AS (2016) CR 32
2016 ORDINARY SESSION
Wednesday 12 October 2016 at 10 a.m.
In this report:
1. Speeches in English are reported in full.
2. Speeches in other languages are reported using the interpretation and are marked with an asterisk.
3. The text of the amendments is available at the document centre and on the Assembly’s website. Only oral 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 report.
(Mr Agramunt, President of the Assembly, took the Chair at 10.10 a.m.)
The PRESIDENT* – The sitting is open.
Before beginning the business of the day, I wish to convey a celebratory message to my country, Spain, on the day of its national holiday. I also congratulate all my compatriots in this Chamber or who work elsewhere in the Council of Europe: congratulations on this 12 October.
1. Sport for all: a bridge to equality, integration and social inclusion
The PRESIDENT – The first item of business this morning is the debate on the report titled “Sport for all: a bridge to equality, integration and social inclusion” (Document 14127) presented by Ms Carmen Quintanilla on behalf of the Committee on Culture, Science, Education and Media and a statement by Mr Thomas Bach, President of the International Olympic Committee.
In order to finish by 12 p.m., we must interrupt the list of speakers at about 11.45 p.m. to allow time for the reply and the vote. Are these arrangements agreed to?
They are agreed to.
I call Ms Quintanilla, rapporteur. You have 13 minutes in total, which you may divide between presentation of the report and reply to the debate.
Ms QUINTANILLA (Spain)* – President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Thomas Bach, I thank you most warmly on behalf of the entire Parliamentary Assembly, as well as on behalf of my political group in this Assembly, for your presence here. Thank you for meeting with the Parliamentary Assembly; it is a great honour.
When I began drafting this report, I thought of sport as a practice that can promote a healthy lifestyle and provide many added benefits for society. At the same time, it has positive effects on us all individually in terms of health, solidarity and community life. Sport is the most popular activity in our modern societies. It embodies many positive values such as self-esteem, personal development, discipline, cohesion and fraternity. Additionally, it has positive effects on welfare, health, education and the economy. Sport provides us all with opportunities to meet and socialise, and it is a way of living together.
Unfortunately, the image of sport as fair play has been tarnished repeatedly, particularly recently. There have been a plethora of revelations involving doping, match fixing, violence, human trafficking and corruption. These are negative excesses, and unfortunately, they leave their mark on all of us: athletes, spectators and society as a whole. The recent Olympic games in Rio were more in the limelight than ever, in a negative way, which has once again damaged the image of sport.
Nevertheless, I would like to take this opportunity to make a statement. I would like to present the report to you as “SPORT FOR ALL”, in capital letters. Sport allows us to live together by fostering a common culture, regardless of gender, intellectual capacity, physical ability, culture, nationality, religion, sexual orientation, economic background or social environment. It is an ideal arena for exchanges between human beings. We all come together in unity around the practice of sport. Sport is also about values: ethical, moral and social. In the international community as a whole, sport reaches from small village football matches, which are often completely invisible but matter there, all the way up to the Olympic games at the highest level. Sport is about passion and striving for greatness. It is about equality, integration and, of course, social inclusion.
I would like to speak about the origins of the Olympic movement. The principle of the Olympics is the recognition that sport is a human right: every individual shall have the opportunity to practise sport without any form of discrimination. In practice, unfortunately, we know that that principle is not always abided by. There are problems, in both amateur and other sport. Sport for all is still not a reality for many people. Many still do not have access to sports facilities and there is still discrimination against women and people with disabilities. Sometimes they do not have a genuine opportunity to participate as they should be able to do in a State governed by the rule of law. Those who live in disadvantaged neighbourhoods or rural areas also sometimes do not have access. That is why we as members of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe must take action. We must lobby our governments and sports associations at the local and national level, as well as our schools, to ensure that the practice of sport is promoted. It is a way to foster equality for all and eliminate all forms of discrimination, which is precisely what my report is about.
Our member States have a role to play, as I mention in the draft resolution. Member States need to make more of an effort to promote the necessary measures so we can ensure that all individuals who would like to participate in sport can do so without obstacle. The draft resolution has three pillars to which I draw your attention. The first is our political life. It is important for us to focus on these issues in a more cross-cutting way. We need to consider sport as a discipline and a way of achieving other political objectives, including in health, social affairs, youth, non-discrimination and even integration of migrants. Sport forms part of that equation.
Secondly, we need adequate mechanisms in place to monitor the issue systematically and regularly. Any kind of discrimination must be noted. Unfortunately, there is still discrimination in sport. We must be vigilant and concentrate on strategies to prevent it. We must ensure that we make it easy for individuals to lodge complaints about discrimination and that such complaints are investigated. Sport should be a bridge to equality and social inclusion; it is so important. This can be done through much closer co-operation among sport associations, the bodies in charge of promoting equality and national human rights institutions.
Thirdly, sport today has become a multi-billion dollar business that thrives largely on the basis of public money. At the same time, far too many families in all our member States cannot afford for their children to practise sport. It is clear that at least a part of the profit made – of all that important money generated by sport – should be set aside to promote access for all to sport.
Additionally, my report speaks specifically about the gender dimension, because it appears most important to me. Women often face difficulties when they wish to practise sport, and those who do practise sport, including professionally, are discriminated against as compared with men. It is important that we address stereotypes that prevent women from fully taking part in sports. Unfortunately, we often encounter those stereotypes elsewhere: they prevent us from taking part fully in society and in economic and political life in our member States. Women’s sports are often not recognised. They are not broadcast much: only 3% of transmission time is set aside for women’s sports.
It is also important to note those individuals who are living with a disability – psychological or physical – who still, to this very day, face problems with access to the world of sports, including activities and exercise.
Let me conclude on the issue of immigrants. Through sports, it is possible for us to genuinely integrate those individuals who now find themselves in our countries, and to give them greater equality.
For all those reasons, it is really important for us to promote sport as a bridge towards equality. We can all take ownership of this area and take part in this activity. I ask the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe to implement an action plan for the promotion of sports to break down any discriminatory barriers. The Parliamentary Assembly acknowledges the essential role played by the IOC and that it makes efforts every day to ensure that sport reaches out to everyone. We need a global programme to promote sport for all. We need to fight against any type of discrimination. That has to become a reality. It is the only way to make sure that sports are present in a fairer, more egalitarian society, without discrimination. We want to achieve integration, peace, co-existence and social justice.
I welcome Mr Bach. Thank you once again for being here this morning. I look forward to hearing what you have to say.
The PRESIDENT* – Thank you, Ms Quintanilla. You have three minutes left to respond later.
(The speaker continued in English.)
I welcome Mr Thomas Bach, President of the International Olympic Committee. He will make a statement now and will then have an opportunity to respond to the debate. On behalf of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, I warmly welcome you to this Chamber. We are honoured by your presence today. You have brought with you to this Chamber the Olympic spirit and the values on which sport is based: solidarity, respect and fair play. This is a very important advertisement for our work, because sport is a major vehicle for promoting and consolidating democratic values and fundamental rights.
The Parliamentary Assembly welcomes the efforts of the International Olympic Committee to support reforms in the sports movement, so as to strengthen good governance and ensure that all federations in all sports pay attention to the human rights dimension of sports as well as to government protection and sustainability issues. I am sure that your views and ideas will enrich our debate.
This morning, I informed you in my office about the #NoHateNoFear initiative of the Parliamentary Assembly. As we face the threat of terrorists, as well as the manipulation by populist movements of the legitimate security concerns of our citizens, we must reaffirm the values that underpin the foundation of our societies. The #NoHateNoFear initiative is about each and every individual. We must demonstrate in our words and in our actions that we oppose the fear and hate that terrorists seek to create. Sport is a vehicle to spread that message and to rally as many people as possible around our democratic values and fundamental rights. I am grateful for your support for this initiative.
Mr BACH (President of the International Olympic Committee) – Thank you very much, Mr President. Dear rapporteur, Ms Quintanilla, congratulations on the national holiday of Spain. Members of the Parliamentary Assembly, your Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen, it is a great honour and privilege to address the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. On behalf of the International Olympic Committee, please allow me to express our thanks and gratitude for this opportunity to discuss the important topic of sport for all and the contribution of sport to society.
The IOC fully supports the resolution and its recommendations on how to promote access to sport for all people. I thank the Parliamentary Assembly for recognising the fundamental role of the IOC in fostering equal access to sport for all. As an organisation dedicated to making the world a better place through sport, the IOC wholeheartedly believes that sport has an essential role to play in modern society.
Mr President, you emphasised in your opening speech to the Parliamentary Assembly only a few days ago that the challenges that the international community faces today can only be overcome in the spirit of dialogue and co-operation. You eloquently explained the importance of upholding those principles, when you said: “Although we must listen to everyone and give due consideration to the interests and concerns expressed, we should not lose sight of the bigger objective: overcoming divisions and working together to solve the problems we are confronted with.”
That message resonated very much with me, because the IOC and the world of sport very much share those principles. Sport unites people in respect and friendship like few other human activities can do. Sport always builds bridges. Sport never erects walls. In our fragile world, shaken by crisis and mistrust, we need that spirit of dialogue and co-operation more than ever. Ms Quintanilla alluded to that culture of mistrust, which affects everybody and every organisation in our world. It affects the organisations of politics, as well as the big organisations of sport, society and business. We have to overcome this challenge together, because we are all affected by that deep culture of mistrust and lack of dialogue.
Thank you, Mr President, for the opportunity to join you and the Parliamentary Assembly in the spirit of dialogue today. Sport has the unique power to bring people together, regardless of background, gender, culture or belief, as the rapporteur explained. The 2016 Olympic games in Rio reminded us of the great unifying power of sport. Perhaps the best example of that was the participation of the first ever refugee Olympic team. The refugee athletes participated alongside 11 000 of the world’s best athletes from all 206 national Olympic committees. They competed not as refugees, but as Olympic athletes and an Olympic team. The creation of this refugee Olympic team by the International Olympic Committee sent a strong message of hope and inclusion to the millions of refugees around the world. In a great sign of Olympic solidarity, the refugee athletes received an incredible reception and welcome to the Olympic family. Their participation was proof that like any other people, refugees enrich society just as they enrich our Olympic family.
This speech gives me the opportunity to highlight the great support that many of these refugee athletes received from the national Olympic committees, specifically those from European countries represented here. Three of the refugee athletes who competed in Rio de Janeiro were supported by the NOCs of Belgium, Germany and Luxembourg, but many other NOCs participate in the IOC programmes to assist and help refugees through sport all over Europe and across the world. I am thinking of Greece, Turkey and many other countries that benefit from the IOC programmes. I thank everyone and every country involved for the inspiring display of solidarity and co-operation that made this historic moment a reality. That support was more proof of the force of sport to contribute to a better society. Because of its universality and global reach, sport is a low-cost, high-impact tool to support all countries – big or small, rich or poor – in reaching their social development objectives in education, health, gender equality and many other areas.
The important role of sport in society was recently acknowledged by the United Nations. In a historic moment last year, sport was highlighted as an important enabler in achieving the ambitious United Nations Sustainable Development Goals agenda. As I confirmed to the United Nations General Assembly just last month, the IOC is fully aligned with the United Nations and its member States and committed to working with them towards realising those important goals for economic and social progress.
Our commitment comes in different forms. Making sport accessible for all is a major priority for us. The latest example of that was our announcement that we will build safe spaces throughout the world for children to play sport. The safe spaces will give children an equal opportunity to play sport in a safe environment, but they will also provide a platform for civil society partners providing education or health services to work with us. The scheme places sport at the very heart of public policy. In that way, sport can play its part in making the world a better place.
I reiterate the commitment to co-operation with all the countries represented in this Assembly. The IOC stands ready to support the important efforts of the member States in promoting the role of sport and improving access to sport for all members of society. By adopting Olympic Agenda 2020, our reform programme for the Olympic movement, the IOC has addressed the important role of sport in society. With Olympic Agenda 2020, we have opened a dialogue with society, and we invite our partners from all walks of life to join hands with us and contribute to our society.
As the resolution before us highlights, sport can be a powerful tool in promoting gender equality and empowering women and girls. Sport gives women and girls a great opportunity to break free from negative stereotypes. Women athletes can serve as inspirational role models for young girls. One of the key objectives of the IOC is to encourage and support the promotion of women in sport at all levels, based on the principle of gender equality. That principle is enshrined in the Olympic Charter.
Olympic Agenda 2020 underscores the IOC’s commitment to gender equality by calling for 50% female participation at Olympic games and for a stronger role for women in sport. We are moving closer to 50% female participation at the Olympic games. At Rio 2016, we saw more women competing than ever before, accounting for 54% – sorry, 45%. It is not yet 54%. Women accounted for 45% of athletes competing at the 2016 games. We are on track to increase that number at the next Olympic games, Tokyo 2020. In 2018, at the Youth Olympic games, Buenos Aires 2018, we will have full equality of women and men for the first time ever in terms of participation and events. We will have 50% men and 50% women participating in exactly the same number of events, so it will be full equality in all respects.
Gender equality at the Olympic games alone is not enough, however. That is why we are promoting gender equality outside the field of play, too. We do that by teaming up with partners that share the same vision. For example, one of the legacies of Rio 2016 is our joint initiative with United Nations Women called “One Win Leads to Another”. Through that initiative, we are supporting 2 500 young girls across Rio de Janeiro. We are using sports programmes to empower them to become future leaders in their communities. Gender equality is not a women’s issue. It is a basic human right of profound importance, and it is a fundamental principle of the Olympic Charter. That is why I was pleased to accept the invitation to join United Nations Women’s HeForShe campaign. By joining that campaign, I promised that the IOC remains committed to using sport to advance women’s rights. That is a promise that all of us gathered here need to keep, because in today’s world, we cannot afford to let the skills of 50% of the world’s population be left behind, whether in sport or in society.
We live in an interconnected world. Sport is in the middle of society. It is not apart from society, with all its advantages and disadvantages. We do not live on an island. We are not a refuge for the saints of the world. We live in the middle of society. That is why we are well aware that we can make progress in the different areas that Ms Quintanilla alluded to, but we can only make progress together. We cannot reach our goals just on our own. We approach other partners by helping and by asking for assistance from them. These partners include the United Nations, the private sector, civil society, and indeed the member States of the Council of Europe.
This is why I am pleased to be here today to reiterate that the IOC stands ready to partner with you and support the member States in your efforts to realise the important goals of gender equality, promoting integration, and sport for all. The IOC is grateful for the long-standing co-operation that we have enjoyed with you. Through our co-operation, we have set new global standards with regard to protecting sport’s competitions from manipulation and corruption. In this context, the IOC has supported from the very beginning the Council of Europe’s Magglingen Convention on the Manipulation of Sports Competitions. I am therefore pleased to tell you that the IOC has approved the first Olympic movement code on the prevention of manipulation of competitions, which was implemented during the Rio 2016 Olympic games.
Furthermore, as of last year, the IOC has an integrity and compliance hotline that offers an anonymous reporting mechanism for potential cases of competition manipulation and other violations. We are proud of our co-operation with Interpol, with which we work together to address the risk of match fixing, manipulation, and related corruption. That is why it is not by coincidence that today I am accompanied here by our chief officer for compliance and ethics, Ms Zappelli, who is operating all these tools against manipulation and corruption in order to protect ethics in the IOC. The wide-ranging co-operation that we have in fighting manipulation of sports competitions is a great example of what we can achieve by working together.
It is not the main focus of our discussions today – although it was mentioned by all of you, be it in the meetings we had before, or by you, Madam Rapporteur – but please allow me to address the extremely important issue of the protection of clean athletes and the fight against doping. First of all, my thanks go to the member States for the great co-operation and support that they have shown over so many years. Especially over the course of the past two years, the deficiencies of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) in the fight against doping have become apparent. It is encouraging to see that WADA is now starting to address these deficiencies through the organisation of think-tanks and other measures. I strongly believe, however, that the stakeholders of WADA – including the governments and the Olympic movement, who are equal partners in it – have a great common interest in, and responsibility to contribute to, this discussion about the future of the fight against doping. The governments, as well as the Olympic movement, have a common objective: a more robust, efficient and transparent WADA anti-doping system.
That is why, just a few days ago, the Olympic movement, under the leadership of the IOC, outlined its strategy for a strengthened fight against doping. This strategy includes the call for an anti-doping system within WADA that is more independent from sports organisations, as well as from national interests. The strategy calls for a centralised world-wide anti-doping system that treats all athletes from all nations equally. It also calls for harmonised legislation that makes facilitating doping – for instance, by coaches, dealers, doctors, officials or managers – a criminal offence. To achieve this common objective of a better WADA anti-doping system, co-operation between the governments and the Olympic movement is vital. That is why I invite the Council of Europe and its member States to a dialogue with the Olympic movement on this important issue. In close co-ordination, co-operation and dialogue, we can make great progress already, at the next WADA foundation board meeting in November in Glasgow, where you will be represented by your Deputy Secretary General, Ms Gabriella Battaini-Dragoni.
In this respect, as with many challenges that we all face in today’s fragile world, we can only make progress by joining forces and working together. Today’s resolution on sport for all by the Council of Europe is a great opportunity for us to join hands and unite behind such a common vision. The IOC is built on the belief that we can make the world a better place through sport, but we cannot do so alone. We can only achieve our goals and put sport at the service of humanity, as the Olympic Charter outlines, if we work together. The member States of this Assembly can count on the unwavering support of the IOC to realise the ambitious goals that are set out in this resolution today. Thank you very much.
The PRESIDENT – Thank you, Mr Bach, for your most interesting address.
In the debate, I call first Ms Johnsson Fornarve.
Ms JOHNSSON FORNARVE (Sweden, Spokesperson for the Group of the Unified European Left) – On behalf of the UEL, I thank the rapporteur, Ms Quintanilla, for an excellent report.
Millions of people around the world are engaged in a variety of athletic endeavours. Sports improve both physical and mental well-being. Sport has also been shown to strengthen our capacity for learning. The importance of sports to our societies cannot be overstated. Today, I would like to speak to you about a glaring issue in how sports are thought of and funded throughout the world: gender equality.
Gender equality is a prerequisite for the democratisation and development of sports activities in all areas, at the organisational level and for the individual. Neither society at large nor sports are yet gender equal. Modern sporting movements were started by men, for men, and they still mirror our societies in many ways, showing us male norms and power structures. There are many examples of this. For one, young girls have fewer opportunities to get involved with sports, for cultural and funding reasons. Female professional athletes earn much less than their male colleagues. Women receive less training time and under worse conditions as compared with men. There are significantly more male than female coaches. Women have lower representation on the boards of sports organisations at all levels, and this is especially clear at the highest levels.
We need to ensure that young girls start participating in sports activities of their choosing, and that they also have the means to continue later on in life. This means having access to sports facilities that welcome both genders equally, but also increasing the pool of female coaches across our societies, and ensuring that we increase the number of women in decision-making positions in sports at all levels. National Olympic committees across the globe have, on average, less than 20% of their boards made up of women. There is no doubt that there is a need for more women in decision-making positions in sports organisations. We recently saw how bad it can get where men control things: I need only mention Sepp Blatter and Michel Platini and you know what I mean.
There are of course other inequalities in sports that must not be overlooked. Factors such as economic hardship, sexual orientation, disabilities and religious or cultural background should not hinder children or adults from finding their way towards participating in sports and athletic activities. It is therefore important to educate sports leaders and athletes on issues of equality, whether that means lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender issues, disability, gender or cultural diversity. To achieve all that, all the different forces in society must work together at various levels, including communities, schools, sports organisations and parents.
Sport needs to be welcoming to all, as we all need sport. Through sport we can build bridges, new friendships can be formed and people can find a way to build communities and learn from one another. The Olympic games was held recently, and the Paralympic games in particular are a good example of inclusion of people with various forms of disabilities. I take this opportunity to ask Mr Bach how he and the International Olympic Committee will work to make it possible for more people with disabilities to participate in sport in future and how he wants to increase gender equality in sport, especially when it comes to decision-making positions in sports organisations.
(Mr Nikoloski, Vice-President of the Assembly, took the Chair in place of Mr Agramunt.)
The PRESIDENT – Thank you, Ms Johnsson Fornarve. I ask colleagues to keep to the timeframe, because time is limited. I call Mr Feist.
Mr FEIST (Germany, Spokesperson for the Group of the European People’s Party)* – I thank Ms Quintanilla most warmly on behalf of my group. Sport is very important – it is an issue we discuss in the Committee on Culture, Science, Education and Media – and we could perhaps do more to open up avenues for young people to participate in sport. I am pleased to speak as a representative of my group. I am from Leipzig, which is closely connected to sport. So many sportspeople come from my region and so much is being done in my city for sport.
Let me deal with one or two points. First, we must support sporting activities in such a way that those who voluntarily act as trainers receive more support. As I think we all agree, without sport for all, we would have no top-level sport. We need to be careful and think about intercultural understanding. Therefore, for us in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, this issue is important. In Leipzig, for example, we have an international trainer course, which allows young people from throughout the world to get further training as sportspeople. However, they also get to know the culture of another country and other people. That process helps them to get beyond the clichés they might have believed in advance about a given culture or country; they get to know individuals who have a face and a name. That is why it is particularly important that we are active in the area of sport.
Another area is one you picked up on in the report. There are migratory movements throughout the world and, in particular, in the countries of the Council of Europe. In my city, in one district with many prefabricated concrete buildings, many football groups have been set up. One is called FC United, which, in its ranks of 50 players, has young people from more than 20 countries. That is helpful because among other things, they learn German and it often leads to those involved mentoring and coaching others after school. It is a very useful instrument for cohesion.
It is important to mention in this report the other good outcomes there can be. Remember that four Paralympic athletes were faster in the 1 500 metres than the Olympic gold medallist. That shows that the Paralympics are not a question of overcoming disability but of setting the yardstick ever higher. I would be grateful, Mr Bach, if you remembered such things.
Mr JENSEN (Denmark, Spokesperson for the Socialist Group) – I speak not only on behalf of the Socialist Group, but as the rapporteur on the forthcoming report on good governance in sport, which will be discussed in the Assembly. I congratulate our rapporteur for this very good report on how to secure access for all to participate in the activities and the sporting community.
Sport is a very important activity in the world. Not only is it very popular, but it plays an important role in health policies and community spirit, and it is an important tool to secure more equality, integration and social inclusion, as outlined in the report. However, a lot of people – not least young people, women and girls – do not access or experience the great world of sport due to, among other things, gender bias and origin-based discrimination, as well as barriers resulting from social exclusion, disability and cultural background. The Socialist Group therefore very much welcomes the report’s proposals on encouraging a stronger and more dynamic approach to promoting access to sport through increased co-operation between stakeholders and through establishing effective monitoring mechanisms of any form of discrimination in sport, as the rapporteur said.
Given that the President of the International Olympic Committee, Mr Thomas Bach, whom I welcome, is present, I emphasise the important role that international sports organisations, not least the Olympic movement, play in promoting sport among people and especially young people. That is only possible if the sports movement stays clear of any form of misgovernment and corruption. Unfortunately, we have seen far too many examples of bad governance and corruption in sports organisations in recent years, with FIFA as an outstanding example. We have seen whole governments and States, such as Russia, involved in organising well-structured doping programmes. That is not acceptable: it is a threat to sport and to democracy, and we have to ask for firm action, not least from the sports movement itself, to combat those structures in today’s world of sport.
It was therefore a very big disappointment that the International Olympic Committee did not expel Russia from this year’s Olympic games in Rio. It left the impression that involvement in doping and misgovernment have no consequences, which is not the way forward. We look forward to co-operating with sports organisations and the Olympic movement and seeing you involved intensively in combating corruption, bad government and doping, together with governments. Only in that way will it be secured that athletes can be sound and important role models for many youngsters and adults and that the good intentions of Ms Quintanilla’s report can be fulfilled.
Ms BRASSEUR (Luxembourg, Spokesperson for the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe)* – President of the International Olympic Committee – my dear friend, Mr Bach – ladies and gentlemen, dear colleagues, I endorse the congratulations extended to our rapporteur, Ms Quintanilla. This debate affords us the opportunity to talk about access to sport for all. I thank you, President, for kindly agreeing to speak before our Assembly and for the outstanding co-operation that we have had and which you mentioned in the context of match-fixing. I had the pleasure of co-operating consistently with the IOC.
On access to sport for all, if we look at the evolution of society, we see a parallel. Women used not to have the right to vote and did not have all civil rights. Sport has tended to follow in the wake of such developments. In 1917 in England, for example, girls had to play behind closed doors. After the Second World War, women were prohibited from playing football in some places until 1971. We must consider sport in the light of a revolution in the woman’s place in society. Enormous progress has been made, but it is not enough and some people are still excluded. For example, there are still homosexual players, particularly in football, who dare not come out. Some referees decline to come out because they can be struck off by their federations, as happened in Turkey, where a referee was denigrated by public opinion. There is still much work to do.
Sport is about not only high performance, records and competitions, but values and a certain mind set. It is important to convey the values of the Council of Europe through sport. I will have the opportunity to have a chat with President Bach and bestow upon him a token of our fight against hatred. I end by saying that I support Ms Quintanilla’s report.
Ms FATALIYEVA (Azerbaijan, Spokesperson for the European Conservatives Group) – On the behalf of my group, I congratulate Ms Quintanilla on hitting the mark with her perfect report.
Although a harmless subject at first sight, sport conceals several problems that require close attention and immediate solutions, and the report considers all the challenges and problems of modern sport. Sport is an important social phenomenon that has a broad impact at all levels of society, affecting ethnic relations, business, social status, fashion, ethical values, and people’s lifestyles. Sport is the main social factor that can stop the invasion of cheap culture and bad habits. It is the best way to distract young people from the negative impacts of modern life, such as intolerance, radicalism, and violence. As the rapporteur said, sport is the only glue that can bring an entire nation together.
Modern sport performs numerous social functions and has become multidimensional, affecting an unusually wide range of issues, including improving public health, diverting youth away from the harmful influences of the street, providing entertainment, economic incentives, and the development of patriotism. Sport is an effective tool for integrating migrants and people of different cultures into multicultural societies and plays an important role in socialisation through activities that depend on how the values of sport coincide with the values of society and the individual.
In Azerbaijan, sport for all is not just a slogan but part of State policy. Holding events such as the 2016 UEFA European under-17 championship, the 2012 FIFA under-17 women’s world cup, the first European games, the Chess Olympiad 2016, and a Formula 1 grand prix has created an atmosphere of sport in our society. It serves as a stimulus for youth and improves human capital through the development of not only the economy and culture, but sport for all, regardless of age, gender or ethnicity.
Promoting sport may provide an answer to today’s mass digital addiction. It is much better if children watch sport instead of playing video games or, even worse, watching yet another act of terrorism on TV. It is better that youth idols are people who succeed in sport – champions, football players, and so on – rather than virtual heroes.
The PRESIDENT – That completes the speakers from the political groups. Before we continue with the list of speakers, I invite Mr Bach to reply briefly.
Mr BACH – I thank the speakers from the political groups for their kind remarks. I will briefly address two or three issues.
Mention was made of the IOC’s support for the International Paralympic Committee and the Paralympic games. The IPC is independent of the IOC, but it is widely supported by the IOC in many respects. First, we make it obligatory for each Olympic host city to organise the Paralympics. Secondly, we put all the incremental costs of the Paralympics in the budget of the Olympic games. Thirdly, we are in discussions with the IPC about an agreement that would secure its financial stability until 2032.
As for the participation of Russian athletes in the Rio Olympics, that decision was about justice. It was about providing individual justice to all Russian athletes by reversing the presumption of innocence and giving them the right to prove that they were not part of the system and were not doping. In that way, we did not punish innocent people for a system that may have been devised by others. The decision to grant individual justice – a human right – to individual athletes is an issue that is dear to this Assembly, which respects the rights of all athletes and individuals.
(The speaker continued in French.)
I thank Ms Brasseur for her kind words. She knows well that the IOC always takes a stand against discrimination. Non-discrimination is in the IOC’s DNA. We are always ready to co-operate to that end.
(The speaker continued in English.)
Finally, allow me to express our full support for the Council of Europe’s #NoHateNoFear campaign.
The PRESIDENT – Thank you for your time and your participation. This has been a great honour for all members of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. I hope that we will continue to co-operate.
I call Ms Schneider-Schneiter.
Ms SCHNEIDER-SCHNEITER (Switzerland)* – Sport for all, which we call “popular sports” in Switzerland, conveys the fundamental values of co-existence, tolerance, respect, comradeship, fairness, a willingness to help, the acceptance of and adherence to rules, and dedication, all of which are the preconditions of a functioning community. Racism, sexism, homophobia and other forms of discrimination have no place in sport and must be combated by all possible means. I welcome the report and thank the rapporteur for her splendid work.
More people need to learn about discrimination in sport, and all stakeholders in the world of sport should be called upon to act against racism and other forms of discrimination. I am therefore pleased to hear that the IOC, like many other international sports associations, has acknowledged the need to act and has begun important processes of reform. What is more, FIFA, which has been rebuked repeatedly in this room, is also working on reform. In particular, we can cite FIFA’s promotion of women in football and fighting racism as examples of best practice. Of course, we would be more pleased if the promotion of women was reflected in the leadership bodies of international sports associations. It is a shame that Mr Bach is no longer in the Chamber, because I was wondering about a campaign for a woman president.
It is important not only to focus on the professional leagues, but to be active in amateur sport and among young people. Popular sport is practised locally, too. In clubs, people learn to integrate and play their part. Broad cross-sections of the population experience an effective form of democratisation in sports clubs, because people of different origins, different ages and both genders take part in sport. In that way, more and more people of different immigrant origins can bring an influence to bear on the content, types and quality of sport as they learn to integrate. For example, we cannot allow women to be excluded from certain sporting events, whether from swimming tuition or sports lessons. Sport knows no religion, and certainly acknowledges none that is practised in a fundamentalist way.
In sport, everyone has a voice. By supporting the draft resolution, we will show how we can promote democracy. It is easier to build bridges to equality and integration in a democracy.
Mr ROUQUET (France)* – This debate is an opportunity for me to recall that the Council of Europe has been a player in the field of sport for a long time. I recall recent debates on an integrated approach to security and safety during matches, on stamping out match-fixing or doping, and on spectator violence.
This excellent report by Ms Quintanilla allows us to look at sport from the point of view of a key issue for the Council of Europe, which is to stamp out any form of discrimination. Sport should promote social integration and inclusion, thus strengthening our ability to get along, which is something we so need in this day and age.
I fully support the narrative of our rapporteur, and in particular her concern to achieve greater coverage of successes by female athletes. That is probably necessary to narrow the pay gap between athletes of different sexes. The day on which women’s football enjoys the same amount of interest and enthusiasm as men’s football will mark an immense step towards equality. That is starting to happen in my country, at least, and people are going to women’s football matches and enjoying them.
I support the proposal that we need to have a debate with the sports federations about better redistribution of the income generated by professional, in particular elite, sport so that part of the huge resources generated can be allocated to include grassroots sport. Solidarity is vital if we want to move towards a more inclusive society.
Ms Quintanilla, I understand where you are coming from, but I have more reservations about providing deprived neighbourhoods with special sports places for girls. In other sectors, we do everything we can to avoid any kind of segregation, such as in the field of health, and more generally I am concerned about stopping to promote inclusivity in sport. It would be better to reinforce security, rather than moving towards a worrying development.
I totally endorse the concerns of the rapporteur about the need to integrate disabled people in sport and to support greater airtime for sports events involving disabled people. Thank you, rapporteur, for your sterling efforts.
Ms RADOMSKI (Germany)* – The report tabled by Ms Quintanilla, and previous speakers in this debate, mention that sport is a platform that allows us to convey our general values of peaceful co-existence, fair play, respect, team-building and coping with defeat. Sports organisations that encompass our various countries promote open-mindedness and tolerance of different cultures. They also help to promote peace and identity in our communities.
Unfortunately, Mr Bach has left the Chamber, but he said earlier that sport has the ability to bring people together. It is worth noting, however, that a lot of people do not have access to sport. Whether among children or the adult population, there seems to be a correlation between socio-economic status and sporting activity. Bearing in mind that children and young people are more and more involved in digital pastimes, promoting physical activity should become a political priority.
I will take some examples from Germany. We are a leading sports nation and we contribute our experience to various international sports policies. We have some success stories, such as some projects that have been promoted by the federal government as a way of promoting sports for all. The largest event of this type is the youth games we organise in Germany. Every year, 5 million children and young people come together for the games, and they – even those with disabilities – may take part in a selection of different competitions.
That is all rooted in sport in schools, so everyone can participate from the age of six. We also have 91 000 sports clubs or associations in Germany, so everyone has access to a sports facility close to where they live. That has all been supported over the past 30 years by our umbrella organisation, the DOSB, and its “Integration through sport” programme. A particular focus is women and young girls, but it also focuses on adults and older people, and those with social disadvantages. The programme tries to integrate them all into sport – it is a way of reaching out to those groups.
Our societies are based on a system of values, including fair values and social values. Therefore, European governments must continue to open up access with “sport for all”, as well as guaranteeing that access without impediment for all.
Mr LE BORGN’ (France)* – On her national holiday, I congratulate Ms Quintanilla on the quality and comprehensiveness of her report.
The development of sport for all is a precondition for individual and collective well-being. Sport cannot simply be boiled down to admittedly exciting competitions that are televised globally; sport is, and first and foremost must be, a way of life. Wherever we live, whether in town or country, in a small or large country, and irrespective of our age, social status and personal backgrounds, we should be able to participate. Sport is health, but also encounters, exchanges and shared destinies, irrespective of our differences.
Sport is a considerable asset to support the culture of living together, so it should be just that, sport for all. Is it today? Not for everyone. That is why the report is so timely. It rightly calls on our member States to develop a more forthright approach in championing access to sport. I readily agree about the need to integrate sport better in other policies, such as for health, social cohesion, youth and non-discrimination. Sport contributes to the attainment of such policy objectives.
In particular, I am thinking about the reception of refugees. In Cologne, where my parliamentary office is located, I can see how sport encouraged by the municipal authorities and associations helps refugees to gain a steady footing in their host society.
I also support the rapporteur’s proposals regarding financial redistribution from very often rich professional sport to “sport for all” activities, which are somewhat financially straitened. There is work to be done in that area, which your report rightly pinpoints. The attendance this morning of Thomas Bach, the President of the IOC, is valuable in that regard.
I commend the recommendation to train sports instructors to promote inclusion, combat prejudice and discrimination and respect the diversity of our multicultural societies. In the western Balkans, I met representatives of Pl4y International, a trailblazing organisation that promotes education and support through sport. Pl4y International has developed an inclusive sports programme in Kosovo that caters for children from all communities, and in 2014 the programme provided 400 activities for 3 300 children. In April this year, I watched some of those girls and boys playing together, guided by a team of volunteers who were representative of Kosovo’s diversity. Such programmes give us belief in young people’s ability to transcend hatred, which is why I support the call for a greater emphasis on the opportunities that they provide for people from diverse backgrounds to meet. I would like to propose a “sport for all” label that would allow us to make the most of such local initiatives and live better together; that is something that is dear to all Europeans.
Mr GOPP (Liechtenstein)* – Sport binds us together, promotes integration and helps us to co-exist. Many sporting associations in our countries do not discriminate on the basis of nationality or ethnic background. We in Liechtenstein have found sport to be a good way to tackle problems and promote mental and physical health. Participation in sport from a young age sets people up for life, because it teaches them discipline and encourages them to work hard and not to give up too easily. In many poorer countries, participation in sport is a form of motivation, and it can help people to build a better life for themselves and their families. I support the recommendations in the report. It is important to ensure that sports associations guarantee access to sport for all, particularly in countries where that is not yet the case. Liechtenstein, Switzerland and Austria set good examples that many other countries could follow, as I believe Mr Feist said earlier.
As the rapporteur highlighted, the image of sport has suffered recently. Institutions such as the IOC are unfortunately doing too little to tackle problems such as corruption and doping, which are damaging to the reputation of sport. We must promote sport, but how can we do so when we know that doping is not dealt with properly at the highest levels? The prevalence of doping makes it difficult for our children and young people to see athletes as idols, so we must change the future landscape of sport. I expect a different reaction from countries that have been involved in systemic doping. We must raise awareness of doping and explain what it means in practice.
I know from personal experience that sport makes sense. It brings people together in a peaceful way, and all member States should work towards doing that. We should praise the positive side of sport and support organisations that promote it.
Ms HOFFMANN (Hungary)* – Men and women were created with various facets, and we were designed to take pleasure in exercising. Without exercise, life would be incomplete and we would become merely objects; nobody wants that. Sport enhances physical health. It enhances mental health by encouraging us to reflect. It improves moral health by teaching us to bear both success and failure, not only individually but as a group. That is why sport is so popular throughout the world.
As the rapporteur said, sport is a group activity and it has rules that must be respected. Sport improves individual health and the health of a society. Everyone – whether they are male or female, young or old, disabled or able-bodied, and regardless of their nationality, social background or where they live – has the right to participate in sport, and they should have access to it. How can we achieve that? Every country should pursue a sound sports policy that covers all aspects of the issue. Bear in mind that since 2011, one hour of sports a day has been compulsory for every child in Hungary so that they can learn to enjoy sports for many years to come. Since 2014, the Secretary of State for Sport has been a woman; she used to be a swimmer. It is crucial that we include everyone. Of the eight gold medals that Hungary gained in the Olympics, seven were won by sportswomen. We are also proud of the fact that we won 18 medals in the Paralympics.
Older people and those who live in the provinces should also have the opportunity to take part in sport, but that is not the case everywhere. I congratulate the rapporteur on the report.
Sir Roger GALE (United Kingdom) – I have torn up the speech that I had prepared, because I met this morning, all too briefly, representatives of the United Network of Young Peacebuilders. They were very bright and intelligent young women. I am sorry that the President of the IOC is no longer with us, but I note that he said that sport could build bridges, not walls. That is something to which Mr Donald Trump might pay attention. In commending the President of the IOC – I hope that he will read these remarks – for the creation of the refugee Olympic team, I advise him to get in touch with the UNYP, because it, in turn, is in touch with a network of young refugees who, if they received some investment from the IOC and other bodies, might be among the participants in the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. If that could be achieved, it would be a very good thing and it would mean that the visit of those young ladies this morning had been worthwhile.
I know what the rapporteur meant, but I was a little saddened to hear her give the impression that the side events – let us put it that way – at Rio stole the limelight and damaged the reputation of sport. President Putin has not only war crimes but peace crimes to answer for. State-sponsored doping has no place whatever in sport and I agree entirely with the remarks of my friend and colleague Mogens Jensen in that respect. That, however, should not be allowed to detract from the achievements of the athletes – the people who were doing their stuff out in Rio.
As the beneficiaries of the initiative introduced by Sir John Major, a former British Prime Minister, young women – rowers, swimmers, track and field athletes, riders and cyclists – were competing for the United Kingdom team and bringing home bronze, silver and gold medals. Those are the ambassadors and the role models we want tomorrow’s young people to emulate.
I conclude with this: I can think of no finer example in this regard than the British Paralympian Dame Sarah Storey, who amazingly surpassed even the achievements of Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson and has proved that, in or out of a wheelchair, raw determination, courage and commitment can deliver. It is those people, not the cheats, whom tomorrow’s athletes have to follow.
Ms QUÉRÉ (France)* – I congratulate the rapporteur on her excellent work. Her proposals on sport and women are particularly important for me. Indeed, sport is constructed in the image of our democracy, with its values of respect, equality and solidarity. But sport also reflects our society and its weaknesses, and this is particularly true when we look at the situation of women in sport. For example, only 12.5% of presidents of sporting federations are female. Similarly, professional athletes are vastly more likely to be men than women. The pay gap between men and women in sport is just as prevalent as it is in the workplace. In France there are 103 professional female football players, who earn about €3 500 a month. Compare that to the division 1 and 2 male players, who earn about €12 000 a month, and there are 1 100 of them, not to mention the pay packets of the top male players. This is true of other sports as well, although the gaps are not quite as yawning.
Furthermore, to illustrate how relevant paragraph 4.5.2 is, the French audiovisual council is working with the International Women’s Sports Federation to ensure greater visibility of female sport in the media. Thanks to that work and the real attraction of major women’s competitions at a high level, the air time for female sport on television has gone from 7% in 2012 to 15% last year. That shows we really need determined measures to achieve progress for women.
Since the IOC president did us the honour of attending today, I should like to recall that as sport promotes strong values, it is important that the Olympic movement should be a bulwark against fundamentalism and do everything to support all women playing sport, whatever the sport is. After the first participation of female athletes from Brunei, Saudi Arabia and Qatar in the London Olympics, the 204 countries have now integrated women into all their teams – and it was high time.
Finally, female sport mirrors social inequality. Three quarters of women are not involved in any sport. They tend to be lower-paid office staff or blue-collar workers. This is underrepresentation of working people and this also applies to teenagers. In some neighbourhoods, it is very difficult for girls to play sport at all. This is why sport and PE should be an opportunity to highlight inequalities and teach people the need for equality. Those teaching in primary schools should be proposing rugby and gymnastics for the whole class. Coaches in sports clubs should be able to impose girls or boys on a team. Our medal-winning French female boxers are mothers and they are feminine. They are proud of their sport and they are models for this democratic sport, reflecting the values that we need so much for young generations.
The PRESIDENT – Ms Grecea is not in the Chamber, so Baroness Massey has the floor.
Baroness MASSEY (United Kingdom) – I thank the rapporteur for this challenging report. I agree with her that we need a global policy of sport for all. Appropriately, we are holding this debate following the Olympic and Paralympic games. They always provide an opportunity for nations to review their organisations, structures, participation and funding for sport, and to assess how high-level sporting events influence and encourage participation in sport. In the United Kingdom, a cross-government initiative, Active Nation, was introduced in 2015.
It is encouraging that we are seeing more attention being given to sport. In the United Kingdom, we benefited from the London Olympics in 2012. There is more participation, more associations are promoting sport, there are more parliamentary questions and more funding, and there is greater awareness through our sports stars, including those with disabilities. This is of course sport of one particular kind – competitive sport. Sport, however, should also include activity that may be enjoyed by many – sport that has health benefits without being competitive. We know that many young people, particularly girls, shy away from competitive sport and prefer activities such as dance, yoga, Pilates and so on. Older people can be encouraged to participate in exercise, including walking and cycling, in a non-competitive way.
In the United Kingddom, participation by girls tends to fall off at the age of about 13. Sport England has introduced a number of initiatives such as This Girl Can, a funding initiative at grass-roots level. Representation has been made to increase the number of female members on the governing bodies of sports. There are simply not enough.
There is no doubt that the success of our women athletes at the recent Olympic games has been impressive, and they have been very vocal in supporting sport for girls. The same is true of our disabled athletes, who receive increasingly high profiles for their achievements and campaign actively for better funding at local and national levels, not only for disabled athletes but for sport in general.
Fostering sport begins with parents, schools and communities. Most young people take up sport because they are encouraged to do so and find they enjoy it. Sport in schools must be well funded, with appropriate teacher training and links to clubs and other community facilities. As many have said, sport should be inclusive, breaking down barriers of class, race and gender. There are positive examples, although we have some way to go.
I remember talking recently to some unaccompanied young migrants to the United Kingdom and asking what had helped them to integrate into society. One Afghan boy said proudly, “Cricket”. Cricket is a mysterious game to many, so mysterious that I hesitate to introduce it today. However, to my surprise, cricket is played in Afghanistan and this boy had made full use of his talent for it. I rest my case and, again, I thank the rapporteur for her splendid efforts.
Mr FISCHER (Germany)* – I first congratulate the rapporteur on this excellent report. The contents are fantastic and I endorse all of it. The work done in the committee was splendid.
May I give an example from my own experience? When I am with my children, they all play handball. Sport ensures that we build bridges. It begins with small details when boys and girls play together in a team. It is self-evident then that nobody is excluded; there is open discussion and people play openly. Team spirit evolves because together people want to win, but people also learn respect for competitors who play well. People learn respect for the game and for the nature of the encounter. You pat the losers on the back because they have been sporting – they have been good losers. This is what we need. It builds bridges between teams that come from different places, and that is where it begins.
To give a very different example, we have parliamentary teams in the German Parliament, for football and other sports. When the German Parliament football team plays against that of a company or a group of disabled people – something we do once a year – I see the pleasure with which people play and the bridges that are built between players. Of course, women are allowed to play on our team – no question about that. All this shows that sport builds bridges. Also, importantly, MPs from different parties get on splendidly on the team. We go abroad and play teams from other countries and their parliaments, too, which again demonstrates how we can build bridges. I want to share these things with you; they are not in the report, but I think they are important.
Sport, whether mass sport, games played by refugees or all the way to the very top of the sporting world, such as at the Olympics, can be very important when conducted in a clean way, with no doping, and when people play together with one common goal. That is why this report is fantastic and deserves to be adopted.
Ms CHRISTOFFERSEN (Norway) – In this debate about sports for all, I would like to draw your attention to the opening statement of our President, Mr Agramunt. On Monday, he highlighted serious threats to our societies, such as extreme forms of nationalism, xenophobia and hate speech. He urged us to focus on each other as being “one of us”, not the “otherness” of others. Sport is an excellent way to build bridges between people.
As one of the most popular activities in all countries, for athletes as well as spectators, sport can play a major role in social cohesion. In Norway, the sport movement is the oldest and still the largest democratic popular movement. In total we have 2.2 million memberships out of a population of 5.2 million, and 60% are boys or men, while 40% are girls or women.
The vision of the Norwegian Olympic and Paralympic Committee and Confederation of Sports is sport for all. Recently, it also assumed responsibility for the Special Olympics and adopted goals aimed at reflecting the diversity in society, reducing financial participation barriers for children and youth, and engaging more women and young people in coaching and leadership. The organisational activities are to be characterised by volunteerism, democracy, loyalty and equality. All sporting activities are to be based on fundamental values like joy, community, health and honest behaviour.
On the other hand, the Norwegian Equality and Anti-Discrimination Ombud produced a report on the state of equality in Norwegian sports and fitness activities, concerning gender, ethnic background and disabilities. The report also examined to what extent work was done to prevent sexual harassment, racism and homophobia. The overall impression was that these issues are taken seriously. On the other hand, the Ombud found significant differences in the representation of gender, disabled persons and different ethnic backgrounds, both between different levels of activities and organisational levels, and between individual sports and team sports. However, the report also highlighted projects of inspiration to realising the goal of open and inclusive sports. One recent example is that nearly 400 local sports associations have engaged in activities for refugee children and their parents since last September. Nevertheless, all member States and their sport federations, as well as the IOC, should take today’s report seriously, in order to reach our common goal of equal access to sport.
Ms KERESTECİOĞLU DEMİR (Turkey) – I thank the rapporteur, Ms Quintanilla, for her report on the inequalities women face in sports. I also thank my special high school gym teacher who encouraged me in sport for a lifetime.
Gender discrimination is prevalent in sport, as it is in other areas. Gender inequalities in sport are just as great as those faced by women in offices or factories, but for some reason they fail to incite the same degree of outrage. Today, many women and girls quit sports due to discrimination, sexual harassment, wage inequalities or hierarchy in sports. The number of female athletes and trainers is comparatively low. At this point, what really matters is the struggle of women themselves against all types of discrimination in sports. Every step female athletes take for equality strengthens our belief in a better world.
The role of government should be to follow in the footsteps of those women’s inspiring struggle. Women and girls should be supported to have an active life. Member States should implement policies to make sure women and girls can be engaged in all ranges of sports in a safe environment. We should increase the number of accessible open-air and free playing fields, to give women an opportunity to play sports. Peer exclusion among children also discourages young girls from actively engaging in sports, so member States should encourage girls to join gym classes.
The media’s role is also important. As female athletes acquire more media visibility, families become more inclined to support, or at least accept, their girls’ involvement in sports. The fact that many cultural codes are constructed and reproduced in the sports industry is reason enough alone to put more emphasis on gender equality in sports. In Turkey, some men often ask women if they understand the offside law, not only to intimidate them, but to imply that it is not a woman’s place to know much about sport.
Strict gender codes in sport are also a part of the commercialisation of sport. In commercialised sports, values like collectivism and solidarity are fading, while motives such as making money and violent ambition are promoted. This creates disappointment and frustration among the youth.
Finally, I declare my admiration for the female athletes’ struggle and state that I will vote in favour of the report.
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.
That concludes the list of speakers.
I call Ms Quintanilla, rapporteur, to reply. You have three minutes.
Ms QUINTANILLA (Spain)* – I wish to extend to all of you my gratitude on your outstanding statements. Each and every one of you has enriched this report and made it possible for the report and the debate to be in step with society. Sport should be, first and foremost, a bridge to living together.
I would like to respond to some of you. Mr Rouquet, distinguished colleague, the report in no way seeks to segregate girls and boys in sport. On the contrary, we want girls to take part in sport and more women to be involved in decision making and management in the sporting world, not just in elite sport but in grassroots sport. The report seeks to shatter any form of discrimination. Whether we like it or not, discrimination exists. The IOC president himself said that we have not reached 50:50 representation in terms of women’s participation in either sport or decision making in sport, which is important if we are to break down the barriers that still make it impossible for women to be represented properly in the sporting world. Barriers do not apply only to women but also to people with disabilities, ethnic minorities and those in rural society, who are often kept distant from urban culture. Very often, such people do not have access to the games and sports in the neighbourhoods, rural areas and villages of the 47 member States of our Parliamentary Assembly.
The report is intended to convey a message of openness and freedom and to make it clear that when it comes to sport for all, each and every one of us in this Parliament can help break down every type of discrimination that we have seen. Those who have spoken have all made outstanding speeches, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for their spirit. The drive of the report is towards social justice, freedom and non-discrimination, and towards making possible through sport a culture of peaceful coexistence in our member States.
The PRESIDENT – Does the Chair of the Committee wish to speak? I call Mr Ariev.
Mr ARIEV (Ukraine) – Sport for all is not merely a slogan; it is a commitment on behalf of our States and of all of us to ensure that everybody has access to sport and can enjoy it peacefully together. Ms Quintanilla’s report underlines that excellently, emphasising that sport is more than a leisure activity. Children and young people learn social interaction and teamwork based on common rules. They can channel their energy towards something healthy and useful for their social development. Athletes from various backgrounds and with disabilities must be able to enjoy sport without discrimination. The refugee Olympic team, carrying the Olympic flag immediately before that of the host nation, Brazil, during the opening ceremony of the Olympic games in Rio this summer, acted as a symbol of hope for refugees and brought global attention to the refugee crisis.
Sport must respect certain rules. Through its anti-doping convention, the Council of Europe has set international standards to prevent athletes from exposure to dangerous and prohibited substances meant to increase their chances of winning medals. In that context, it is important that the World Anti-Doping Agency recommended banning all Russian athletes from the Olympic games in Rio due to systematic and State-sponsored doping. Sport must provide role models for our children and for society as a whole. In that respect, I must remark that we should not accept as normal things such as what happened in Chechnya last week, when boys nine to 11 years old took part in mixed martial arts competitions to commemorate the birthday of the President of Chechnya, Mr Kadyrov, and the event was broadcast on live TV. I commend Ms Quintanilla’s excellent report.
The PRESIDENT – The debate is closed.
The Committee on Culture, Science, Education and Media has presented a draft resolution to which four amendments and one sub-amendment have been tabled.
I understand that the Chairperson of the Culture, Science, Education and Media Committee wishes to propose to the Assembly that Amendments 3, 1 and 4 to the draft resolution, which were unanimously approved by the committee, should be declared as agreed by the Assembly. Amendment 2 was also unanimously agreed by the committee but, as it is subject to a sub-amendment, will be considered separately in the usual manner.
Does anyone object?
As there is no objection, I declare that Amendments 3, 1 and 4 to the draft resolution have been agreed.
Amendments 3, 1 and 4 are adopted.
Amendment 2 has one sub-amendment from the committee.
I call Ms Johnsson Fornarve to support Amendment 2. You have 30 seconds.
Ms JOHNSSON FORNARVE (Sweden) – I support the amendment; I think it is important.
The PRESIDENT – I call Ms Quintanilla to support Sub-amendment 1. You have 30 seconds.
Ms QUINTANILLA (Spain)* – Yes, we support the sub-amendment.
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?
Ms JOHNSSON FORNARVE (Sweden) – I support the sub-amendment.
The PRESIDENT – What is the opinion of the committee?
Mr ARIEV (Ukraine) – In favour.
THE PRESIDENT – I shall now put Sub-amendment 1 to the vote.
The vote is open.
Sub-amendment 1 is adopted.
Does anyone wish to speak against Amendment 2, as amended?
The committee is obviously in favour of the amendment.
I shall now put the amendment, as amended, to the vote.
The vote is open.
Amendment 2, as amended, is adopted.
We will now proceed to vote on the draft resolution contained in Document 14127, as amended.
The vote is open.
The draft resolution in Document 14127, as amended, is adopted, with 120 votes for, 0 against and 4 abstentions.
(Mr Agramunt, President of the Assembly, took the Chair in place of Mr Nikoloski.)
2. Address by Mr Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Turkey
The PRESIDENT – We will now hear an address by Mr Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Turkey. After this, Mr Çavuşoğlu will take questions from the floor.
Dear Minister, it is an honour and a privilege to welcome you to the Chamber as Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkey, as a former President of this Assembly, and as a former Chair of the Committee on Migration, Refugees and Population.
On 15 July 2016, your country lived through what can only be described as a nightmare: an attack on its citizens and its institutions by the very people who were supposed to protect them.
With the one voice of the Assembly, I can say that we are proud of how the Turkish people went on to the streets and defended their democracy and their institutions. Here in the Assembly we stand by the people of Turkey in defending democracy, human rights and the rule of law.
It is not only the aftermath of this failed coup that Turkey has to deal with; it also now has more than 3 million refugees from Syria and elsewhere. It is also the target of horrendous terrorist attacks and has a war raging at its borders.
Minister, little did you know when you were Chair of the Committee on Migration, Refugees and Population that you would face such refugee problems, and little did you know when you were President of this Assembly that your grounding in democracy, human rights and the rule of law would come into play so strongly in the light of a failed coup d’état.
We are therefore very interested in hearing from you about how you are dealing with those challenges and their implications for the future of Turkey. Dear Minister, it is an honour to give you the floor.
Mr ÇAVUŞOĞLU (Minister for Foreign Affairs of Turkey)* – Thank you, Mr President. Mr Secretary General, dear members, it is a great pleasure to be with you today.
Mr President, I extend to you my deepest gratitude for your kind invitation. The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe – I take pride in being its Honorary President – has been a school for me, as it has been for most members. I learned a lot here. We had heated discussions in committees and group meetings, but we also managed to agree with and understand each over a cup of tea or coffee. We have a saying in Turkish: one remembers a shared cup of coffee for 40 years. It looks like we will remember each other for thousands of years. We have made very important decisions and resolutions together, and we have tried to find answers to what more we can do for our people. I have made many valuable friends here, and it is a great pleasure to see most of them here today.
The Council of Europe and its Parliamentary Assembly continued to be important to me after I became Minister for Foreign Affairs of Turkey. Since my time as President of the Parliamentary Assembly, I have been familiar with the budgetary issues of this Organisation. Since taking office as a minister, one of my priorities has been to increase our contribution to the budget of the Council of Europe. Turkey is now a grand power and is contributing to the work of the Parliamentary Assembly with more members. As a result, Turkish has become one of the working languages of the Parliamentary Assembly.
It is not only me who has benefited from the Council of Europe; my country has benefited, too. The Council of Europe has had a significant role in Turkey’s progress in the past 15 years. In 2003, when I first came to the Parliamentary Assembly as an MP, Turkey was under the monitoring process. We had many shortcomings in many areas, but as a government we were resolute and determined. With the contribution of the Council of Europe’s recommendations and proposals, we managed to get through the monitoring process in a year. I remember that the leaders of the political groups said in discussions at the time that they had been prejudiced against the government, but that the pace of the reforms had been head-spinning, and they apologised.
After the monitoring process, we were determined to fulfil the recommendations. We have enlarged the scope of constitutional rights and introduced mechanisms to protect those rights. Today, everyone enjoys the right to make individual applications to the Turkish Constitutional Court. We have established the ombudsman office. Thanks to democratisation packages, we have made it easier for political parties to set up local organisations. We made it possible for private schools to educate people in languages and dialects other than Turkish. We have enlarged the scope of discrimination law. We have become a party to the revised Social Charter of the Council of Europe. Becoming party to more and more of the Council of Europe’s conventions and protocols has been one of the most important pillars of our reform efforts. As the Minister for Foreign Affairs, I am personally following up on that issue.
Turkey is among the countries that have become party to the highest number of Council of Europe conventions. In short, we have reinforced democracy and the rule of law. While fulfilling the recommendations of the Parliamentary Assembly, we have completed the first benchmark for unopened chapters in the European Union negotiation process.
When we look at what is going on in Europe and around Europe, we see threats against the Council of Europe’s fundamental values and reconciliatory culture. Racism, xenophobia, Islamophobia, anti-Semitism and anti-Christianity are on the rise in the world and in Europe. Our common values are being shaken to the core by people who are against all who are different. In such an environment, we need the experience and expertise of the Council of Europe all the more. When I was the President of the Parliamentary Assembly, I prioritised reinforcing our understanding of how we live together and dialogue across cultures and religions. In April 2011, representatives of five different religions came together here and offered a message of tolerance. Unfortunately, I regret to say that that message was not followed.
The culture of living together with other people is being weakened and alienation is on the rise. Alienation causes radicalisation, and radicalisation triggers terrorism. Turkey has been fighting all forms of terrorism for years, and the bloodiest form of terrorism was experienced in Turkey on the night of 15 July. It began as a fine summer night, and nobody would have imagined that a coup would be attempted. The members of the Fethullah terrorist organisation targeted our constitutional order, all our elected authorities and our democratic organisations with their treacherous attempted coup. They tried to overthrow our president and government, and fighter jets bombed our parliament. If the terrorists had succeeded, the Turkish MPs who are here today would not be here. Turkish people were run over by tanks, fired on and were bombed. They were massacred, but our brave people made history and stopped the attempted coup. I honour the memory of our martyrs with gratitude.
We have put aside all our differences from that night and have staked a claim on our democracy and the future of our country. We have the same determination today. In Istanbul, 5 million citizens came together at the Yenikapı rally for democracy. There was a historic meeting with the leaders of opposition parties. Through the rally, we sent a message of unity and togetherness to the enemies of democracy. We are taking all the necessary measures to avoid a similar coup happening in the future. We have declared a state of emergency based on our constitution to eliminate this threat, which was aimed at the very existence of our people, the continuity of our State and our common values.
I want to emphasise one thing here: before the attempted coup, even when there were intensive terrorist attacks from the PKK, PYD, YPG and Daesh, we did not declare a state of emergency. We avoided doing that. More than 80% of our people support the state of emergency, and we had no other option in the face of this alliance of evil. We have to do whatever is necessary to clear the FETÖ elements from our State institutions and elsewhere where they have infiltrated. While fighting against this organisation, we act within the boundaries of the rule of law. We act in line with our international obligations, which mainly stem from the European Convention on Human Rights.
In that process, we continue to work in close co-operation with the Council of Europe. The first European leader to visit Turkey following 15 July was Secretary General Jagland. Right after his visit, Ms Kaljurand and President Agramunt visited Turkey. I express my gratitude to them. They have been excellent examples of solidarity and co-operation. Evidently, they ask questions and voice any concerns they have, and we told them what happened in all sincerity. We responded to their questions.
The first international organisation I visited after the coup attempt was the Council of Europe. I addressed the Committee of Ministers on 7 October and responded to some of the questions. Following the coup attempt, Turkey started to work in even closer co-operation with the Council of Europe. The Commissioner for Human Rights visited Turkey, as did representatives of the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture. The Venice Commission is also working in close contact with us. We also have technical dialogue with experts from the Council of Europe. They visited Ankara, and our experts visited the Council of Europe. We inform the Council of Europe about all the steps we take, and we put special emphasis on transparency in the process. We take all recommendations to heart and try to take steps while considering such recommendations. We are always for more dialogue and co-operation. Turkey never compromises on its reforming initiatives. We continue to reform our constitution with the contribution of all political parties. We want to ensure that the reforms become more institutional and we want to strengthen civil democracy. We will continue to take into consideration the recommendations of the Council of Europe.
In this difficult process, we had support from many friends, but there were people who did not, or did not want to, understand the severity of the problem we faced. After visiting Ankara, they sincerely said that they had no idea how serious the situation was. We wanted to ensure that they all came to Istanbul and Ankara to see exactly what happened. We wanted to tell them that the terrorists violated the rights of the 241 people whom they massacred. We wanted them to hear the pain and suffering of our citizens. More than 2,000 people were injured, including people crushed under tanks and people who lost their organs. After visiting Turkey, many better understood the reality of the coup attempt and the real face of the Fethullah terrorist organisation.
Turkey’s terrorist threat is not one dimensional. Turkey is fighting against the PKK, PYD, YPG, Daesh and FETÖ. All those terrorist organisations threaten our stability, our security and our common values. We will continue to fight against those terrorist organisations, regardless of what their qualities may be. One cannot simply say, “I sympathise with the PKK’s ideology but I do not sympathise with the ideology of Daesh.” They are all evil; they are all terrorist organisations. We must fight against all of them. We should not let the terrorist organisations have absolute control over our fight. We say that Daesh cannot represent Islam. Members of Daesh are terrorists. They are not Muslims; they cannot be Muslims. We will continue to support this line. We must make sure that we topple their ideology so that they do not find new fighters. No country is safe unless all of us are safe.
Today, we all face another test involving the inflow of migrants and refugees. The committees of the Assembly and the Assembly itself put a lot of emphasis on this issue. Turkey is doing more than its fair share. Turkey is the country that hosts the highest number of refugees. We share our food with 2.7 million Syrian brothers and sisters who are fleeing terrorism and persecution. We host 3 million brothers and sisters, and we do our utmost to meet all their needs, including their health and educational needs. However, we must all work together to do more to improve their quality of life. Everyone must do his or her fair share. We must find solutions to the problems that caused millions of people to leave their homes. We must find a permanent solution to issues such as the Syrian problem.
Distinguished parliamentarians, dear friends, the tests that our peoples in Europe face are not limited to these tests only. There are problems that pose a threat to the stability of democracy in Europe, such as those in Crimea, Nagorno-Karabakh, South Ossetia, Abkhazia, and Transnistria. We must continue our involvement in the western Balkans, and continue to ensure sustainable peace and development in the region. We hope to see a permanent solution in Cyprus this year. We support the efforts of the leaders on the island. We feel that this is an opportunity that should not be missed.
In the face of all these tests, the role and values of the Council of Europe have become increasingly important. The Council of Europe, and the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, should continue the reform project to ensure that it can contribute to the solution of these problems. We must overcome our budget problems and create a common vision for the future of Europe. Therefore, we would like to see the realisation of the leaders’ summit that is already on the agenda of the Parliamentary Assembly. Last night I talked to Rapporteur Nicoletti and stated Turkey’s support for the summit. I would like to take this opportunity to state that I am very happy to see the contributions of the Partnership for Democracy. The Council of Europe has monitored democratic elections in Morocco, and I congratulate it on what it did. We see that the Parliamentary Assembly is an institution where common wisdom creates common solutions. We will overcome all these problems based on our common values. Turkey is always ready to do its fair share in this process. Turkey is ready to do whatever it takes. Thank you very much, ladies and gentlemen.
The PRESIDENT – Thank you, Minister, for your speech and for taking questions.
We now give the Floor to our colleagues in the Chamber. I remind them that questions must be limited to 30 seconds and no more. Colleagues should be asking questions and not making speeches. I will now allow one question from each of the political groups. I call Ms Bakoyannis.
Ms BAKOYANNIS (Greece, Spokesperson for the Group of the European People’s Party) – Welcome back to the Council of Europe, Mr Çavuşoğlu. After 15 July, when the people of Turkey protected their democracy, we heard some curious statements by President Erdoğan that seemed to question long-standing treaties like the Lausanne Treaty or to threaten Europe with overturning the European Union-Turkey agreement on refugees. Will Turkey honour her signature on the international treaties and agreements?
Mr ÇAVUŞOĞLU – It is a pleasure to see my dear colleague, Theodora Bakoyannis, once more. Let me start by saying that of course all countries must honour international agreements and contracts whether they like it or not. However, this does not change the fact that everyone can express opinions about how correct and justified one believes those conventions to be. Mr President can of course freely express his opinions about conventions that may be to the advantage or disadvantage of Turkey. This is freedom of expression; it is not a threat against Greece or any other country.
Let me move on to the agreements we have on refugees. Turkey has borne more of a weight than other countries, and we always state that we would like to share this weight with other countries. Turkey has already spent $12 billion out of its own budget for refugees. Do you know how much Turkey received? Only $535 million: 194 countries and international organisations contributed only this much. When you add the money spent by Turkish non-governmental organisations and municipalities, the total spending on refugees adds up to $24 billion. This is a significant amount for Turkey, for Greece, or for any other country. However, these are people who are fleeing very tough conditions – fleeing wars – so we must continue to maintain our open-door policy and to do our fair share in improving their living standards.
Turkey currently hosts 3 million refugees. We offer the best standards with regard to the refugee camps, but we still try to do more. We consider how we can build residences for them. We plan to build 10 000 residential units for these refugees. We do not want them to continue living in camps. We must take steps on education too. We now have more than 800 000 Syrians of school age in Turkey, but only 300 000 of them are in schools. We must ask ourselves how we will offer educational services to the remaining 500 000 refugees who are of school age. We are in direct contact with the European Union for these purposes. The European Union committed to donating $3 billion, but so far it has sent only €179 million, merely for bureaucratic reasons. The European Union has its own procedures, whether we like it or not, but those procedures should apply under normal circumstances, whereas we are faced with an extraordinary situation. We must make sure that we offer these opportunities to these people as soon as possible. Everyone must do his or her fair share.
We signed an agreement with the European Union on the prevention of illegal migration and support for legal migration. Why did we sign such an agreement? Turkey had a deal with regard to the Aegean, and hundreds of babies died. We have all seen photographs of babies washed ashore, and we all want to put an end to this. That is why we brought an offer to the European Union to stop it. On 18 March, an agreement was signed with the European Union. We have been implementing this agreement with great success. We have Pakistani, African or Syrian refugees that Greece decided to repatriate or send back to Turkey; we accepted every single one of them. Germany and Chancellor Merkel are directly involved in this process. All these processes have been implemented with great success. We signed three agreements with the European Union, culminating in the 18 March agreement. We had agreements on migration and readmission. We also had bilateral agreements, and this resulted in Turkey accepting more than 1 000 illegal migrants from Greece.
We also have an agreement with the European Union. We have had talks on the liberalisation of visas and have met all the criteria for that, except on terrorism. We also reached agreement on most of the 72 criteria, and we say we should implement all the conventions to the advantage of all parties. The European Union may say, “Let us implement the conventions that are to the European Union’s advantage and not implement the others.” Turkey is basically saying, “That is unfair. We either sign all three agreements or we do not sign them.” That is not a threat; these are simply concerns that we sometimes share with the European Union and which we state with all honesty. Unfortunately, Mr Erdoğan seems to be too honest and not many people like to hear the truth. He may be too frank, but we bear the burden. We take all kinds of security risks and radical steps to stop this inhuman behaviour. Turkey, of course, has expectations, which have not been met, and when Turkey voices those expectations, people say, “Turkey is threatening us.” Is that not unfair? Turkey does what it should do, but others do not.
We would like to continue co-operating with Europe. We talk to Renzi, Juncker, Tsipras, Merkel and Hollande. We talk to all the leaders, including Prime Minister May. We talked to Tim Evans in New York. We hope that through these talks we will be able to reach an agreement about a road map. We are now waiting for the European Union’s response and hopefully we will be able to continue co-operating on this difficult process.
Ms DURRIEU (France, Spokesperson for the Socialist Group)* – Turkey has had to deal with a military coup and we pay tribute to the Turkish people. You have just been accusing Gülen, so what proof do you have? Before the coup, the lifting of parliamentary immunity affected about a third of the Turkish Parliament, striking at the heart of democracy. The Prime Minister now seems to have announced a referendum on a presidential regime, saying that parliament is ineffective. What is your position on that?
Mr ÇAVUŞOĞLU – First of all, Gülen is at the head of a bloody terrorist organisation that was behind some past initiatives in Turkey. There was a coup attempt by terrorists against jurists in December. He recorded some of the talks that were held in Oslo back in 2012. He then leaked some of the recordings and tried to use those tapes against the government.
We all witnessed the results of the coup attempt that he led. FETÖ – Fethullah Gülen’s terrorist organisation – is behind the coup attempt. We know that based on thousands of pieces of evidence that we have. Just imagine: the chief of staff was taken hostage. The person who took him hostage said, “We would like to get you to talk to our opinion leader.” The chief of staff said, “Who is it?” and he replied “Fethullah Gülen.” The people who took him hostage wanted him to support the coup attempt. Generals and police officers involved – all of whom were apprehended – have all clearly said that they carried out the coup attempt based on instructions from Gülen. There are many pieces of evidence against him. He lives in the United States of America and we asked the United States of America to return him to Turkey. We gave legal evidence to our American counterparts. Their experts came to Ankara and talked to judges, prosecutors and experts. We sent the evidence we filed to the United States of America, and we get new evidence every day.
Do any of you have questions in your mind about this? Everyone in the United States of America is convinced of the fact that the terrorist organisation, FETÖ, was behind the coup attempt. There is no hesitancy or question marks in anyone’s mind, but of course, it takes evidence to prove that, and we have a lot of evidence in our hands. This terrorist organisation has played a key role in harming Turkey’s image abroad.
Two days ago, a journalist who used to work for Odatv made some public statements. Five or six years ago, some journalists said that FETÖ had put them in prison, but many people took the easy route and said that the blame lies with the president. They caused the arrest of many journalists. My dear colleague, Bert Koenders comes to Turkey regularly. In the past, when he came to Turkey, Dutch journalists were arrested after every visit. Now we realise that all the judges who arrested the journalists were supporters of the Gülenist movement, so we are trying to repair the damage caused by this organisation.
There is no question whatsoever about it: FETÖ is behind the coup attempt. The evidence is crystal clear. Ms Durrieu, you are a rapporteur on Turkey and have visited Turkey many times. We have had excellent co-operation and have benefited a lot from some of the reports you have prepared. We did not agree on everything, of course, but we have benefited a lot from them. It is only natural that there are differences of opinion.
Let me go back to the issue of immunity and correct a misperception. Not all parliamentary immunity was lifted. Parliamentarians still have immunity when they address parliament. What is in question is when they are subject to immunity, regardless of which political party. Mind you, my party represents the majority in parliament. The immunity simply applies to cases in which parliamentarians were individually suspect in some court cases. The judiciary will make the final judgment, but supplying terrorist organisations with arms should not be under the protection of parliamentary immunity. We are here working for democracy and the rule of law, but the people who serve terrorism must be brought before the courts. There should be no discrimination in doing so. The Venice Commission was consulted on this issue and when it states its opinion, we will take it into consideration.
I do not know if I answered all your questions, Ms Durrieu. Were there any others? Oh yes, on the referendum on the presidential system. In France, there is a semi-presidential system, with a parliament that works. In the United States of America, there is a presidential system and in some countries, there is a monarchy, and so on. The bottom line is that regardless of what the system may be, it is important that democracy functions fully and properly. It is important to have the rule of law and to have separation of powers – regardless of what the regime may be – among the three powers: the judiciary, the executive and the legislature. It is important that parliamentarians, elected by the public, play a key role in democracy, that the requirements of the separation of powers are met, and that the government is supervised. I think that in this current system, there really is not much of a separation of power between the parliament and the executive branch of the government.
I believe that the opposition parties will agree. Many drafts have been presented by relevant ministers and so on. Many practices indicate that the separation of powers is not absolute. The chair of the Venice Commission said that it is important that fish are able to swim whatever the system, so it is important that democracy functions properly regardless of the regime. Each country can establish its own regime based on legal rules and we consult the people through referendums on all key decisions.
Mr XUCLÀ (Spain, Spokesperson for the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe)* – Minister, your country suffered an attempted coup that attacked the institutions that you represent. I have two questions. First, capital punishment is incompatible with the stance of the Council of Europe, so do you want to restore the death penalty? Secondly, you referred to Article 15 of the European Convention on Human Rights regarding the partial suspension of Convention obligations, but the state of emergency persists and the suspension of certain laws is being automatically extended. When will we again see complete respect for human rights?
Mr ÇAVUŞOĞLU* – I finished my speech in 15 minutes to allow more time for questions. When I was in your place, President, speeches sometimes took too long, not leaving enough time for questions, so I hope to have enough time to answer as many questions as possible.
Many people died in the coup attempt. Imagine soldiers directing weapons bought with taxpayers’ money at the very people who paid for them. Imagine jets bombing your parliament, the presidential palace or the police headquarters. Tanks were on Istanbul’s bridges and firing indiscriminately. It is not easy to overcome such a major trauma. Emotions are running high and our citizens have demanded capital punishment. I wish that many in this room could have come to Turkey to discover our real ideas and intentions just as Mr Jagland did. We did not really want to discuss the matter in great detail at that point, because sentiments were running high and such topics should be discussed rationally. It would be wrong to turn a blind eye to the people’s demands, but it is important that we explain the right course of action. We are trying to manage this difficult process. Unfortunately, some European organisations – not the Council of Europe – began to threaten us by saying that if Turkey restored capital punishment, we would be expelled or dismissed, which led to a further reaction from the Turkish people. You have to understand the difficult circumstances under which we were operating, but we explained our position to our counterparts when they visited us.
I am against the death penalty. When I served here at the Council of Europe, I tried to explain to many, including Belarus, that the death penalty should not be implemented. I remember asking for an appointment with the Chinese to discuss the matter, but they did not accept. My wife and daughter are with me – my daughter was a stagiaire here and was actually here during the coup attempt. After the attempted coup, I was threatened by my wife who said that she knew my position on the death penalty and that if I resisted its re-establishment, she would be angry. I have been married for 23 years and that was the first time that I have been threatened by my wife. Why am I telling you this? I am showing you that my own wife experienced the trauma. On the night of the coup attempt she was at the foreign minister’s residence, where helicopters attempted to land. After my wife spoke to me and when my daughter returned, we spoke as a family and I was able to convince them that the death penalty is not the route to take. I am trying to tell you that it takes time for things to sink in. Members of parliament will discuss the matter and evaluate the situation with common sense.
There is a state of emergency in Turkey. Like France, we asked for a derogation from the European Convention on Human Rights based on Article 15, which contains certain restrictions. It was not our choice to declare a state of emergency. We did not do so under dire and difficult circumstances in the past, but we had to introduce it. We had planned to lift it after less than three months, but the situation turned out to be so complicated that, even with the measures taken so far, people still do not believe that the threat has been completely erased. That is also what we think. This terrorist organisation is complex and has been infiltrating State institutions for the past 15 years, so if we do not take the necessary steps today, we may be confronted with a similar situation in the future. We inform the Council of Europe of the steps that we are taking. Experts meet up and we work diligently to ensure that we consider the Council of Europe’s recommendations. If we can take all the necessary steps within three months, we would like to lift the state of emergency, because we do not want to be in such a state.
The state of emergency has not affected the lives of our ordinary people because it has not restricted their fundamental rights and liberties; it is directed at the terrorist organisation. People do not usually want to live under such conditions, but the state of emergency has the support of over 80% of people because of their security concerns. France extended the state of emergency to a year after two terrorist attacks. I do not mean to belittle the attacks here, but there were more than 10 attacks in Turkey in the space of a year and we never considered a state of emergency. I hope that we can move on from this period as quickly as possible.
Mr SEYIDOV (Azerbaijan, Spokesperson for the European Conservatives Group) – Foreign minister, welcome back to the Council of Europe. On behalf of the European Conservatives Group, I express my condolences to Turkey and to you while also expressing my gratitude to Turkey for fighting terror. You are fighting for the values that we share here. My colleagues have already asked about developments in Turkey, so what should we do here in the Council of Europe to support Turkey?
Mr ÇAVUŞOĞLU* – Thank you for that question and for your support. From its president to its people, the brotherly country of Azerbaijan has really supported us. When our people were holding democracy watches, our Azeri friends also kept watch with both Turkish and Azeri flags. This is a difficult period and any country would want to feel the presence of friends, but that does not mean that those friends will agree with everything that you do or support you at every step. Under such circumstances, one looks for suggestions and constructive ideas because they are important when trying to overcome difficult situations when double standards and hidden agendas must be abandoned. Most of the Council of Europe, including the Secretary General, the Committee of Ministers and many members of the Assembly, does exactly that. From this point forward, we want more dialogue and more engagement with friends in the Council of Europe. When delegations from the Council of Europe arrive in Turkey, we are ready to provide any necessary facilities. We will continue to work with the Council of Europe because we want to continue to be an important partner of this Organisation.
Mr KOX (Netherlands, Spokesperson for the Group of the Unified European Left) – I am glad and grateful to see you here alive and sound, Mr Çavuşoğlu, with your daughter, after that horrible and criminal coup d’état. However, I am really sad that, since then, tens of thousands of your citizens have been sacked and arrested in what looks like a disproportionate way. Among them are thousands of HDP members, who stood firm with you against the coup, but are now being treated as traitors. Your prisons are crowded, many media are closed and the European Convention has been put on hold. I hope that Turkey returns to normality soon. Will your government allow the immediate publication of the report by the Committee for the Prevention of Torture on the situation in your prisons?
Mr ÇAVUŞOĞLU* – I am glad to see you, too.
When one is confronted by that sort of threat in such a coup attempt, it is the responsibility of the State to take necessary measures to prevent any recurrence. We must do that within the law, based on the constitution. Those who supported and were involved in the coup were arrested, and proceedings to establish their involvement are ongoing. Other people were not part of the coup, but were proved to have connections to a particular terrorist organisation, so we are taking measures to suspend or dismiss them from State institutions. We cannot have people loyal to a terrorist organisation working for the State, and those who have run tanks over people are capable of doing anything.
In my ministry, 500 people were found to have connections with that terrorist organisation. My ministry does important and confidential international work, so how can I trust such people if they stay in my ministry? As you know, they stole questions from the central civil service examinations – changing the type of questions asked to multiple choice – and their adherents were given the answers so that they could enter State institutions. Some people left their positions in the police, for example, and were willing to work for less money, in places such as my ministry, but in crucial positions, such as in intelligence and communications. Their allegiance, however, was to the person in Pennsylvania. They work for and are paid by the State, but their loyalties do not lie with the State. The State would be continuing to pay their salaries from the taxes it collects – that is not going to happen.
When the two Germanys reunited, a question mark was put by the names of some people who worked for the State but might have been agents or foreign agents. Five hundred thousand people were suspended because of a single question mark. In Turkey, about 1.5% of the total civil service has been suspended or dismissed. The actual numbers might be higher than you would have in a smaller country, but we have a large civil service.
The people who have been expelled have been in the civil service for a long time, infiltrating it, but they still have legal rights, such as the right to petition the constitutional court. We had to do something about the situation, however, because we cannot work with people who hold allegiance to a terrorist organisation. That is why we have been taking careful steps. We look at every single case very carefully – in favour or against – and we have commissions that review each one, so more than 3 000 people have been restored to their posts. Yes, mistakes were made, but it is also our responsibility to correct those mistakes, because we have to act within the law. That is what we believe in. There is also divine justice.
For a long time, we have been working in close collaboration with the CPT. Our policy has been one of zero tolerance for torture, and that policy has yielded significant results. CPT reports actually reflect the progress made by Turkey, which has been cited as an example for other countries in that respect. To this day, we have allowed all CPT reports to be published. Our minister of justice will also be coming to the Council of Europe and he will certainly have discussions about the recent CPT report. Thereafter, all CPT reports will continue to be public, because transparency is important to us. We have full confidence in the institutions and organs of the Council of Europe, which I know will be objective and balanced.
The PRESIDENT – Thank you. The first three speakers on the list will now ask their questions together.
Mr ROUQUET (France)* – This is the first time for a long time that there has been some hope of seeing the reunification of Cyprus. One of the hurdles to resolving the conflict seems to be the difficulty of finding the best and most acceptable means to guarantee the security of both communities. How do you view this issue?
Ms PASHAYEVA (Azerbaijan)* – The Turkish armed forces are working to eliminate the threat of Daesh. Will you give us some information about the achievements and goals of Operation Euphrates Shield, which the Turkish armed forces have embarked on? Turkey is also part of the Minsk Group, so what will it be doing about the solution of the Karabakh problem – will you give us some up-to-date information about what Turkey is doing? I also express my solidarity with the Turkish people when they are fighting against terrorism.
Mr Michael JENSEN (Denmark) – I thank the Minister for showing up. We all deplore the attempted coup attempt, of course, but we are also very worried about the worsening democratic situation in Turkey, with a crackdown on the media and many thousands of people being arrested. To some, it appears that Turkey is going along the path to becoming a Middle Eastern country, rather than a democratic European one. Do you not understand that many of us present in the Chamber want your country to come under monitoring again, so you can get helpful advice to become a democratic European again?
Mr ÇAVUŞOĞLU* – As I said in my opening remarks, there is hope of solving the Cyprus problem. We are more optimistic than before, but we are also realistic, because there are still some difficult issues to do with security, property guarantees and territory. The threats today are also different from those in the past, there is oil and natural gas potential, and Syria is very close to Cyprus, so many countries are focused on the eastern Mediterranean. Migration and migration flows and terrorist organisations are among other factors that have a bearing on what happens in Cyprus.
From the beginning, we have been saying that the security concerns of both parties – not only the Turkish community, but both communities – should be met. We supported NATO’s activities in the Aegean Sea. We never asked NATO to endorse Turkey’s legal position with respect to the Aegean, because Greece has its own position. We always ask that nothing be done that would affect those sensitivities. In Cyprus, too, the demands of both communities must be met. Turkey has certain rights and obligations because it is a guarantor State, and we will continue to discuss those. The Turkish side would like a guarantee that Turkey will be able to continue, and Greece has its own views as well. The three guarantor countries and the two communities on the island must therefore continue to discuss the issues. This might be our last chance, so I hope that we will not miss this opportunity.
I thank my colleague Ganira Pashayeva for her support. We are in the coalition fighting Daesh, and from the start we have said that airstrikes would not be sufficient to deal with Daesh and that we should engage in some sort of ground operation. The opposition forces in Syria have always been important in that regard, and they could be given air support. We have said from the beginning that that is the way to proceed. Daesh is targeting us because we have taken important and successful steps to stem its flow of foreign fighters, in which we have been helped by intelligence sharing with the source countries of such fighters. We arrested many people at airports and sent some of them back. Some of the terrorists who perpetrated the attacks in Belgium and France were the very people whom we sent back, so everybody understands the seriousness of the situation. As part of the coalition against Daesh, Turkey has worked with allies to make sure that the air support continues.
The third step that we have taken is to work to eliminate the ideology of Daesh. President Erdoğan has stated that Daesh does not represent Islam, which is why he is now public enemy No. 1 as far as Daesh is concerned. If we do not destroy the ideology of Daesh, there will be others. That is why Daesh has attacked us. It killed 56 people, of whom 29 were children, in Gaziantep at a wedding party. Then we started our operation. In Kilis, near the border, 23 people lost their lives in a rocket attack. There are now more Syrians than Turks in Kilis: there are 120 000 Syrians and 110 000 local Turks. The operation has been successful so far, and it has proved that ground operations can be effective. The operation has had other consequences. Once Daesh was driven out of Jarablus, thousands of Syrians, including women and children, returned from Turkey to Syria. If we can clean Daesh out of the Manbij area, it could be a safe zone for the settlement of Syrians living in Turkey or in other parts of Syria. That is being discussed by leaders of countries in Europe, the Middle East and the Gulf.
We have worked very hard to resolve the Nagorno-Karabakh issue and to normalise our relations with Armenia. We signed an agreement in Switzerland, but it was unfortunately not successful. The Minsk Group and Russia have made some constructive suggestions, and Armenia’s withdrawal from at least five regions of the occupied territories of Azerbaijan is under discussion. If such steps were taken, we would be ready to support any solution that was supported by Azerbaijan. We want to normalise our relations with Armenia, and if this problem is resolved we will no longer have to live with this threat in the Southern Caucasus. Why can we not solve it? The Minsk Group needs to work harder and more sincerely on the matter. Other frozen conflicts should also be resolved under this framework.
I thank Mr Jensen for his question. Democracy in Turkey is growing even stronger, and the situation in Turkey is exactly the opposite of what he said. Our police, our judiciary and our military are all getting stronger, because members of those institutions who have links with FETӦ are being cleared out. I have referred to the journalists from Odatv who were imprisoned. When that happened, Zaman, the newspaper of that terrorist organisation, published headlines to the effect that being a journalist does not make someone immune to arrest. Those who were arrested were people who were part of the coup. In the past, journalists were also apprehended, but we do not apprehend people simply because they are journalists. There are many opposition newspapers and television stations in Turkey, including Hürriyet and CNN Turk, which express their views, and Erdoğan has withdrawn all the insult cases that he brought to court. On the night of the coup, the coup plotters occupied the offices of CNN Turk, and our supporters evicted them. We did not imprison people because they were journalists.
Turkey is pleased to be where it is geographically. We are a Middle Eastern country, a European Country, a Black Sea country, an Asian country and a Mediterranean country. Our goal is to continue to develop our relations with the Middle East, but Turkey will never make any concessions when it comes to the rule of law or democracy. You look at Turkey without being there. I understand that a motion has been tabled about Turkey. I respect your freedom to do that, but there is a very constructive dialogue between Turkey, the Council of Europe and the Monitoring Committee within the framework of the post-monitoring process. People in Turkey think that you are with the coup plotters when you speak as you do, but please come to Turkey. I note that there are two rapporteurs, and I hope that you will continue your dialogue with Turkey. We can continue to discuss these issues, and that will serve the interests of the Turkish people, the Turkish Grand National Assembly and everybody in Europe. We would rather have you with us than not with us.
The PRESIDENT – We must now conclude the questions to Mr Çavuşoğlu. On behalf of the Assembly, I thank you, Minister for your speech and for taking questions. You can see how important your contribution has been in this Chamber. We must not underestimate the challenges that Turkey faces, and we must support Turkey to take the right path in dealing with them.
I invite you all to join Minister Çavuşoğlu and me outside the Chamber to open the exhibition on the failed coup attempt, followed by the exhibition to mark the 20th anniversary of the independence of Ukraine.
3. Next public sitting
The PRESIDENT – The Assembly will hold its next public sitting this afternoon at 3.30 p.m. with the agenda which was approved on Monday morning.
The sitting is closed.
(The sitting was closed at 1.10 pm)
1. Sport for all: a bridge to equality, integration and social inclusion
Presentation by Ms Quintanilla of report of the Committee on Culture, Science, Education and Media in Document 14127
Statement by Mr Thomas Bach, President of the International Olympic Committee
Speakers: Ms Johnsson Fornarve, Mr Feist, Mr Mogens Jensen, Ms Brasseur and Ms Fataliyeva
Reply: Mr Bach
Speakers: Ms Schneider-Schneiter, Mr Rouquet, Ms Radomski, Mr Le Borgn’, Mr Gopp, Ms Hoffmann, Sir Roger Gale, Ms Quéré, Baroness Massey, Mr Fischer, Ms Christoffersen and Ms Kerestecioğlu Demir,
Replies: Ms Quintanilla and Mr Ariev
Amendments 3, 1, 4 and 2 as amended, adopted
Draft resolution, as amended, adopted
2. Address by Mr Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Turkey
Questions: Ms Bakoyannis, Ms Durrieu, Mr Xuclà, Mr Seyidov, Mr Kox, Mr Rouquet, Ms Pashayeva and Mr Michael Jensen
3. Next public sitting
Representatives or Substitutes who signed the register of attendance in accordance with Rule 12.2 of the Rules of Procedure. The names of members substituted follow (in brackets) the names of participating members.
Liste des représentants ou suppléants ayant signé le registre de présence, conformément à l’article 12.2 du Règlement Les noms des titulaires remplacés figurent (entre parenthèses) après les noms des membres participants.
ÅBERG, Boriana [Ms] (BILLSTRÖM, Tobias [Mr])
ALIU, Imer [Mr] (MEHMETI DEVAJA, Ermira [Ms])
ALLAVENA, Jean-Charles [M.]
AMTSBERG, Luise [Ms]
ANDERSON, Donald [Lord]
ANTTILA, Sirkka-Liisa [Ms]
ARDELEAN, Ben-Oni [Mr]
ARENT, Iwona [Ms]
ARIEV, Volodymyr [Mr]
ARNAUT, Damir [Mr]
BAKOYANNIS, Theodora [Ms]
BALFE, Richard [Lord] (BEBB, Guto [Mr])
BARNETT, Doris [Ms]
BARTOS, Mónika [Ms] (CSÖBÖR, Katalin [Mme])
BAYKAL, Deniz [Mr]
BECK, Marieluise [Ms]
BERGAMINI, Deborah [Ms]
BERNACKI, Włodzimierz [Mr]
BILDARRATZ, Jokin [Mr]
BİLGEHAN, Gülsün [Mme]
BILOVOL, Oleksandr [Mr]
BLANCHART, Philippe [M.]
BLONDIN, Maryvonne [Mme]
BOJIĆ, Milovan [Mr]
BOSIĆ, Mladen [Mr]
BRASSEUR, Anne [Mme]
BRUYN, Piet De [Mr]
BÜCHEL, Roland Rino [Mr] (MÜLLER, Thomas [Mr])
BUDNER, Margareta [Ms]
BULIGA, Valentina [Mme]
CATALFO, Nunzia [Ms]
CENTEMERO, Elena [Ms]
CEPEDA, José [Mr]
ČERNOCH, Marek [Mr] (BENEŠIK, Ondřej [Mr])
CHRISTOFFERSEN, Lise [Ms]
CILEVIČS, Boriss [Mr] (BĒRZINŠ, Andris [M.])
CIMOSZEWICZ, Tomasz [Mr] (POMASKA, Agnieszka [Ms])
CORLĂŢEAN, Titus [Mr] (NEACȘU, Marian [Mr])
CROZON, Pascale [Mme] (BAPT, Gérard [M.])
CRUCHTEN, Yves [M.]
CSENGER-ZALÁN, Zsolt [Mr]
DAEMS, Hendrik [Mr] (MAHOUX, Philippe [M.])
DESKOSKA, Renata [Ms]
DESTEXHE, Alain [M.]
DI STEFANO, Manlio [Mr]
DİŞLİ, Şaban [Mr]
DIVINA, Sergio [Mr]
DJUROVIĆ, Aleksandra [Ms]
DOKLE, Namik [M.]
DURRIEU, Josette [Mme]
DZHEMILIEV, Mustafa [Mr]
ECCLES, Diana [Lady]
ESEYAN, Markar [Mr]
EVANS, Nigel [Mr]
FABRITIUS, Bernd [Mr] (HENNRICH, Michael [Mr])
FARMANYAN, Samvel [Mr]
FATALIYEVA, Sevinj [Ms] (HAJIYEV, Sabir [Mr])
FAZZONE, Claudio [Mr] (BERNINI, Anna Maria [Ms])
FEIST, Thomas [Mr] (WELLMANN, Karl-Georg [Mr])
FENECH ADAMI, Joseph [Mr]
FENECHIU, Cătălin Daniel [Mr]
FERNANDES, Suella [Ms] (HOWELL, John [Mr])
FINCKH-KRÄMER, Ute [Ms]
FISCHER, Axel E. [Mr]
FOURNIER, Bernard [M.]
FRÉCON, Jean-Claude [M.] (DURANTON, Nicole [Mme])
FRESKO-ROLFO, Béatrice [Mme]
FRIDEZ, Pierre-Alain [M.]
GAFAROVA, Sahiba [Ms]
GALATI, Giuseppe [Mr] (QUARTAPELLE PROCOPIO, Lia [Ms])
GALE, Roger [Sir]
GAMBARO, Adele [Ms]
GERASHCHENKO, Iryna [Mme]
GHASEMI, Tina [Ms]
GIRO, Francesco Maria [Mr]
GONÇALVES, Carlos Alberto [M.]
GONCHARENKO, Oleksii [Mr]
GOPP, Rainer [Mr]
GORROTXATEGUI, Miren Edurne [Mme] (DOMENECH, Francesc Xavier [Mr])
GOSSELIN-FLEURY, Geneviève [Mme] (LONCLE, François [M.])
GOY-CHAVENT, Sylvie [Mme]
GÜNAY, Emine Nur [Ms]
GUTIÉRREZ, Antonio [Mr]
GYÖNGYÖSI, Márton [Mr]
HAMID, Hamid [Mr]
HANŽEK, Matjaž [Mr] (KORENJAK KRAMAR, Ksenija [Ms])
HEER, Alfred [Mr]
HEINRICH, Gabriela [Ms]
HERKEL, Andres [Mr] (KROSS, Eerik-Niiles [Mr])
HETTO-GAASCH, Françoise [Mme]
HIGGINS, Alice-Mary [Ms] (CROWE, Seán [Mr])
HOFFMANN, Rózsa [Mme] (VEJKEY, Imre [Mr])
HOLÍK, Pavel [Mr] (MARKOVÁ, Soňa [Ms])
HOPKINS, Maura [Ms]
HÜBINGER, Anette [Ms]
HUNKO, Andrej [Mr]
HUOVINEN, Susanna [Ms] (GUZENINA, Maria [Ms])
HUSEYNOV, Rafael [Mr]
JAKAVONIS, Gediminas [M.]
JENSEN, Michael Aastrup [Mr]
JENSEN, Mogens [Mr]
JIPA, Florina-Ruxandra [Mme]
JOHNSEN, Kristin Ørmen [Ms] (JENSSEN, Frank J. [Mr])
JOHNSSON FORNARVE, Lotta [Ms] (GUNNARSSON, Jonas [Mr])
JÓNASSON, Ögmundur [Mr]
JONICA, Snežana [Ms] (TUPONJA, Goran [Mr])
JORDANA, Carles [M.]
JOVANOVIĆ, Jovan [Mr]
KALMARI, Anne [Ms]
KANDEMIR, Erkan [Mr]
KARAMANLI, Marietta [Mme]
KARAPETYAN, Naira [Ms] (ZOURABIAN, Levon [Mr])
KARLSSON, Niklas [Mr]
KASIMATI, Nina [Ms]
KERESTECİOĞLU DEMİR, Filiz [Ms]
KESİCİ, İlhan [Mr]
KIRAL, Serhii [Mr] (SOTNYK, Olena [Ms])
KLEINBERGA, Nellija [Ms] (LAIZĀNE, Inese [Ms])
KOBAKHIDZE, Manana [Ms]
KOÇ, Haluk [Mr]
KÖCK, Eduard [Mr] (AMON, Werner [Mr])
KORODI, Attila [Mr]
KOSTŘICA, Rom [Mr]
KOVÁCS, Elvira [Ms]
KOX, Tiny [Mr]
KRIŠTO, Borjana [Ms]
KÜÇÜKCAN, Talip [Mr]
KÜRKÇÜ, Ertuğrul [Mr]
KYRIAKIDES, Stella [Ms]
LE BORGN’, Pierre-Yves [M.]
LE DÉAUT, Jean-Yves [M.]
LEITE RAMOS, Luís [M.]
LEYDEN, Terry [Mr] (COWEN, Barry [Mr])
LĪBIŅA-EGNERE, Inese [Ms]
LOMBARDI, Filippo [M.]
LOUCAIDES, George [Mr]
LOUHELAINEN, Anne [Ms] (PACKALÉN, Tom [Mr])
LUIS, Teófilo de [Mr] (BARREIRO, José Manuel [Mr])
MAGRADZE, Guguli [Ms] (JAPARIDZE, Tedo [Mr])
MAMMADOV, Muslum [M.]
MARKOVIĆ, Milica [Mme]
MARQUES, Duarte [Mr]
MARTINS, Alberto [M.]
MASSEY, Doreen [Baroness] (SHERRIFF, Paula [Ms])
MAURY PASQUIER, Liliane [Mme]
MEALE, Alan [Sir]
MEIMARAKIS, Evangelos [Mr]
MENDES, Ana Catarina [Mme]
MIGNON, Jean-Claude [M.]
MIKKO, Marianne [Ms]
MILEWSKI, Daniel [Mr]
MILTENBURG, Anouchka van [Ms]
MULARCZYK, Arkadiusz [Mr]
MUNYAMA, Killion [Mr] (HALICKI, Andrzej [Mr])
NÉMETH, Zsolt [Mr]
NENUTIL, Miroslav [Mr]
NIKOLOSKI, Aleksandar [Mr]
OBRADOVIĆ, Marija [Ms]
OBRADOVIĆ, Žarko [Mr]
OEHRI, Judith [Ms]
OHLSSON, Carina [Ms]
ÖNAL, Suat [Mr]
O’REILLY, Joseph [Mr]
PALIHOVICI, Liliana [Ms] (NEGUTA, Andrei [M.])
PALLARÉS, Judith [Ms]
PANTIĆ PILJA, Biljana [Ms]
PASHAYEVA, Ganira [Ms]
PELKONEN, Jaana [Ms]
POPA, Ion [Mr] (GORGHIU, Alina Ștefania [Ms])
POSTOICO, Maria [Mme] (VORONIN, Vladimir [M.])
PREDA, Cezar Florin [M.]
PRITCHARD, Mark [Mr]
PSYCHOGIOS, Georgios [Mr] (KAVVADIA, Ioanneta [Ms])
QUÉRÉ, Catherine [Mme] (ALLAIN, Brigitte [Mme])
QUINTANILLA, Carmen [Mme]
RADOMSKI, Kerstin [Ms]
RAWERT, Mechthild [Ms] (DROBINSKI-WEIß, Elvira [Ms])
REPS, Mailis [Ms]
RODRÍGUEZ HERNÁNDEZ, Melisa [Ms]
RODRÍGUEZ RAMOS, Soraya [Mme] (BATET, Meritxell [Ms])
ROUQUET, René [M.]
SANDBÆK, Ulla [Ms] (BORK, Tilde [Ms])
SANTANGELO, Vincenzo [Mr]
SAVCHENKO, Nadiia [Ms]
SCHENNACH, Stefan [Mr]
SCHNEIDER-SCHNEITER, Elisabeth [Mme] (FIALA, Doris [Mme])
SCHOU, Ingjerd [Ms]
SCHRIJVER, Nico [Mr]
SCHWABE, Frank [Mr]
ŠEPIĆ, Senad [Mr]
SEYIDOV, Samad [Mr]
SHAHGELDYAN, Mher [M.] (NAGHDALYAN, Hermine [Ms])
SHARMA, Virendra [Mr] (BUTLER, Dawn [Ms])
SILVA, Adão [M.]
SOBOLEV, Serhiy [Mr]
SPADONI, Maria Edera [Ms] (ASCANI, Anna [Ms])
STOILOV, Yanaki [Mr]
SUTTER, Petra De [Ms] (VERCAMER, Stefaan [M.])
THIÉRY, Damien [M.]
TILKI, Attila [Mr] (GULYÁS, Gergely [Mr])
TORUN, Cemalettin Kani [Mr]
TRENCHEV, Antoni [Mr]
TRUSKOLASKI, Krzysztof [Mr]
TZAVARAS, Konstantinos [M.]
USTA, Leyla Şahin [Ms]
UYSAL, Burhanettin [Mr] (BABAOĞLU, Mehmet [Mr])
VÁHALOVÁ, Dana [Ms]
VALEN, Snorre Serigstad [Mr]
VAREIKIS, Egidijus [Mr] (SKARDŽIUS, Arturas [Mr])
VEN, Mart van de [Mr]
VILLUMSEN, Nikolaj [Mr]
VLASENKO, Sergiy [Mr] (LOGVYNSKYI, Georgii [Mr])
WIECHEL, Markus [Mr] (NISSINEN, Johan [Mr])
WILK, Jacek [Mr]
WURM, Gisela [Ms]
XUCLÀ, Jordi [Mr]
YEMETS, Leonid [Mr]
ZINGERIS, Emanuelis [Mr]
ZOHRABYAN, Naira [Mme]Vacant Seat, Andorra/Siège vacant, Andorre (JORDANA, Carles [M.])
Vacant Seat, Croatia/Siège vacant, Croatie*
Vacant Seat,Cyprus/Siège vacant, Chypre
Also present/Egalement présents
Représentants et Suppléants non autorisés à voter/
Representatives or Substitutes not authorised to vote
BYRNE, Liam [Mr]
CORREIA, Telmo [M.]
EFSTATHIOU, Constantinos [M.]
EROTOKRITOU, Christiana [Ms]
GJORCHEV, Vladimir [Mr]
GUNNARSSON, Jonas [Mr]
HAJIYEV, Sabir [Mr]
HUSEYNOV, Vusal [Mr]
JANIK, Grzegorz [Mr]
MAELEN, Dirk Van der [Mr]
MELKUMYAN, Mikayel [M.]
NAGHDALYAN, Hermine [Ms]
OSUCH, Jacek [Mr]
ÖZSOY, Hişyar [Mr]
PACKALÉN, Tom [Mr]
RUSTAMYAN, Armen [M.]
SITARSKI, Krzysztof [Mr]
VARVITSIOTIS, Miltiadis [Mr]
DAVIES, Don [Mr]
DOWNE, Percy [Mr]
GASTÉLUM BAJO, Diva Hadamira [Ms]
LARIOS CÓRDOVA, Héctor [Mr]
LOZANO ALARCÓN, Javier [Mr]
LUNA CANALES, Armando [Mr]
RAMÍREZ NÚÑEZ, Ulises [Mr]
SIMMS, Scott [Mr]
TILSON, David [Mr]
WELLS, David M. [Mr]
WHALEN, Nick [Mr]
Representatives of the Turkish Cypriot Community (In accordance to Resolution 1376 (2004) of the Parliamentary Assembly)/ Représentants de la communauté chypriote turque (Conformément à la Résolution 1376 (2004) de l’Assemblée parlementaire)
Partners for democracy/Partenaires pour la démocratie
ABOULFATH, Hanane [Mme]
ABUSHAHLA, Mohammedfaisal [Mr]
BENSAID, Mohammed Mehdi [M.]
LEBBAR, Abdesselam [M.]