease their aggression and their violation of human rights. Aggression reinforces their strength and existence, and excludes all possibility of democracy.

      You want to restore dialogue with a tyrant? By doing that, you will ultimately weaken yourself and strengthen Russia. You will poison the heart of our Organisation; we will be crushed from inside and it would be very hard to fight for democracy. A country that does not respect the principles of this Organisation and that ignores the demands and expectations made of it deserves only one verdict: exclusion from membership. Russia should be excluded from the Council of Europe and after that we will think about dialogue.

      Mr SOBOLEV (Ukraine) – We are all for dialogue, but I cannot imagine that in the year that this Organisation was founded the Stalinist Soviet Union could have been a member, even though it had helped to defeat fascism in Europe and the whole world. I cannot imagine that would have happened.

      We Ukrainians want dialogue; in all our years of independence, we had dialogue with all our neighbours. However, while on our side we used arguments and words, the other side – Russia – used Katyusha, Buk and other weapons in aggressive actions, not only against Ukraine but against all its neighbours.

      Of course we are for dialogue, but it must be based on some principles. In Europe we have different platforms for dialogue. Why, for example, does the European Union have only 28 member States? Why does the Parliamentary Assembly of the OSCE have 48 member States? It is because all such organisations, including the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, answer to their main principles and values.

      It is very important to understand that we are open to dialogue; the question is whether the other side is open to it. I do not think that they are. The main promoters of such dialogue are the members of the parliaments, but what we see with the members who represent the Russian Federation in this Chamber is that voted for aggression against Ukraine, for the killing of women and children. For us, this dialogue is very important, but it must be based on the main principles.

      I want to remember the main idea of #NoHateNoFear: no hate for the Russian people, but at the same time no fear before Putin. If that is to be the main principle of our Organisation, I think that we will forever have this dialogue, and we are waiting for it. We are waiting for concrete proposals, according to our principles. But still we are waiting and waiting. It was not our decision to suspend the credentials of the Russian delegation; it was their decision. Perhaps they are not ready to be a huge member of such a serious organisation.

      Sir Roger GALE (United Kingdom) – I am particularly grateful to my old friend Axel Fischer for the history lesson. When I first became a member of the Parliamentary Assembly, there were just 12 member States, which tells you rather more about my age than it does about anything else. I was unaware that Robert Schuman had described this establishment as a laboratory – I suspect that most members have at one time or other felt like laboratory animals. I have to say that the experiment that we may be encouraged to embark upon could be very dangerous indeed.

      Earlier this week my chum Don Anderson – that occasionally makes me sound dangerously left-wing – and I had the pleasure of meeting Nadiia Savchenko and sharing a little of the joy at her release. She reminded us that more than 30 of her compatriots are still being held in Russian prisons on false premises. I know that there are those in high places, within the European Union and the Council of Europe, who would like to reopen the dialogue with Russia, but I have listened very carefully to the messages that have come through in the Chamber tonight, and I think that it would be very unwise indeed to go too far down that road before getting some of the things that we need in return.

      British members of parliament are not spokesmen for the government in this Chamber; we are free spirits and we say what we think. But I do know, as the leader of the British delegation, that the British Government welcomed the sanctions that were imposed against the Russia delegation to remove their voting rights, and I know that it shares my view that there have been no marked or measurable concessions of any kind to suggest that they should have their voting rights returned.

      If the Russians want to come back to the Parliamentary Assembly and engage with the dialogue that the motion speaks about, they have every right and every opportunity to do so. All that they have to do is demonstrate, in eastern Ukraine, in Crimea, in Russian prisons, in Georgia, in the Balkan States, in the Baltic States and elsewhere, that they mean no threat and that they are prepared to play by our rules. If they can do that, most of us will welcome them back. But unless and until there is a clear demonstration from Vladimir Putin and those who speak for him, or who try to speak for him in this Chamber, that they are prepared to play by our rules, then I am sorry, but it is no deal.

      The PRESIDENT – As Mr Divina is not here, I call Mr Unguryan.

      Mr UNGURYAN (Ukraine) – Yes, our Assembly is a platform for inter-parliamentary dialogue and co-operation, but the main goal of that dialogue is the protection of human rights. I will give a few examples. It is absolutely unacceptable that Crimea should become a grey zone for human rights and fundamental freedoms. The OSCE mission has recorded significant harassment and violations against freedom of religion in Crimea. Ukrainians and Ukrainian Tatars who openly advocate for Ukraine’s territorial integrity and do not support the current authorities in Crimea are in a particularly vulnerable position. The requirements set down by the Russian Federation for the re-registration of NGOs, the media and religious groups were deliberately used against those who are not loyal to the new government. The result has been a significant restriction on freedom of association, making the existence of civil society impossible, and a significantly reduced independent media. The Russian arbitration court of Crimea has given a ruling to remove from the ownership of the Crimean diocese of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church the premises that belong to it.

      The Russian Federation must ensure full and unimpeded access to Crimea for Council of Europe monitoring mechanisms, the Commissioner for Human Rights, the advisory committee of the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities, the committee of experts of the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages, this Parliamentary Assembly’s monitors and the monitoring mechanisms of other international organisations.

      Mr VLASENKO (Ukraine) – I want to start with another quote. Our fellow colleague Alex Fischer said that sometimes we have conflicts among our member States. I could only add that it is a pity that sometimes we have wars among our member States. Even in that condition, inter-parliamentary dialogue is still a powerful tool, but should it be limitless? For me the answer is no. Inter-parliamentary dialogue should be framed by our values, and we cannot have dialogue with parliaments or States that have no wish to share our values. Those are the two main conditions for the dialogue.

      Furthermore, having that dialogue outside the framework of our values would mean accepting severe violations of international law. It would mean that we could also accept military aggression by one member State against another. For me that would be absolutely unacceptable. I will also say that there are different forms of inter-parliamentary dialogue, such as the roundtable. Why should we think that inter-parliamentary dialogue could be achieved only through a restoration of the credentials? That is not true. If the credentials of a member State’s delegates are limited, the delegates can still attend this Assembly, enjoy membership of the committees, discuss motions and so on. The only right they do not have is the right to vote. But that is not a problem for having dialogue and expressing their thoughts.

      The Russian Federation’s situation has been mentioned several times by colleagues, but in that case, the delegates did not want to have that dialogue. Did the Council of Europe close the door to dialogue? No. Did the Council of Europe prohibit those delegates being present in this Assembly? No. Was it the Council of Europe that did not allow the monitoring groups to visit Crimea? No. Did the Council of Europe violate international law? No.

      We should offer dialogue, and stand for inter-parliamentary co-operation, but within the framework of our values and not in violation of our rules.

      Mr MIGNON (France)* – President, colleagues, if I have understood correctly, the topic of this debate is reaffirming the role of the Assembly as a pan-European forum for inter-parliamentary dialogue and co-operation. Whether that idea poses a question or makes a statement, it is high time for us to ask a couple of questions. Are we up to the mark when it comes to our responsibilities and our mandate, which were outlined so brilliantly by Mr Fischer earlier and were set in 1949, when this Organisation was established after the Second World War? Are we up to it?

      There have been some reforms in the Council of Europe and the Parliamentary Assembly, as Sir Roger Gale quite rightly mentioned. In the light of all that, we need to ask ourselves some questions. There are 47 member States now. I have been a delegate since 1993. I can tell you that what we are doing now, in 2016, does not resemble what happened back then, and we did not know then what we do now. The situation has completely changed. There has been the fall of the Berlin Wall and the arrival of a certain number of new States. As you came into this Assembly, we had some lively debates. Some were in favour of your joining us; others were categorically opposed to the idea, but we were wise enough to accept and welcome you all into the fold. Do I have any regrets? Absolutely not – not with regard to any country at all; I think it is good that every country on the European continent is a part of this Organisation. I welcome that.

      The Council of Europe is a wonderful tool. Please, let us use it – let us use the whole toolkit: the Venice Commission, the European Court of Human Rights, the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment and the monitoring process. That process is a fairly recent phenomenon. Our friends from Finland created the monitoring exercise after joining us. We should use the monitoring process much more. We should not just have resolutions, either: for every report there should be recommendations that the Committee of Ministers can address. The Committee of Ministers should shoulder its responsibilities, as should the states concerned. That holds true in all areas: the fight against corruption, against human trafficking, against violence against women, against money laundering. With the Venice Commission, we have a full toolkit that allows this Organisation to fulfil its mission.

      There have been a lot of comments about one of the member States of the Council of Europe. As I understand it, that is not the item on the agenda. I too deplore what has been happening over the course of the past few years, and it is a great pity that there are so many frozen conflicts on this continent and so much opposition. It is a great shame. But let us rise above that and be worthy of our forefathers who created this Organisation.

      Mr ROUQUET (France)* – Our Assembly can be a good forum for debate because there are 47 member States, including Russia. Russia is an unavoidable player on so many different issues, whether North Caucasus, Georgia, Transnistria, Nagorno-Karabakh or fighting terrorism, to mention just a few crucial topics. We cannot debate those questions without Russia.

      The sanctions inflicted on the Russian delegation led to its departure. Even though it was theoretically conceivable that Russia’s delegates would agree to come to Strasbourg despite the fact that they had virtually no rights any more, it was hardly realistic to expect them to do so. We were carried away by an understandable wave of emotion, and have now painted ourselves into a corner. The situation is made even more awkward by the fact that Russia is still a full member of the Committee of Ministers. In some ways, we have weakened the Parliamentary Assembly within the Council of Europe, and rendered it unable to intervene effectively on key topics. There is no upside to the situation, except, perhaps, some benefit for the OSCE.

      Colleagues will have divined the fact that I think it is time to invite the Russian delegation to come back among us in 2017. Otherwise, its departure from the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe would be final – it would not come back.

      The violation of the territorial integrity of Ukraine is intolerable, and I condemn it out of hand, as was said in our resolution on it and in the UN Resolution of March 2014. To advocate Russia’s return among us is not in any way to condone the unacceptable. The violation of the territorial integrity of Ukraine is intolerable, but we will not make Russia bend to our will by stopping any kind of dialogue within the Parliamentary Assembly. To be able to have a dialogue there have to be at least two of you – it needs two parties, as colleagues have said. Let us leave sanctions to the European Union and states with the means to exert effective pressure. Let us rediscover our role, which is to allow dialogue in order to encourage peace. Thank you for listening, dear colleagues.

      Ms TAKTAKISHVILI (Georgia) – The title of this debate is not Russia, but we all know that there is an elephant in the room, which is the member State that has engaged in military aggression against two other member States, Georgia in August 2008 and Ukraine. It has confiscated inherent parts of our territory: Abkhazia, South Ossetia and Crimea. It is now annexing other parts of Ukraine that are not under the official control of the Ukrainian authorities.

      We know that there is no alternative to dialogue. I understand that new colleagues who have recently joined the Assembly think we have not tried to engage in dialogue with Russia and that we behaved harshly and radically in imposing sanctions. Let me remind colleagues of the previous steps taken by the Assembly to foster dialogue with Russia. In 2008 we said in two resolutions on the consequences of the war between Georgia and Russia that there should be dialogue but that Russia should comply with three minimal conditions for that dialogue. Unfortunately, none of those three conditions has been implemented by Russia.

      We have said that members of the Russian Parliament, who have voted unanimously for the occupation of Georgia, for military aggression in Georgia and Ukraine, and for the annexation of Crimea, have violated the statutes of our Organisation and the sovereignty of members of the Council of Europe. We have also said that there are no democratic elections in Russia. I am really surprised that we are now talking about having meaningful dialogue with members of parliament who unanimously repeat the position of Vladimir Putin.

      Please remember that the only member of the Russian Parliament not to vote in favour of the annexation of Crimea, Mr Ilya Ponomarev, was expelled from the Russian Parliament. Do you want to legitimise such a parliament by inviting the members who, at the orders of Putin, sat together with Mr Ponomarev in the Russian Duma? That is not the right thing to do in front of the families of those who have lost their lives during the Russian military aggression.

      Just two weeks ago, a Georgian citizen was killed by the Russian occupying forces in territory which officially comes under the Georgian authorities. Despite that, they have come in and killed such people. What shall we say to the families of those who have died? What should we say to Nadiia Savchenko, who has been freed thanks to our efforts and those of President Agramunt, when she knows that her compatriots are still in prison in Russia? Let us not legitimise the activities of Vladimir Putin. We in the Assembly should be setting the example in relation to such values.

      Mr ARIEV (Ukraine) – Dear God, we should respect ourselves: we should respect the values of the Council of Europe and the Council of Europe itself. I want to remind the Assembly of Article 3 of the Statute of the Council of Europe when it was established more than 60 years ago: “Every Member of the Council of Europe must accept the principles of the rule of law and of the enjoyment by all persons within its jurisdiction of human rights and fundamental freedoms, and collaborate sincerely and effectively in the realisation of the aim of the Council as specified in Chapter I.” Article 8 states: “Any Member of the Council of Europe which has seriously violated Article 3 may be suspended from its rights of representation”.

      After the annexation of Crimea in 2014, we demanded that the Russian Federation reverse its illegal annexation, and we repeated our demand in 2015, when we asked that it refrain from harassing and putting pressure on Tatar institutions and organisations in Crimea, implement the Minsk agreement fully and withdraw all its troops from Ukrainian territory. We then suspended its representation under Article 8, but what rights were suspended? We first suspended Russia’s voting rights. In the Assembly, we vote on resolutions about democracy, human rights and democratic values. If, after all it has done, Russia is able to participate in such votes in the Assembly, that would be like inviting a murderous maniac as an expert to a humanism conference. The next right that was suspended was the right to participate in monitoring elections. Imagine allowing Russia to monitor future elections in Ukraine when it is occupying the territory of part of that State. The same applies in relation to Georgia.

      We are in favour of dialogue, but what kind of dialogue should that be? It should mean talking, not parroting. Has anyone heard that Russian officials are ready to discuss reversing the annexation of Crimea? No. They say, “Crimea is ours.” Has anyone heard that they intend to discuss withdrawing Russian troops from Ukrainian territory? No. They say, “We have no troops there.” They said that they had no troops in Crimea in 2014, but they brutally lied to all of us. We should respect ourselves in this Assembly, uphold democracy and maintain our principles. Otherwise, this will be the beginning of the end of the Council of Europe, as has happened to many international organisations in the past.

      Mr KIRAL (Ukraine) – I want to share my reflections on reaffirming the role of the Assembly as a pan-European forum for inter-parliamentary dialogue and co-operation, but what about reaffirming the role of the Assembly in the release of political prisoners and the protection of human rights in conflict areas? What about enforcing the jurisdiction of the European Court of Human Rights on States that have joined the Council of Europe, holding those who do not respect international law and agreements to account, rather than appeasing them? What about reaffirming the role of the Assembly to punish those that annex their neighbours’ territories by using regular military forces, shooting down civilian aircraft, killing hundreds of people or to punish those that boycott the Assembly and its respected institutions? What about reaffirming the role of the Assembly to protect the rights of ethnic minorities, those of people such as women and children who are regularly harassed and abused, and those of the media used for covert propaganda purposes? Finally, what about reaffirming the Assembly’s role as a highly reputable authority that can enforce the implementation of its resolutions on its member States?

      Our delegations are working hard to reaffirm the Assembly’s important role, and I think we have made significant progress, despite the hybrid warfare launched against western societies, the divide-and-conquer strategy of meddling with European Union affairs, using NGOs to campaign against European Union leaders and dividing us over Brexit or how to deal with Syria or Ukraine. There are times when we need to stand up, harden our hearts against hostile behaviour and protect our values, rather than trade them away or dilute them. That does not mean we should stop interacting on other levels, whether bilateral, cultural, humanitarian or educational. There is no point in turning our backs, letting up on the pressure and, in the eyes of ordinary people, undermining the basic right of an individual or a country to be free and independent. We should not underestimate the effect of our moves and decisions, or how the signals we send are interpreted.

      We have heard many quotations today – as if we had already lost our minds – but Winston Churchill also said that ambiguity in foreign policy is a sign of weakness. The ambiguity of British pre-war policy under Chamberlain did not stop the Second World War. A forum for dialogue, with debates between different parties, is the most fundamental instrument for seeking compromise and reconciliation, but one essential precondition must be met, which is that all parties have the desire for dialogue. Boycotts, speaking from a position of force, continued humiliation whether in words or actions, such as passing contradictory laws, and so on are definitely not good preconditions. I remind you, Mr President, of what Mr Naryshkin told you in Russia: “Crimea is a closed question. Forget about it.” That shows complete and open disrespect of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe and its resolutions.

      Mr HERKEL (Estonia) – During this discussion, we are using nice words such as “inter-parliamentary dialogue” and “inter-parliamentary diplomacy”. Of course, nobody is against dialogue, but there are questions about conditions being placed on dialogue, and about whether the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe framework is the only possible way to develop dialogue. To my mind, this Assembly is very much about values and principles, and it is therefore very important.

      Mr Fischer, like other speakers, mentioned Schuman and Konrad Adenauer, and Mr Kiral quoted Winston Churchill, so let me develop the idea. For example, did Winston Churchill really have the idea of developing inter-parliamentary dialogue in the Soviet Union within the framework of the Council of Europe? I do not think so. Unfortunately, given what the Russian Federation is doing – the annexation of Crimea, the occupation of the territory of their neighbours, such as Georgia, and so on – it is becoming more and more similar to the Soviet Union. Therefore, the parliamentary dimension that I see here is that those acts were strongly supported by the State Duma.

      Let me make another point. If we are to have a dialogue, there needs to be partner, and there needs to be a genuine parliament. If there is a genuine parliament, there must be free and fair elections in the country. Unfortunately, that was not the case in the last elections in the Russian Federation. Mr Kox said that the State Duma would probably have a new composition, so let us assume that we will begin from a new point. Elections are coming. Let us see how they will do. I have not, unfortunately, yet seen the conditions for free and fair elections in the Russian Federation.

      Ms SAVCHENKO (Ukraine)* – Any war has to be brought to an end. Now we are talking about dialogue, but unfortunately there is not just one party to this. Europe has always said that it wants to talk to Russia and that that has always been in the interests of both, but we can no longer see the periphery. Europe stretches to the Urals. All the countries that have ever been socialist republics under the Soviet Union are living worse than the rest of Europe. Why is this? It is because, even now, there is a system of totalitarian laws and the influence of Russia on that whole sphere. Russia has shown what it is worth in the way that it treated me. It continues to blossom under its draconian laws – laws that lead to people being stripped of their citizenship, for example, if they are against the Kremlin.

      Russia is not here at the moment, because it is not concerned with European values at all. People in Europe are not condemned or sent to prison for crimes that they are sent to prison for in Russia, and we seem to be forgetting Abkhazia, Ossetia, Chechnya and now Crimea. How long are you in Europe prepared to wait? Are you not afraid that you will become a nice little titbit for the Russian bear? France, Germany and Britain – are you prepared to do the same as Russia has done? Ukraine has given up its nuclear weapons. If you are not the same as Russia, teach it to talk to us in our language. We want this dialogue to be a dialogue of values.

      Mr JORDANA (Andorra)* – Mr Mignon put it very aptly earlier: this debate is about reaffirming the role of the Assembly as a pan-European forum for inter-parliamentary dialogue and co-operation. It is not a debate on the Russian Federation. Having said that, Russia is not in this Assembly, and its absence is giving rise to this open debate. At the beginning of the week, my colleague Ms Nadiia Savchenko said in this very Chamber that Russia did not deserve to come back to the family of parliamentarians. Nevertheless, she said that we will work towards reconciliation to obtain peace in Ukraine.

      This testimony, this message, is a reminder to us that the essential role of the Council of Europe since it was first established in 1949 has been to strengthen democracy and human rights. It is our duty to build bridges, to communicate. We do not want to build walls or fence people in, so who would be best placed in the Council of Europe’s Parliamentary Assembly to do this work? Of course, I need not remind you that it is the first Parliamentary Assembly of this nature on the continent.

      In the current era, democracy is under threat and human rights are being violated, but we have 60 years of hard work behind us. We cannot jeopardise that. We must continue. We must persevere. It is true that the Russian delegation was stripped of its voting rights, but what result has that given us? It has given us nothing at all. We cannot just stand by. We face new developments, new situations, new challenges. We cannot remain inactive.

      Fundamental rights such as democracy are never to be taken for granted. We need not only to reaffirm the role of this Assembly but to defend it. If I may, I will quote another figure, Mr Jean Monnet who said that when human beings are faced with a new situation, they adapt, they change. But if they hope that things will just remain the same, they will not really be listening to new ideas. They will not be open to them.

      Mr LOMBARDI (Switzerland)* – I, too, will stick to the theme of the debate, even though the discussion now seems to be focusing on a very serious territorial conflict that is not the only conflict between our members. However, reaffirming the role of our Assembly means recalling its singular nature, because we are not a European parliament, which some people have tended to forget in what they have said. Nor are we the Parliamentary Assembly of the OSCE, which is there to promote peace between its 57 member States and to manage increasingly difficult relations between the three principles of international law: the territorial integrity of states, the right of peoples to self-determination, and the renunciation of the use of force. The Minsk process, by the way, is the only path that has so far been embarked upon to resolve the conflict that has been alluded to this evening and it is yet to succeed.

      However, we are here in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, which promotes the values that are fundamental to democracy: parliamentarianism, the rule of law and respect for human rights – values that we believe are indivisible and that can be upheld only by the rigorous application of the human rights convention and the unreserved enforcement of the judgments of the Court.

      We must reaffirm the role of our Assembly but draw a distinction between ourselves and governments. Governments represent their interests, enter into agreements and sometimes wage war, whereas parliaments represent peoples and are the supreme forum for dialogue and the exchange of views, which can sometimes vary hugely. Let us not forget that even if we are sometimes divided in our opinions, we should never be divided as to our method, which is dialogue and exchanging views. We must have no barriers between us; otherwise people end up fighting one another.

      Let us reaffirm the role of this Assembly as a pan-European forum. All 47 member States are part of the same family, even though they might go through difficult periods and some might be in open conflict with one another. Our Assembly can be truly pan-European only if it guarantees all members full participation. Dialogue must be whole. There must be no limitations. Parliamentary diplomacy cannot be restricted to the times when we need a minimum of trust and exchange between warring parties. Like other human rights, parliamentary diplomacy is indivisible. We do not want to slam the door on anyone because we do not believe that that will be conducive to any kinds of solutions. If we are to break the deadlock, we have to reaffirm the values of the Council of Europe, as well as of this Parliamentary Assembly, as a forum for dialogue that is genuinely open to all.

      The PRESIDENT – I must now interrupt the list of speakers. The speeches of members on the speakers list who have been present during the debate but have not been able to speak may be given to the Table Office for publication in the Official Report. I remind colleagues that the texts are to be submitted in typescript, electronically if possible, no later than four hours after the list of speakers is interrupted.

      I remind you that at the end of a current affairs debate, the Assembly is not asked to decide upon a text; but the matter may be referred by the Bureau to the responsible committee for a report.

6. Next public business

      The PRESIDENT – The Assembly will hold its next public sitting tomorrow morning at 10.00 a.m. with the agenda that was approved this morning.

      The sitting is closed.

      (The sitting was closed at 8.30 p.m.)

CONTENTS

1. Address by Mr Alexis Tsipras, Prime Minister of Greece

Questions: Mr Kox, Mr Eẞl, Ms Mikko, Ms Brasseur, Mr Obremski.

2. Personal statement

3. Debate (continued): The functioning of democratic institutions in Turkey

Speakers: Mr Kandemir, Mr Schennach, Ms Mikko, Ms Kerestecioğlu Demir, Ms Anttila, Mr Wiechel.

Draft resolution in Document 14078, as amended, adopted

4. Debate: Administrative detention

Presentation by Lord Balfe of the report of the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights, Document 14079

Speakers: Mr Mahoux, Ms Taktakishvili, Mr Wold, Mr Jónasson, Ms Yaşar, Ms Sotnyk, Mr Loucaides, Mr Sabella.

Draft resolution in Document 14079 adopted

5. Current affairs debate: Reaffirming the role of the Assembly as a pan-European forum for inter-parliamentary dialogue and co-operation

Speakers: Mr Fischer, Mr Mulder, Mr Liddell-Grainger, Mr Kox, Mr Billström, Mr Nicoletti, Mr Dzhemiliev, Mr Logvynskyi, Lord Anderson, Ms Sotnyk, Mr Sobolev, Sir Roger Gale, Mr Unguryan, Mr Vlasenko, Mr Mignon, Mr Rouquet, Ms Taktakishvili, Mr Ariev, Mr Kiral, Mr Herkel, Ms Savchenko, Mr Jordana, Mr Lombardi.

6. Next public business

Appendix I

Representatives or Substitutes who signed the Attendance Register in accordance with Rule 12.2 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

Tasmina AHMED-SHEIKH*

Brigitte ALLAIN*

Jean-Charles ALLAVENA

Werner AMON

Luise AMTSBERG*

Lord Donald ANDERSON

Sirkka-Liisa ANTTILA

Ben-Oni ARDELEAN*

Iwona ARENT*

Volodymyr ARIEV

Damir ARNAUT

Anna ASCANI/ Eleonora Cimbro

Mehmet BABAOĞLU/Salih Firat

Theodora BAKOYANNIS*

David BAKRADZE*

Gérard BAPT/Jean-Claude Frécon

Doris BARNETT*

José Manuel BARREIRO*

Meritxell BATET*

Deniz BAYKAL

Guto BEBB*

Marieluise BECK*

Ondřej BENEŠIK

Levan BERDZENISHVILI*

Deborah BERGAMINI

Sali BERISHA*

Włodzimierz BERNACKI

Anna Maria BERNINI/Claudio Fazzone

Maria Teresa BERTUZZI*

Andris BĒRZINŠ*

Jokin BILDARRATZ*

Gülsün BİLGEHAN

Tobias BILLSTRÖM

Oleksandr BILOVOL

Philippe BLANCHART*

Maryvonne BLONDIN

Tilde BORK/Rasmus Nordqvist

Mladen BOSIĆ/Saša Magazinović

Anne BRASSEUR

Piet De BRUYN

Margareta BUDNER/ Jarosław Obremski

Valentina BULIGA

Dawn BUTLER

Nunzia CATALFO

Giovanna CECCHETTI

Elena CENTEMERO

José CEPEDA*

Irakli CHIKOVANI/ Chiora Taktakishvili

Vannino CHITI*

Anastasia CHRISTODOULOPOULOU

Lise CHRISTOFFERSEN/ Ingebjřrg Godskesen

Paolo CORSINI

David CRAUSBY*

Yves CRUCHTEN*

Zsolt CSENGER-ZALÁN*

Katalin CSÖBÖR*

Geraint DAVIES

Joseph DEBONO GRECH*

Renata DESKOSKA

Alain DESTEXHE

Manlio DI STEFANO

Şaban DİŞLİ

Sergio DIVINA

Aleksandra DJUROVIĆ*

Namik DOKLE*

Francesc Xavier DOMENECH*

Sir Jeffrey DONALDSON

Elvira DROBINSKI-WEIß*

Daphné DUMERY

Alexander [The Earl of] DUNDEE

Nicole DURANTON

Josette DURRIEU

Mustafa DZHEMILIEV

Lady Diana ECCLES*

Franz Leonhard EẞL

Markar ESEYAN

Nigel EVANS*

Samvel FARMANYAN*

Joseph FENECH ADAMI*

Cătălin Daniel FENECHIU*

Doris FIALA/Elisabeth Schneider-Schneiter

Daniela FILIPIOVÁ/Ivana Dobešová

Ute FINCKH-KRÄMER*

Axel E. FISCHER

Bernard FOURNIER

Béatrice FRESKO-ROLFO*

Pierre-Alain FRIDEZ

Sahiba GAFAROVA

Sir Roger GALE

Adele GAMBARO

Xavier GARCÍA ALBIOL*

José Ramón GARCÍA HERNÁNDEZ*

Karl GARĐARSSON

Iryna GERASHCHENKO/Serhii Kiral

Tina GHASEMI*

Valeriu GILETCHI

Mihai GHIMPU/Alina Zotea

Francesco Maria GIRO

Carlos Alberto GONÇALVES

Oleksii GONCHARENKO/Sergiy Vlasenko

Rainer GOPP

Alina Ștefania GORGHIU/Maria Grecea

Sylvie GOY-CHAVENT*

François GROSDIDIER*

Dzhema GROZDANOVA/Milena Damyanova

Gergely GULYÁS*

Emine Nur GÜNAY

Valgerđur GUNNARSDÓTTIR

Jonas GUNNARSSON

Antonio GUTIÉRREZ*

Maria GUZENINA/Susanna Huovinen

Márton GYÖNGYÖSI*

Sabir HAJIYEV*

Andrzej HALICKI/Killion Munyama

Hamid HAMID*

Alfred HEER/Hannes Germann

Gabriela HEINRICH*

Michael HENNRICH/ Thomas Feist

Martin HENRIKSEN*

Françoise HETTO-GAASCH*

John HOWELL

Anette HÜBINGER

Johannes HÜBNER/Barbara Rosenkranz

Andrej HUNKO

Rafael HUSEYNOV/Vusal Huseynov

Ekmeleddin Mehmet İHSANOĞLU

Denis JACQUAT/ Frédéric Reiss

Gediminas JAKAVONIS

Sandra JAKELIĆ*

Gordan JANDROKOVIĆ

Tedo JAPARIDZE*

Michael Aastrup JENSEN*

Mogens JENSEN

Frank J. JENSSEN/Hans Fredrik Grřvan

Florina-Ruxandra JIPA*

Ögmundur JÓNASSON

Aleksandar JOVIČIĆ/ Stefana Miladinović

Anne KALMARI*

Erkan KANDEMIR

Marietta KARAMANLI

Niklas KARLSSON

Nina KASIMATI

Ioanneta KAVVADIA

Filiz KERESTECİOĞLU DEMİR

İlhan KESİCİ*

Danail KIRILOV/Krasimira Kovachka

Bogdan KLICH/ Aleksander Pociej

Manana KOBAKHIDZE*

Haluk KOÇ

Ksenija KORENJAK KRAMAR*

Attila KORODI

Alev KORUN*

Rom KOSTŘICA/Gabriela Pecková

Elvira KOVÁCS*

Tiny KOX

Peter KRESÁK*

Borjana KRIŠTO/Bariša Čolak

Florian KRONBICHLER*

Eerik-Niiles KROSS/Andres Herkel

Talip KÜÇÜKCAN

Ertuğrul KÜRKÇÜ

Stella KYRIAKIDES

Georgios KYRITSIS

Yuliya L OVOCHKINA*

Inese LAIZĀNE*

Pierre-Yves LE BORGN’/Pascale Crozon

Jean-Yves LE DÉAUT/ Catherine Quéré

Luís LEITE RAMOS

Valentina LESKAJ*

Terry LEYDEN*

Inese LĪBIŅA-EGNERE/ Boriss Cilevičs

Ian LIDDELL-GRAINGER

Georgii LOGVYNSKYI

Filippo LOMBARDI

François LONCLE/Genevičve Gosselin-Fleury

George LOUCAIDES

Philippe MAHOUX

Marit MAIJ

Muslum MAMMADOV

Thierry MARIANI*

Soňa MARKOVÁ/Pavel Holík

Milica MARKOVIĆ*

Duarte MARQUES*

Alberto MARTINS

Meritxell MATEU/ Carles Jordana

Liliane MAURY PASQUIER

Michael McNAMARA*

Sir Alan MEALE

Ermira MEHMETI DEVAJA/Imer Aliu

Evangelos MEIMARAKIS*

Ana Catarina MENDES*

Jasen MESIĆ*

Attila MESTERHÁZY*

Jean-Claude MIGNON

Marianne MIKKO

Daniel MILEWSKI*

Anouchka van MILTENBURG*

Orhan MİROĞLU*

Olivia MITCHELL*

Arkadiusz MULARCZYK*

Thomas MÜLLER/Roland Rino Büchel

Oľga NACHTMANNOVÁ*

Hermine NAGHDALYAN

Marian NEACȘU*

Andrei NEGUTA

Zsolt NÉMETH*

Miroslav NENUTIL

Michele NICOLETTI

Aleksandar NIKOLOSKI

Johan NISSINEN/ Markus Wiechel

Julia OBERMEIER*

Marija OBRADOVIĆ*

Žarko OBRADOVIĆ

Judith OEHRI

Carina OHLSSON

Suat ÖNAL

Ria OOMEN-RUIJTEN

Joseph O’REILLY

Tom PACKALÉN*

Judith PALLARÉS

Ganira PASHAYEVA*

Jaroslav PAŠKA*

Florin Costin PÂSLARU*

Jaana PELKONEN/Olli-Poika Parviainen

Martin POLIAČIK*

Agnieszka POMASKA*

Cezar Florin PREDA*

John PRESCOTT/Lord George Foulkes

Mark PRITCHARD/Lord Richard Balfe

Lia QUARTAPELLE PROCOPIO*

Carmen QUINTANILLA*

Kerstin RADOMSKI

Mailis REPS*

Andrea RIGONI

François ROCHEBLOINE*

Melisa RODRÍGUEZ HERNÁNDEZ*

Helena ROSETA*

René ROUQUET*

Alex SALMOND/Mike Wood

Vincenzo SANTANGELO/Maria Edera Spadoni

Milena SANTERINI*

Nadiia SAVCHENKO

Deborah SCHEMBRI*

Stefan SCHENNACH

Paul SCHNABEL*

Ingjerd SCHOU

Nico SCHRIJVER/Pieter Omtzigt

Frank SCHWABE*

Predrag SEKULIĆ*

Aleksandar SENIĆ/Vesna Marjanović

Senad ŠEPIĆ

Samad SEYIDOV*

Paula SHERRIFF/ Baroness Doreen Massey

Bernd SIEBERT*

Adăo SILVA

Valeri SIMEONOV*

Andrej ŠIRCELJ*

Arturas SKARDŽIUS/Egidijus Vareikis

Jan ŠKOBERNE*

Serhiy SOBOLEV

Olena SOTNYK

Lorella STEFANELLI

Yanaki STOILOV

Karin STRENZ*

Ionuț-Marian STROE*

Dominik TARCZYŃSKI*

Damien THIÉRY

Antoni TRENCHEV

Krzysztof TRUSKOLASKI*

Mihai TUDOSE*

Goran TUPONJA*

İbrahim Mustafa TURHAN*

Nada TURINA-ĐURIĆ*

Konstantinos TZAVARAS

Leyla Şahin USTA/Lütfiye Ilksen Ceritoğlu Kurt

Dana VÁHALOVÁ

Snorre Serigstad VALEN*

Petrit VASILI*

Imre VEJKEY*

Mart van de VEN

Stefaan VERCAMER

Anna VEREŠOVÁ*

Birutė VĖSAITĖ

Nikolaj VILLUMSEN*

Vladimir VORONIN/Maria Postoico

Viktor VOVK

Nataša VUČKOVIĆ*

Draginja VUKSANOVIĆ/Snežana Jonica

Karl-Georg WELLMANN*

Katrin WERNER/Annette Groth

Jacek WILK

Andrzej WOJTYŁA

Morten WOLD

Gisela WURM

Jordi XUCLŔ*

Serap YAŞAR

Leonid YEMETS/Pavlo Unguryan

Tobias ZECH

Kristýna ZELIENKOVÁ*

Marie-Jo ZIMMERMANN/Marie-Christine Dalloz

Emanuelis ZINGERIS

Naira ZOHRABYAN

Levon ZOURABIAN/Armen Rustamyan

Vacant Seat, Croatia*

Vacant Seat, Cyprus*

ALSO PRESENT

Representatives and Substitutes not authorised to vote

Kerstin LUNDGREN

Anne MULDER

Liliana PALIHOVICI

Observers

Ulises RAMÍREZ NÚŃEZ

Miguel ROMO MEDINA

Partners for Democracy

Hanane ABOULFATH

Sahar ALQAWASMI

Mohammed AMEUR

Abdelali HAMIDINE

El Mokhtar GHAMBOU

Bernard SABELLA

Mohamed YATIM