AS (2017) CR 06



(First part)


Sixth sitting

Wednesday 25 January 2017 at 3.30 p.m.

In this report:

1.       Speeches in English are reported in full.

2.       Speeches in other languages are reported using the interpretation and are marked with an asterisk.

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

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

5.       Corrections should be handed in at Room 1059A not later than 24 hours after the report has been circulated.

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

(Mr Agramunt, President of the Assembly, took the Chair at 3.40 p.m.)

      The PRESIDENT – The sitting is open.

1. The functioning of democratic institutions in Ukraine

      The PRESIDENT – The first item of business this afternoon is the debate on the report titled “The functioning of democratic institutions in Ukraine”, Document 14227, presented by Mr Xuclà and Mr Fischer on behalf of the Monitoring Committee.

      I propose that in order to finish by 5.50 p.m. we will interrupt the list of speakers at about 5.05 p.m. to allow time for the reply and vote. Is that agreed?

      It is agreed to.

      I call Mr Rouquet on a point of order.

      Mr ROUQUET (France)* – My point of order is on Article 49, the rule relating to sub-committees. This morning, the secretariat of the Committee on Social Affairs, Health and Sustainable Development told the French delegation to divide by two its number of members on the new Sub-Committee on Public Health and Sustainable Development, by midday. The threat was that, if it did not, all members would have to be withdrawn. I have three comments. With reflection, it is clear that the merger of two committees will inevitably give rise to a problem that should have been dealt with earlier. Such a method discourages members from participating in our work. We also regret the cavalier attitude taken by the secretariat with regard to members of the Parliamentary Assembly.

      The PRESIDENT* – Thank you, Mr Rouquet. I do not know exactly what the situation is, but I will look into that and get back to you.

      Mr ROUQUET (France)* – Thank you, President.

      The PRESIDENT* – The Secretary General tells me that he will prepare a written reply to you on this. We take note.

      (The speaker continued in English.)

      We will continue. We agreed to finish the list of speakers at 5.05 p.m. I remind you that the time limit for speeches is three minutes. I will be strict with that, because if each parliamentarian takes 10 or 15 seconds more, that affects other colleagues in the list who do not get to speak. I ask you please to keep strictly to that time.

      I call Mr Xuclà and Mr Fischer, co-rapporteurs. You have 13 minutes in total, which you may divide between presentation of the report and reply to the debate.

      Mr XUCLÀ (Spain)* – Mr Fischer and I have the honour of presenting a report that has taken time and energy over the past year to year-and-a-half. The report tries to look inside Ukraine. It is true that Ukraine has suffered an aggression – its territory has been infringed, with a part annexed to Russia – but after our lengthy, intense and productive debates last year, it was time to look at Ukraine itself, to see precisely to what extent Ukraine and the Ukrainian authorities meet their obligations. The country is under monitoring, and it has a list of commitments that it needs to honour. I believe that the solidarity that was expressed in debates last year is compatible with making firm demands on those commitments or the failure to meet certain aspects of them.

      The report covers certain aspects that highlight the progress made. The Ukrainian judiciary is an important matter. It can be considered that reform of the judiciary, to have an independent, reliable judiciary, is a reform against corruption. In the summer of 2016, constitutional reform of the judicial system was introduced. The extent to which that has been implemented is what we need to look at.

      Our report covers details related to a fight against corruption: the progress made and the issues left pending. We have closely followed the reforms in the area of the Prosecutor General as well as observing that there is not just a Prosecutor General but three complementary agencies. We do not know whether they co-operate with or compete against each other to look at criminal cases.

      Certain paragraphs of the resolution also refer to the electoral law. A while ago in the Monitoring Committee we said that Ukraine’s Parliament is sovereign in terms of adopting its own electoral system, but it is also true that each member has the possibility to have their own initiatives and certain draft laws were unacceptable, such as those in which the seat belonged not to the individual member of parliament, but to the party.

      We have also expressed our concern in the area of minorities. While Ukraine is a complex country, we want to ensure that it is an inclusive country, reflecting its plurality. Positive initiatives have been taken, but other initiatives are alarming. I spoke to Ukrainian members of parliament this morning who told me something unbelievable: 34 members said that once a book is published in a language other than Ukrainian, the same number of copies of it needs to be published in the Ukrainian language. That does not really reflect the views of members of parliament, but of course diversity needs to be reflected. I come from a country where such diversity is reflected, and the same needs to be done in Ukraine. I hope to make some final statements later on.

      The PRESIDENT – Thank you, Mr Xuclà. Does Mr Fischer wish to add anything at this stage?

      Mr FISCHER (Germany)* – Briefly, I want to underline what the co-rapporteur has said. I thank all colleagues from the Ukrainian delegation here for their support. We had the opportunity to talk to all the groups and the leaders of the groups, the opposition and the government parties. We gleaned a lot of information, getting a broad picture of what is happening in Ukraine and a feel for the political talks taking place in situ.

      I would like to dwell on one thing that Mr Xuclà mentioned, which was judicial reform. We need further progress on that, because some of the judges have not yet been vetted or evaluated as planned. We make various recommendations in our report on that score. We should agree the report as it stands and continue to help Ukraine to move forward – it is moving forward, albeit quite slowly. It is about these laws actually being implemented. There is no point having laws if they are not implemented on the ground. That is the next step that we want to see in Ukraine, with a lot of support from us, and then I think we will achieve success.

      The PRESIDENT – Thank you, Mr Fischer. You have seven minutes remaining.

      In the debate, I call first Mr Németh.

      Mr NÉMETH (Hungary, Spokesperson for the Group of the European People’s Party) – I congratulate the rapporteur on doing a fantastic piece of work. I would also like to welcome two members of the Ukrainian parliament of minority background who not members of our Assembly, but who are here with us in the Gallery. I welcome Anton Kissze, a Bulgarian member of the Ukrainian parliament, and László Brenzovics, a Hungarian member, who is in the Gallery behind me.

      Dear colleagues and Ukrainian friends, the Group of the European People’s Party stands firmly behind Ukraine and supports its sovereignty and territorial integrity. We need to reiterate this until Ukrainian territories are no longer occupied by Russian forces, in order to give our Ukrainian friends a feeling of solidarity. They need this.

      As far as European integration is concerned, the free trade agreement and the visa-free regime remain as a debt on the part of the European Union. When it comes to European integration, we all know the saying: it takes two to tango. The European Union must avoid double standards vis-à-vis Ukraine. Up to now, the European Union has not been able to fulfil its promises.

      When it comes to our relationship with Ukraine, we should do our utmost to support the country in implementing all the Council of Europe standards and commitments, as well as the commitments reflected in the Minsk agreement. Ukraine has a double set of obligations, and I would underline the importance of decentralisation, which is one of the key components of the Minsk commitments. The aim of one of our amendments, which we will come to, is to ensure that the decentralisation process takes into account the ethnic composition of the regions. We have concerns. The idea of a homogeneous nation State is far too strong in Ukraine, and it is reflected in the law on the State language and the debates surrounding the education Act. If these laws are accepted and we are unable to hold them back, the danger is that they will alienate friends, especially in central Europe, but also in other parts of Europe.

      This is the important task for our democratic friends in Ukraine. The Council of Europe and the Venice Commission must give a helping, friendly hand to Ukraine in the coming period. Once again, I congratulate the rapporteur.

      Mr ROUQUET (France, Spokesperson for the Socialist Group)* – On behalf of the Socialist Group, I pay tribute to the important work done by our rapporteurs on this essential topic, the functioning of democratic institutions in Ukraine.

      We cannot but welcome the progress made. However, many of us are concerned about the future of the country. The best institutions in the world are only really worth anything if they function properly, and they can never do so if the gangrene of corruption has spread. As our rapporteurs have said, we note that too few results have been obtained. The resignations of government leaders, police chiefs and the governor of Odessa, fed up with the absence of support in the fight against corruption at the highest levels of the State, speak volumes about the scale of the task – far more than any speech – but this was not inevitable. Mr Saakashvili had effectively fought the scourge of corruption in Georgia, but of course he was in power in Georgia, unlike in Odessa. What is the point of enhancing the independence of the judiciary if judges can be bought off? This illustrates the difficulties of bringing any anti-corruption proceedings to a successful conclusion.

      Apart from the disastrous direct political impact, the economic repercussions are very negative too. A country where you can lose your business as a result of fraudulent practice is hardly an attractive one. As the report points out, the results obtained thus far are surprising to say the least. It is quite obvious that holding public office in Ukraine often leads to great wealth, and quickly. According to an analysis in the American press, any illegally acquired assets, or those obtained illegally before 2015, cannot be the subject of any prosecution. I wonder whether the rapporteurs can confirm that.

      We need to ensure that reform leads to tangible change, particularly when it comes to implementation of the Minsk agreements. We would like to lend our support to paragraph 11 of the draft resolution. It would be a worrying step backwards if the status of minority languages were called into question. More generally, a democracy presupposes respect for the opposition, accepting that it is legitimate, and in that respect Ukraine has much progress to make.

      Visible progress is necessary in all these areas if European public opinion is to continue to support Ukraine. The Socialist Group will be following the situation in Ukraine very carefully indeed, but there is reason for hope, and it centres on the dynamism of a civil society that is attached to the values that are ours too, as it has shown on a number of occasions.

      Mr SCULLY (United Kingdom, Spokesperson for the European Conservatives Group) – I welcome the report, as Ukraine is of significance for all member States of the Council of Europe. We cannot accept what has happened in Crimea and eastern Ukraine, but the solution needs to be political, not military. Therefore, in order to be strong enough to push for a lasting peace, it is vital that Ukrainian institutions have the trust of their people and the international community.

      While Ukrainian armed forces are still taking casualties and while Russia and the separatist groups are making no progress on their commitments, it is difficult to focus sufficient attention and good will on passing difficult legislation. However, it is good to note that Ukraine has made more progress on reform since 2014 than in the previous 23 years combined. As we have heard, Ukraine successfully met all the benchmarks under the visa liberalisation action plan. It has also achieved improved macro-financial stability by demonstrating its willingness to meet IMF conditionality. Positive reforms in the energy and banking sectors, building anti-corruption institutions and improving the business climate are to be welcomed too, but there is still much more work to do. These reforms are not plans drawn up and imposed by other countries; they are key demands from the thousands of Ukrainian citizens who found their voice in the 2014 Maidan uprising.

      Other former Soviet States have gone through similar reforms, but the situation in Ukraine is particularly challenging, with the economy under severe strain from the continuing conflict. When I was in Kiev at the end of July last year to speak to young political students, many of them spoke about corruption at every level as a standard part of life in Ukraine – an intractable problem that they simply shrug away, as they do not have the confidence that it will go away anytime soon. That is why these reforms need to continue and quicken if possible.

      The e-declaration system is an important step in making politics more transparent. We have a saying in the United Kingdom that sunlight is the best disinfectant. Letting the light into the darker corners of Ukrainian politics and business will help clean up the system. The authorities need to maintain momentum in investigating declarations under the e-declaration system and prosecute where appropriate, but the e-declaration system can also act as a leveller. Gaining and retaining the trust of the people is clearly the right thing to do, but it will also give a boost in Ukraine’s dealings with Russia. Tackling corruption will give investors and the international community the confidence to invest in Ukraine. It is vital to keep up the pace of reforms. Behaviour takes time to change and convert to custom.

      The report looks at the functioning of democratic institutions, not the implementation of the Minsk agreement, so it is important that in this context we remain focused on analysing and supporting the work that is being done in support of the people of Ukraine.

      Mr KROSS (Estonia, Spokesperson for the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe) – On behalf of the ALDE group, I am happy to congratulate the co-rapporteurs, Mr Xuclà and Mr Fischer, on this very important, timely and heartfelt report.

      Democracy in Ukraine is an issue not just for the Ukrainian Government or even just for the Ukrainian people, but for the future of Europe, because this is a question about the strength, resilience and vitality of European values. I would therefore like to look at the larger picture today rather than just at the reforms in Ukraine. We have all witnessed a very hard three years for Ukraine. The question whether Ukraine succeeds with its reforms is actually existential, not just for Ukraine but for all of us.

      We have heard from many critics in many cocktail lounges in Europe that the Ukrainian reforms are too slow. Yes, on many fronts Ukraine has not succeeded as fast as all friends of Ukraine would wish, but if we look at Ukraine today and compare it with the Ukraine of Yanukovych five years ago, we can see that there is a huge difference. Yes, there is a lot to be done on corruption, on the rule of law and on effective governance – that is all true – but Ukraine today is a genuine democracy. Compared with developments in several other Council of Europe member States that we also debate here, the trend in Ukraine is to the opposite; the trend in Ukraine is clearly closer to Europe and closer to European standards and values. There is a vibrant civic society in Ukraine. There is sometimes too radical an opposition and we sometimes criticise Ukraine for political polarisation, but I remind you that it is better to have a little bit of angry opposition than to have no opposition at all. Most importantly, Ukraine has come a very long way in developing and supporting a free media, which is invaluable for any free society, as we all know.

      The report urges the Ukrainian Government to speed up in taking steps to fulfil its obligations under the Minsk agreement, and of course this is important. As we have heard already today, the key word “decentralisation” is important, yes, but as important is the word “dismemberment” or “occupation”, which should always be mentioned together with decentralisation. Ukraine needs the support of all of its friends, and real friends are demanding, but real friends also never blame the weaker party in a fight.

      Mr HUNKO (Germany, Spokesperson for the Group of the Unified European Left)* – In talking about Ukraine, the debate is of course always slightly skewed, because there are some things wanting. As you know, when the President was in Moscow, he said that all 47 member States should be heard, including the Russian delegation, which, unfortunately, is not here, and particularly when we are having a debate on Ukraine that is a problem.

      A second problem that I would like to refer to is that, at the last elections, 5 million people in Donbass and the Crimea could not vote, so they are not represented here either. For example, the Communist Party of Ukraine, which tended to have a stronghold there, is no longer represented here and has been subject to a ban. Personally, as an expert on Ukraine for my group, I also experience a difficulty because I am on the blacklist in Ukraine, so I cannot go there even to get a picture for myself about how things are developing. That really does restrict possibilities for me.

      I just want to go into the developments briefly. As described in the report, the Maidan overthrow in February 2014 was based on a hope to end corruption. Mr Jagland talked about a revolution against corruption, but unfortunately, nearly three years later we have to say that nothing has changed. In the Transparency International report that was published yesterday, Ukraine comes at number 29 out of 100, which is right down towards the bottom – it is on the same level as Russia, Nepal, Iran and Kazakhstan – so in terms of the great hopes that we had, this is very disappointing. The report does not go into economic and social development very much, but the results there have also been disappointing.

      A year ago, we celebrated the release of Nadiia Savchenko, who was also a member of this Parliamentary Assembly. However, because she met the leaders of the so-called republics of Donetsk and Luhansk, she was excluded from the Ukrainian delegation to the Council of Europe – she is no longer here. Nobody is talking about this, but I think that what she did was right. She felt that one should speak to the other side, and that is surely the job of politicians. So I view developments in Urkaine with a rather sceptical eye, and I hope that we can see some kind of geopolitical détente and see more room for reform in Ukraine.

      The PRESIDENT – Thank you, Mr Hunko.

      We now move to the speakers list. I call Mr Aeg, from Estonia.

      Mr AEG (Estonia) – Ukraine has clearly chosen the path towards reconstructing a democratic country based on the rule of law that respects human rights. Quick changes to legislation and implementation of necessary reforms are hindered by the still too powerful influence of oligarchs and deep corruption that exists in almost every aspect of life, although it is mainly political and judicial.

      Estonia has considered it to be its priority to contribute to Ukraine’s integration into Europe through the framework of the Eastern Partnership programme, which will also be our priority during Estonia’s presidency of the European Union. A sign of that support was shown when President Poroshenko came on a State visit to Estonia this week and mentioned that Estonia is the biggest per capita contributor of aid to Ukraine. Our position is that, as a small country, we can offer consultation and share our experiences in building up a democratic State management.

      The biggest on-going problem that needs solving is finding a solution to the armed conflict in eastern Ukraine. Using Estonia as an example, I shall describe a possible way of preventing travel and decreasing the success of recruitment to Russian-supported terrorist groups in eastern Ukraine. On 13 June 2014, an Estonian citizen, Vladimir Poljakov, travelled to Ukraine to join the Lugansk People’s Republic Army. Poljakov participated in illegal activities against Ukraine’s legitimate Government and was directly involved in guarding secured facilities and illegally captured individuals, and he took part in direct combat activities against the Ukrainian Armed Forces, during which he was wounded. He therefore returned to Estonia. During February 2015, a criminal case was initiated against him in Estonia and he was investigated as a member of a terrorist organisation. The investigation was also forwarded to the Ukrainian Prosecutor’s Office. Based on the Estonian investigation, the Ukrainian authorities submitted a request for Poljakov’s extradition and, in December 2015, the Estonian Government decided to grant Ukraine’s request. In June 2016, Poljakov was extradited to Ukraine.

      The PRESIDENT* – Thank you. As Mr Gutiérrez is not here, I call Ms Schou.

      Ms SCHOU (Norway) – I congratulate the rapporteurs on this extensive and well written report. The democratic situation in Ukraine is of interest to us all, and the Assembly follows developments carefully.

      The report describes the status of the ambitious democratisation and reform process. A number of important constitutional reforms have already been adopted by the Rada and I commend Ukraine on the results that have been achieved so far under very difficult conditions. It is now essential to continue the process through the effective implementation of reforms. In particular, I want to mention the important fight against corruption, which hampers economic development and challenges the people’s trust in their elected representatives and public institutions.

      Based on an independent assessment, Norway has condemned Russia’s annexation of Crimea and the policy of destabilisation in eastern Ukraine. Norway has fully implemented the EU sanctions imposed on Russia and we continue to stand with our NATO allies and partners in the European Union in response to Russia’s violations of international law. I express our support for the Minsk process and call on all parties to do their utmost to respect and follow up the agreement. Let me take this opportunity to mention the Nordic-Baltic parliamentary initiative to support ongoing reform efforts in the Rada. The Norwegian Parliament has contributed to that initiative by organising another study visit to Norway for Ukrainian parliamentarians, and the programme focuses on parliament’s role in relation to the government.

      As members of the Council of Europe we should do our utmost to support Ukraine in its efforts to reform not only through bilateral efforts but by supporting the extensive work of the Council of Europe. In particular, I commend the work of the Venice Commission, which works to promote democracy through law, a principle that naturally finds its place at the core of any country’s efforts for democratisation. I know that the commission’s expertise has been of great importance to Ukraine and it is important to continue to listen to its high-quality advice.

      Mr GONCHARENKO (Ukraine) – As the first Ukrainian parliamentarian to speak in this debate, I thank the Council of Europe and the Parliamentary Assembly for the attention you pay to Ukraine. It is extremely important to us.

      What has gone on in Ukraine over the past three years, historically? The process has been about destroying the wall that separated Ukraine from the rest of Europe for centuries – for centuries, just imagine that. An important part of that is co-operation with the Council of Europe. Judicial reform, decentralisation reforms – this is all been done by Ukraine together with the bodies of the Council of Europe. Today, we are waiting for the final decision on visa liberalisation between Ukraine and the European Union. That is extremely important to us. Ukraine fulfilled all the European Union’s demands and today we are waiting for a decision. Unfortunately, from time to time, somebody tries to find a reason to delay this process. Please, help us to finish it as soon as possible. It is important for all of us and is very symbolic for Ukrainian citizens. By our next part-session in April, there should be visa liberalisation between Ukraine and the European Union. It is absolutely possible, so please help us to do it.

      Secondly, what is the main threat to democratic institutions in Ukraine? Russian aggression. This is not only about war in eastern Ukraine or about Crimea; it is about hybrid war against Ukraine, propaganda inside Ukraine, propaganda in Europe and propaganda all over the world. Russia tries to influence elections in the United States and, I am sure, in many other countries. This is a hybrid war not just against Ukraine but against the whole Western world. Let me give you an example. Several days ago two killers were arrested as they prepared the killing of our colleague, the Ukrainian parliamentarian Anton Gerashchenko. They entered Ukraine from the Russian Federation. The same happened to me two years ago, when two killers were arrested in Odessa. Now, there is a trial over there. This is the main threat to Ukraine’s democratic institutions.

      If you want to help us, we are absolutely open to co-operation with the Council of Europe, and I ask you to keep the sanctions against Putin’s regime, because that is the main threat to our democracy.

      Mr LOPUSHANSKYI (Ukraine)* – I thank the co-rapporteurs for their work and for a balanced report.

      Today, Ukraine faces severe tests. Ukrainians are asserting their independence and democratic choice. Democratic institutions in Ukraine are moving towards an improvement, and that is happening while we have the lasting occupation of part of our country by the Russian Federation. Today, Russia is disregarding all the principles of international law and trying to change the democratic order of the world, replacing it with medieval rules of division, zones of influence and the might of the most powerful. Despite the current difficult military and political situation, Ukraine stays loyal to European democratic values and is trying to implement reforms that our society demands.

      One of the main directions of those reforms is the decentralisation of power and the strengthening of local self-governance. As was correctly mentioned by the co-rapporteurs, in some places that process has fallen hostage to the Minsk agreements and cannot continue until Russia starts implementing them. We continue to work on reform through decentralisation. In less than two years, 367 voluntary united territorial communities have been formed. They unite more than 3 000 village, settlement and town councils. We have strengthened the principle of forming local budgets, and communities now have more financial independence. The main decentralisation tasks for 2017 will be developing communities’ infrastructure, introducing strategic planning in communities and enhancing the quality of services.

      Of course, those processes are accompanied by many difficulties, related to many factors such as bureaucracy in some elements of authorities and corruption in some spheres. That has reduced since we passed anti-corruption laws. Having created a legislative basis for reforms and started them, we realised that successful implementation of reforms at a local and national level could be ensured by an effective system of training for the people who will be directly implementing them – State civil servants and those working in local authorities. We have made some positive changes that will make Ukraine’s institutions stronger.

      Mr GHILETCHI (Republic of Moldova) – I thank the rapporteurs for this good report. I am glad that despite all the challenges, pressures and crises, Ukraine has managed to consolidate its independence and was able to continue down the tough road of implementing democratic reforms that, at times, can be very painful.

      One particular paragraph in the report captured my attention. It says: “The Assembly expresses its concern about the hardening of the political discourse following the Euromaidan events and the war in eastern Ukraine, with opposing Ukrainian political forces accusing each other of being traitors or extremists. While the past needs to be addressed, the Assembly calls on all political forces to overcome divisions and animosity and work together for the stability and democratic consolidation of the country.” Having recently experienced presidential elections in my home country, I can confirm that antipathy and antagonism between political leaders and parties is approaching a critical level. Similar situations can be observed in other European countries and, to some extent, in the United States.

      This high level of hate is harming the fabric of our societies and, in the long run, represents a serious threat to the future of our nations and the entire European continent. I wholeheartedly believe that unless politicians, citizens, NGOs and businesses overcome their differences to come together and work together for the prosperity of our countries, the future will be very bleak. Martin Luther King once said: “We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools.” Let us start in this Assembly and show others that in spite of all our differences, we can treat each other with respect and dignity.

      My second point relates to the corruption culture. The draft resolution states: “The endemic corruption in Ukraine continues to be a main point of concern. The prolonged absence of marked and concrete progress in this area, including in prosecutions and convictions, could potentially diminish the effects of the ambitious reform agenda of the authorities and undermine the trust in the political system by the Ukrainian public”. That once again underlines that the problem does not lie only with a group of politicians or even two or three oligarchs. The entire society is sick, and lack of integrity is a widespread phenomenon at all levels of society, including the political elites.

      The continuation of the institutional reforms that are so frequently mentioned in this draft resolution must be combined with significant investment in education. The slow pace of reforms shows that the corruption problem is one of mentality, and only by tackling it at a very young age will we be successful in raising a generation of honest and ethical leaders. Today’s debate proves that we have great challenges but also great opportunities to improve the lives of our citizens. Let us work together and help one another in achieving this goal. I wish Ukraine and the Ukrainian people peace and prosperity. God bless Ukraine.

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

      Mr SOBOLEV (Ukraine) – The rapporteurs had a serious task in summarising the main obligations of Ukraine since it became a member of this Organisation. I want to separate two things. Of course, it is impossible to create these obligations when a country is in peace or at war. I want to thank the governments of all countries of the Council of Europe and of the world for their support in our struggle against Russian aggression and the occupation of Crimea and Donbass. That is very important. For us – for Ukrainians – it is very important to understand that the war and occupation gave us the serious task of introducing very big reforms in different spheres.

      I want everybody to understand that this report is about our obligations. Some people in the Monitoring Committee or in this debate might be considering, for example, the future participation in parliamentary or local elections of those who are now occupied by Russians in Eastern Donbass or Crimea, but that is impossible to do. It is like obliging Georgian territories occupied by Russians to provide elections. The concrete tasks of the Ukrainian situation must come before the Ukrainian Parliament, Government and President.

      We must understand that in Ukraine, it is very important to fulfil all the Minsk agreements. It is impossible to separate that. If, in the Minsk agreements, security comes first and elections come second, how can it be that in the draft resolution, elections come first and security comes second? How will we organise elections in territories under Russian weapons, where terrorists control the situation?

      We want members to support the main amendments, which will allow Ukraine to introduce reforms quickly in different spheres, including in the struggle against corruption and in the judicial system. I am a representative of the opposition. It is very important for us to reflect in this report the real situation. We have to be united against one aggressor: the Russian Federation.

      Ms YAŞAR (Turkey)* – First, I congratulate the rapporteurs on the work they have done. I hope that the Ukrainian authorities will take account of what is in the report. That would be useful for Ukrainian democracy. It is important for Ukraine and Europe alike that the territorial integrity of Ukraine is respected and stability is restored to the east of Ukraine.

      I would like to talk about the Crimean Tatars. As members will know, they have called from the outset for the territorial integrity of Ukraine. After the annexation, the Moscow-backed local authorities in Crimea began to repress the Turkish Crimean Tatars. In the context of that policy, the legitimate body of the Crimean Tatars – the Mejlis, which is the national council – was banned. In 2014, the parliament’s building was sealed. The prosecutor general of Crimea decided to prohibit the body, and the Mejlis was dissolved in 2016. Mustafa Kirimoğlu, the head of the Parliament, Mr Çubarov and the head of the press office were prohibited from entering Crimean territory and were accused of activities against Russia’s territorial integrity. The Vice-President of the Crimean Tatar Assembly, Mr Umerov, is still being tried, despite the fact he is suffering from diabetes and Parkinson’s disease. He was even interned in a psychiatric hospital for a period of time against his will. At the time when Crimea was under Ukrainian national sovereignty, there were 17 Crimean Tatar authorities involved in religious and cultural activities, but they have now been prohibited. In addition, Mr Ibragimov, a member of the governing body of the Crimean Tatar Assembly has disappeared in May 2016. All of these things are a violation of national laws and human rights, which is at the heart of the interests of our Parliamentary Assembly. We should therefore raise our voices against this persecution of the Crimean Tatars, and I say that with all due respect.

      Ms SOTNYK (Ukraine) – I welcome the fact that the draft resolution reminds all honourable members of the Parliamentary Assembly about Russia’s aggression in Ukraine and its continued annexation of Crimea. The democratic institutions in Ukraine will be the subject of analysis and recommendations, so let me assure you that both the opinion and the recommendation of the Parliamentary Assembly are highly appreciated in our country, especially by members of Parliament such as me who are in opposition. However, it is hard to accept that the rapporteurs are trying to use the draft resolution in order to put pressure on Ukraine regarding the implementation of the Minsk agreement. I cannot agree with that approach, nor can I agree with some of the oral sub-amendments that are going to be discussed in this Parliamentary Assembly on the participation of people from occupied territories without any preconditions, without de-occupation and without conditions relating to the sovereignty of Ukraine in these territories.

      From the very beginning, the Minsk agreement was not a magic pill to resolve Russian aggression, and the best argument on that is that it contains no mention of Crimea and the occupation in the conditions. Without the de-occupation of Crimea and the re-establishment of the sovereignty of the Ukrainian people in these territories, we cannot talk about an end to the war or about a fair and final answer to this problem. The human rights situation in Crimea is worsening by the day, with continued repression in these territories. In November 2016, in Sevastopol, the Russian FSB arrested three more citizens of Ukraine – Dmytro Shtyblikov, Oleksiy Bessarabov and Volodymyr Dudka. They were accused, without reason, of preparing diversions. All these people were part of the think tank Nomos, which is well known in Ukraine and abroad, and which takes a strong anti-Russian position. Today, after returning from the Parliamentary Assembly, Mr Polozov, the Russian attorney who presented the position for you and discussed what is happening in Russia, was detained by the FSB, and we do not know what his future will be. Such discussion about any implementation of the Minsk agreement can begin when Ukraine has control over its entire territory and when temporarily occupied territories are de-occupied and re-integrated. Otherwise, the so-called “decentralisation chapter” will legalise occupation and the occupiers, who execute power and control over these territories. It will legalise Russia on these territories, so it is unacceptable to vote for a resolution such as this, particularly in its current suggested version.

      Mr ARIEV (Ukraine) – I thank both rapporteurs for their balanced draft report. It was discussed in the Monitoring Committee meeting last year, but I am wondering what happened today. Some oral sub-amendments were presented as a compromise, but there was no alignment with reality and this took place without the participation of the Ukrainian side. The main thing for us is the absolutely unacceptable oral amendment in respect of amendment 24 about the representation of the occupied territories’ representatives in the Ukrainian Parliament. Has anyone heard about the possibility of doing that? In October’s part-session, we adopted a clear resolution which summarised the security situation precisely, and talked about how there was no possibility of holding an election until the security situation is established there. This current proposal is completely outside even the Minsk agreement, which is referred to by the report. I ask all of you who understand that this could undermine the position in Ukraine to stand up against that oral amendment.

      I also want to emphasise something about the internal situation in Ukraine, where there are a lot of normal and balanced things taking place. The situation on corruption there is not good, but Ukraine has gone up by a few points in Transparency International’s rating. We need to establish an independent judicial system, and the report establishes that Ukraine took an important step by adopting judicial reform. The current situation in Crimea and so on is not reflected so much in the report, but we see that that is not moving on, as Ms Sotnyk said. Mr Polozov, the lawyer who took part in an event in here on Monday, was detained for questioning by FSB. He is now free, but he said that he was under pressure. I am really wondering what happened if the Assembly says that the Russian Federation is attacking Aleppo in an unacceptable way, has to take part in the Inter-Parliamentary Assembly of the CIS in a discussion on terrorism but does not discuss the situation when the Russian Federation is distributing its own terrorism to the world, including in Ukraine, Syria and other states. Please, colleagues, I ask you to follow the normal solutions that will be proposed.

      Mr VAREIKIS (Lithuania) – I will not speak much about the report, a technical paper which is probably not bad. We really have to discuss Ukraine as a country. It is one of the biggest countries under the monitoring procedure, and the fact that it is under the procedure means that there is something unfinished in this country; it is not a fully fledged country of civilised Europe.

      I am reflecting on what Ukraine needs to do to finish its business of coming to Europe. A few important things have to be done. First, it has to restore its geography – that is one obligation for the country. Secondly, it must restore its history, which is interesting and colourful, but has been stolen by neighbouring countries, especially Muscovite countries. Thirdly, it is very important for Ukraine to restore its cultural identity. We need to know what is and what is not Ukrainian, and it is not a simple task. Fourthly, and perhaps most importantly, Ukraine has to restore its responsibility for Europe. We are living not in the 11th century, but in the 21st century. We may remember our nice history of 1 000 years ago, but Ukraine now has to create a modern, 21st century State and decide what kind of country it will be, and it should be a democratic country that upholds human rights.

      Perhaps I might paraphrase some well-known words: do not ask what Europe can do for Ukraine, but what you Ukrainians can do for Europe. If you have democracy, uphold human rights and fight corruption, things will go in the right direction. Many people ask us in the Baltic States, Poland and Hungary why the Soviet Union withdrew its armies and left. They left because peoples in central Europe created societies in which the Soviet Union did not fit. The Soviet army was a complete anachronism in Hungary, Lithuania and Estonia. Can Ukraine create the situation whereby Russia will be anachronism on Ukrainian soil? It can and, to my understanding, that is the main obligation for Ukraine. I hope that Ukraine can fulfil its important obligations for Europe.

      Mr LOZOVOY (Ukraine) – “The devil is in the detail” is a famous phrase by Gustave Flaubert, and the devil is in the detail of this draft resolution. Overall, it includes many fair and constructive points, and I would support it if it did not include one provision that is openly dangerous for Ukraine. The devil is in fourth paragraph, which calls on the implementation of the Minsk agreements by Ukraine to amend the constitution of Ukraine on decentralisation. As is well known, the agreements aim to implement Putin’s idea of giving special status to Donbass. The Minsk agreements are contrary to the interests of my country and are clearly Putin’s trap for the civilised world. The Minsk agreements undermine our country’s independence and unity, particularly because they require elections to be held on the Russian occupied territory of Donbass. Only after that will the Ukrainian control of our border be restored. This is the wrong policy of appeasement of the Russian aggressor and political legalisation of the terrorists.

      It is unacceptable that the draft resolution is artificially mixed with the unrelated topic of the Minsk agreements. Therefore, I will not vote for the draft resolution if it is not amended. The Radical Party of Oleh Lyashko has consistently opposed the Minsk agreements from the first day of their conclusion, and time has proved that we are right. Ukraine has already fulfilled a lot of the requirements of the Minsk agreements, but has nothing but more new victims.

      Dear European friends, Ukraine is increasingly becoming a bargaining chip in negotiations between you and the Russian aggressors. Therefore, we urge the European community to recognise the mistake of the Minsk format and start looking for a resolution to the problem in the Budapest Memorandum format. We stand for peace, but a peace based on the victory of the civilised world over the aggressor. If peace is achieved at the cost of destroying Ukraine as a unified State, it will be a step to the destruction of Europe and the creation of a new Golden Horde – a new era of aggressive eastern barbarism. Does Europe need that kind of future?

      Mr GOLUB (Ukraine) – Three years ago, Ukraine rebelled against the criminal regime of the corrupt government, and the war for independence, welfare and the European destiny of Ukraine began. In the contemporary history of Europe, we can hardly find any country other than Ukraine in which citizens consciously went to their death fighting for European values, and I emphasise that. Hearing that there are no changes in Ukraine causes deep indignation in Ukrainians and many of our foreign partners. The changes take place and they are irreversible.

      I will tell you about the ongoing judicial reform in Ukraine. The changes to the judicial system, the constitution and the law of Ukraine – “On the Judicial System and Status of Judges” – came into force on 30 September 2016. The main goal of the judicial reform is the depoliticisation of the judiciary. Without powerful, effective and independent judges, no country will be able to fight against corruption and protect human rights. What will this judicial reform change? Again, I stress that the reform is ongoing. The Parliament of Ukraine lost the power to influence the appointment of judges. The question about the dislocation of judges will be laid on the High Council of Justice. The president will only perform the ceremonial functions as a person who will appoint the judges. It is necessary to understand that the right of the president to dislocate the judges during the two-year transition period is temporary and such provision was agreed with the Venice Commission. I remind members that the Parliament of Ukraine still possesses the right for a non-confidence vote in the attorney-general. Therefore, the president will not have a determining influence on the attorney-general. That is the right step that will provide compliance with balance between the branches of power.

      The creation of the High Council of Justice is an important step in the judicial reform. The body will be politically independent and will consist of 21 members, 10 of whom will be elected by the Congress of Judges of Ukraine from judges or retired judges. The chairman of the Supreme Court will be presented in the High Council of Justice ex officio.

      The proposed formation principles of the High Council of Justice reflect the European standard, applicable to a similar body whereby judges elected by judges must constitute a majority of its members. According to the judicial reform, the power to arrest the judges for their custodial detention will now be given to the High Council of Justice, and the parliament has lost such powers. Judicial reform in Ukraine is a real story of success. It is a chance to change the outlook and attitude to the Ukrainian justice system. The more such stories will appear, the faster Ukraine will really become a full part of a united, democratic and liberal Europe.

      Mr BEREZA (Ukraine) – When I read the report, I got the impression that the founding fathers would have had a problem with Ukraine. I am grateful to the rapporteurs for giving us the most recent information on the country, but I express some scepticism vis-à-vis my own country and the suggestion that nothing is happening. That is not true. There is a concept of non-declaration, and e-declarations have emerged recently, covering the highest of our offices including the president, the prime minister, ministers, heads of the tax structures and parliamentary deputies. They are filling out e-declaration in which they have to reveal all their assets vis-à-vis the Ukrainian citizens. That happened for two reasons.

      First, there is indeed a wish to change in Ukraine. Secondly, it was thanks to the support and pressure from European partners and the people of Ukraine alike. Democratic society was the main lever in bringing about the e-declarations. Democratic institutions, through civil society, have made it possible to achieve this result. Many of you have come here with ready-made decisions and I would like you to understand that all this happened with the support of the European community. If we deprive Ukraine of support and if you think that we are changing too quickly, you will get the reverse reaction.

      Russia is actively exerting pressure on Ukraine through aggression, war and destabilising the country through its agents. Russia will benefit if Ukraine backslides from European standards; that is the main fear in Ukraine. We have taken a step towards you, and we hope it will be duly assessed. We hope that the international community will not turn its back on Ukraine, because without Ukraine it will have massive problems with Russia, which at the moment is showing its enormous appetite for expansion, not only in Ukrainian territory but beyond. Your support and joint efforts will strengthen our democratic institutions and improve friendly relations. That would be the best possible result. We have got to ask not only what Ukraine can do for Europe, but what Europe will do to fulfil its pledges to Ukraine.

      Ms IONOVA (Ukraine) – Three years ago, Ukraine was on the way to becoming an authoritarian State, and democracy was dramatically losing its significance. Today, the Ukrainian army leads the struggle in the east of the country. It is not only guarding Ukraine’s territorial integrity and sovereignty, but protecting the basic European values of human rights, democracy and the rule of law.

      In the last two years, in very difficult circumstances – including the war in the east – Ukraine has carried out more reforms than it did during the entire period since independence. It set up anti-corruption institutions, an electronic procurement system – Prozorro – and an e-declaration system, which is the most progressive and inclusive system of its kind among European Union member States. It carried out decentralisation, introduced constitutional amendments and judicial reforms, and adopted an ambitious human rights strategy. Those reforms were carried out in line with the Council of Europe’s norms and standards and in accordance with the European Union-Ukraine Association Agreement. Many reforms have been implemented in active dialogue with civil society.

      Our fight is not over yet. Many things still have to be done in our top-to-bottom transformation. We have to be aware of the risks that might ruin the first shoots of Ukraine’s democratic, social and economic revival. That is what Ukraine’s enemies bet on, but the best means of avoiding those risks is unity and solidarity with Ukraine.

      What we heard earlier is not correct: we do not have a bill prohibiting the Communist Party. It took part in the recent elections, but it did not pass the threshold. We have a bill that restricts totalitarian and Nazi symbols. That is why we do not understand which bill the amendments want us to dismiss.

      The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe has clearly defined Russia’s status as the aggressor, and underlined the responsibility of illegal armed groups for human rights violations in Donbass. We do not exclude dialogue, but we cannot see the Russian delegation in the Chamber. Believe me, we have a lot of questions for them. We have engaged in quasi-dialogue instead of fighting to ensure that the Russian Federation implements and fulfils the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe’s resolutions. Its new delegation should be given credentials only if Ukrainian hostages are liberated, the Minsk agreement is fulfilled and Ukrainian authority is restored over its territory in the east, in Crimea and on the eastern border. The Council of Europe should set out a clear and strong position based on the values it was created to promote.

      Mr BILLSTRÖM (Sweden) – I commend the rapporteurs, Mr Xuclà and Mr Fischer, for this excellent and timely report. More than ever, we need to show our support for Ukraine in its continuing battle to create a functioning State. Its territorial integrity must be guaranteed so it can ensure the safety and security of its citizens.

      The battle against corruption is vital. The rapporteurs clearly show the need to have a framework that enables us to bring to justice those who try to circumvent the rules and regulations, and whose activities harm the people of Ukraine. As the report says, we need swift and continuous reform to prevent corruption and prohibit the use of corruption as a political tool. The constitutional amendments targeting the problems of the Prosecutor General’s office deserve special mention. The rapporteurs are right to highlight them in the text, but more needs to be done. The implementation of the proposed reforms, not least the e-declarations, remains at the heart of the matter.

      The Rada and the political leadership of Ukraine need to know that we stand behind them in their fight for integrity and justice. I echo what my colleague from Norway, Ms Schou, said about the Nordic-Baltic initiative towards Ukraine. Its aim is to support the current reforms in the country in general, and the Ukrainian Parliament in particular. It shows our deep commitment to Ukraine. The road ahead for Ukraine will be tough. The battles for territorial integrity and internal improvement are two sides of the same coin, as this is a question of the stability of the country.

      Mr LOGVYNSKYI (Ukraine) – I thank the rapporteurs for their great job. I want to tell you something about our country. We are a rich country; we are a great country, with perfect people who want to be real Europeans. They want European society, European medicine, and the European possibility of having a family and building a life.

      Several years ago, we did not expect that we would see a foreign army on our territory. We have several agreements with other countries, including the Budapest Memorandum, which promised that we would be defended if something happens on our territory, but unfortunately that did not happen. Our children – our soldiers – are not defending the borders of Ukraine; they are defending the borders of Europe. We are fighting for you. We have not carried out all the reforms that we want – we want to reform our economy as soon as possible – and we have other problems, but we are fighting for European society and human rights. We are fighting for you, and it is not your children on the border but ours.

      We are fighting every day, even in this Hemicycle. My colleague, an advocate, explained what is going on in Crimea – my motherland. He explained the real situation with the Crimean Tatars, but when he arrived in Russia, he was arrested. That is the situation. A few days ago, the Ukrainian security services found a bomb in the car of a colleague who is a member of the Ukrainian Parliament. It was arranged by several prisoners from Crimea who were released by Russian forces.

      Friends, we are fighting for you. Defend us, help us, and together we will build a great and strong world.

      Ms DALLOZ (France)* – Rapporteurs, I read your report very closely. You are right to remind us that the situation in Donbass and Crimea cannot justify dysfunctional Ukrainian institutions. I do not deny the difficult context in which Ukraine finds itself, but the slowing of fundamental reforms cannot be systematically ascribed, as is too often done by our Ukrainian colleagues in the Chamber, to Russia. I would like to share an example that I think is especially symbolic.

      Corruption, which is rife, constitutes a recurring problem in Ukraine, and has done ever since independence. It hampers economic development and the effective enforcement of laws. Above all, it constitutes a serious violation of the rights of Ukrainian citizens, because it has consequences for healthcare, education and jobs. This scourge has been the daily lot of Ukrainians for many years. Whether it is a backhander to the doctor for a medical appointment that was supposed to be free, a bribe for a place in a childcare facility, or a job in the town all, the sums are enormous for a family budget. It creates unconscionable discrimination.

      This private corruption is compounded by State corruption, which affects businesses through the tax and customs authorities. This situation creates insecurity, which is a deterrent to investment in the business community that the Ukrainian economy so badly needs. Many observers state it clearly: corruption is the other frontline.

      Beyond the reforms, it is necessary to increase the puny wages received by most public service workers. The fight against corruption needs cultural and even moral change, which can only come from on high. The war against corruption starts at the very bottom of the ladder of local government. The new national anti-corruption bureau has begun its work, with a paucity of resources, at the level of the local barons. Its director stated, “We are a battalion and opposite we have an army”. We can see without doubt that corruption is damaging for Ukrainian democracy and Russia alike. I remind our Ukrainian colleagues that freedom of movement for parliamentarians is an important part of any democracy. When I observe elections for the Parliamentary Assembly, I am no longer entitled to transit through Kiev airport. I am not the only one in this Chamber who is on a blacklist.

      Mr USOV (Ukraine) – In almost every paragraph of the report, there is a recognition of the huge progress our country has made since the “Revolution of Dignity”. Two years ago, when I became the youngest Member of the Ukrainian Parliament with a single mandate district, I absolutely did not believe that we would be able to successfully carry out reform of the judiciary, law enforcement system, anti-corruption system, military, human rights legislation and the decentralisation process, and what we achieved in other fights. Despite the war started by Russia, despite the loss of a third of our economy and despite the annexation of Crimea, Ukraine has leapt forward in those two years. What had not been done for dozens of years has been efficiently performed in two of the most difficult and bloody years in Ukraine’s recent history. We did it well and we will do it better.

      This nation of more than 45 million people is now standing fighting on the very frontline of the biggest battlefield in Europe in the 21st century. We expect you all to stand with us: stand with us and stand for Ukraine. That is the best way to stand for Europe right now.

      Mr ŠIRCELJ (Slovenia) – I welcome the report, which gives a comprehensive view of the process of reforms and the progress that Ukraine has achieved in the past few years in very difficult circumstances. I agree with the rapporteurs that it is now crucial to move from passing legislation and setting up institutions to the full implementation of these reforms.

      Ukraine has undertaken important steps in the new anti-corruption programme, which is intended to strengthen the capacity of the newly created anti-corruption institutions to investigate and prosecute corruption, and implement sanctions. Ukraine is in the process of developing the independence and the professionalisation of its civil service. The rule of law programme to reform the judicial system and the police is in the process of being realised, too.

      All this work must continue and bring real change to the way the country operates. All these steps and all these efforts are also key to transforming the business climate and rebuilding prosperity. It is important that in areas such as privatisation of State-owned enterprises, as well as the social and health sectors, the reforms are encouraged even more. Ukraine has the potential to attract even more foreign investment if the business investment climate improves.

      In addition to the above, we should fully support Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognised borders, and continue to support the diplomatic efforts to find a lasting peaceful solution to the conflict on its territory through the complete implementation of the Minsk agreement.

      The PRESIDENT – As Ms Karapetyan is not here, I call Mr Novynskyi.

      Mr NOVYNSKYI (Ukraine)* – The report is honest and objective, and it mentions various shortcomings in Ukraine. I thank the authors of the report for that. The report is a real victory for the Ukrainian opposition, because it says that we need to fully implement the Minsk agreement for our country. All parties involved in the conflict have to do that, including Ukraine. We were the first party to support the Minsk agreement, in February 2015. Over the past two years, we have demanded that our authorities implement the agreement. We tabled amendments to the laws and the constitutional drafts, but they are being ignored by the current authorities. The report says that we have to implement the Minsk agreement. This is a victory for the opposition and I thank you very much for that.

      On considering democracy in Ukraine, we cannot avoid questions about the rights of the opposition in our country. There are virtually no rights for the opposition. Our opposition is persecuted and discriminated against. It is subject to harassment and threats. All those who stand up to be counted against the current authorities are criticised and subject to abuse. They are likely to be investigated, with trumped-up charges made against them, and threatened by radical nationalists who support the powers that be. This applies to the parliamentary and non-parliamentary opposition. There is now no possibility of parliamentary scrutiny. For example, a committee that scrutinises the powers that be will no longer be chaired by a member of the opposition. Parliamentarianism has been around in Ukraine for 23 years now. In terms of the non-parliamentary opposition, tens of thousands of people have been harassed because they do not support the authorities. Thousands of people have been subject to court cases on trumped-up charges, and subject to physical violence at the hands of radical nationalists. This is all happening in Ukraine, and we have to talk about it openly and frankly.

      I want to move on to a question not mentioned in the report, which relates to the actions of the State in the humanitarian sphere. The Ukrainian Church is trying to exert pressure on certain priests, and laws are being passed in the Verkhovna Rada that discriminate against the Church. This has happened in the last three years. Forty-five churches have been closed and priests have been killed. I do not know why people are not talking about this. These cases are not being investigated by the authorities.

      One more point, if I may, Mr President –

      The PRESIDENT – That was the last speech in our debate. I now give the floor to the co-rapporteurs, Mr Fischer and Mr Xuclà. They have seven minutes between them to reply.

      Mr FISCHER (Germany)* – Dear colleagues, thank you very much for your contributions to the debate. It is clear that you have looked closely at the report, which flagged up the issues of concern that are most important to us and to the Council of Europe.

      One speaker rightly said that he was concerned about the future of Ukraine. That concern is certainly justified, given the worsening political situation and the rather difficult geopolitical situation in the country. We have heard about and discussed the fight against corruption, which remains a problem for Ukraine. The first items of legislation are being implemented, but it is important for Ukraine to continue and the judicial system has to be able to enforce the legislation. I certainly invite colleagues who visit the country to go and see the corruption museum, which will give them a sense of the scale of corruption in the past. There is still corruption, of course.

      We have had contributions on minorities and minority languages, which are also extremely important. Others discussed the freedom of movement that needs to be accorded to us as members of parliament. How can we have discussions and exchanges with colleagues from other countries if we cannot move around freely? That is an obvious precondition for us as parliamentarians, both at a national level and in international forums such as the Parliamentary Assembly. We have also listened to contributions on decentralisation and on the importance of co-operation with the Council of Europe. Ukraine has used and continues to use the Council of Europe’s know-how. That is very important – it is what we have to offer. We also have the monitoring process, which gives us the opportunity to touch on the most important issues and to offer assistance so that Ukraine can move in the right direction.

      My final point is on the education and training of young people in Ukraine, which was touched on in the debate. We have to ensure that young people are being educated to understand what democracy is all about. People who have grown up in a democracy take it for granted. We have to underscore that point.

      I thank you all, and I give personal thanks to my co-rapporteur Jordi Xuclà and to Mr Bas Klein of the committee secretariat, who has been of great assistance when we have been travelling and who has been an important contributor to the report, which I am sure will remain on the agenda for some time to come.

      The PRESIDENT – Mr Xuclà, you have four minutes.

      Mr XUCLÀ (Spain)* – I start by thanking the Ukrainian authorities and our Ukrainian parliamentary colleagues, who have helped us to better understand a country that has been subject to pressure that is normal for a country that has faced territorial infringement, invasion and matters of that nature. Our colleague who was the youngest member of parliament in the most recent elections, said, “When I got into parliament, I never thought we would be able to introduce these reforms”. It is positive that our colleagues are fighting to overcome the challenges in the many commitments that are still pending. We are aware of the geopolitical context in which they are doing their job and introducing the reforms.

      I was also impressed when Mr Logvynskyi, the Crimean Ukrainian member, said, “We are working for you; we are fighting for you, the Europeans”.        We know that you are fighting for the values of democracy and freedom. In this Parliamentary Assembly, Mr Fischer and I, with the help of Mr Bas Klein in the secretariat, who is a specialist on the Ukraine, would humbly like to help you. Having expressed solidarity with Ukraine vis-à-vis aggression and territorial infringement, we want to take an inside look at the country.

      Our report is a historical document, not a technical document. It relates to the meeting of obligations by the parties. Since we have worked so well over the past year and a half and have really been on the same wavelength, let us end well what we started well, with a show of goodwill between the parties. There must have been a misunderstanding over amendment 24 and the oral amendment – I had to look at the list of speakers three times. I want to stress what we are calling for, because I think it is so important. When we have to vote, we will be looking at the problem of presenting this in the Ukraine Parliament. Especially for certain residents of Donetsk and Lugansk, which are not under the control of the authorities in Kiev, this needs to be settled as soon as possible.

      Mr Ariev, look at the matter from a different angle. This is an invitation to you not to give up on the reintegration of what is yours: a part of Ukraine. That is what we have in this text. Surely this may be controversial, but I do not want the entire text to fall. Let us, please, meet eye to eye and find common ground of understanding. Let us hope that the foundation that we have built in the past can continue into the future. Future generations need to be open to the world, educated, open to Europe. These are the generations that, in Europe, can take part in the work of the Ukraine with the eastern part and Crimea as well.

      The PRESIDENT – Does the Chairperson of the Monitoring Committee wish to speak?

      Mr PREDA (Romania)* – Everything that the rapporteurs said has been covered by the debate in the committee. There is much to say on the amendments, of which there are many, but we can resolve that when we come to them.

      The PRESIDENT – The debate is closed.

      The Monitoring Committee has presented a draft resolution to which 24 amendments have been tabled.

      They will be taken in the order in which they appear in the revised compendium and the Organisation of Debates, Document 14227. I remind you that speeches on amendments are limited to 30 seconds.

      I understand that the Chairperson of the Monitoring Committee wishes to propose to the Assembly that Amendments 1, 4, 6 and 8 to the draft resolution, which were unanimously approved by the committee, should be declared as agreed by the Assembly.

      Is that so, chairperson?

      Mr PREDA (Romania)* – Yes.

      The PRESIDENT – Does anyone object? That is not the case.

      Amendments 1, 4, 6 and 8 are adopted.

      We come to Amendment 17. I call Mr Hunko to support the amendment.

      Mr HUNKO (Germany)* – This amendment is about the description of the events during the Maidan, and it is a reminder that we are talking on the one hand about the European Union Association Agreement and on the other hand the civil war in the eastern part of Ukraine, where the Russians intervened. There was also a Ukrainian part to that. I therefore think the amendment provides a better description, which was my intention.

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

      Mr SOBOLEV (Ukraine) – When we hear the term “civil war”, we can look to all previous resolutions of the Council of Europe to find a direct and clean definition of that. This is not civil war; it is an occupation of territories. We therefore support the start of the declaration. It is important to understand that war cannot stop reforms in Ukraine. We are therefore against the amendment.

      The PRESIDENT – What is the opinion of the committee?

      Mr PREDA (Romania)* – Against.

      The PRESIDENT – The vote is open.

      Amendment 17 is rejected.

      We come to Amendment 18. I call Mr Hunko to support the amendment.

      Mr HUNKO (Germany)* – This amendment is about the same timeframe. It was said that it was only after Maidan that the country was more polarised, but the killings at the Maidan were in themselves already a sign of polarisation. I would therefore prefer to replace the word “following” with “leading to”.

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

      Mr ARIEV (Ukraine) – The timeline in the draft resolution by the co-rapporteurs absolutely reflects reality. I am therefore pleased to reject the amendment.

      The PRESIDENT – What is the opinion of the committee?

      Mr PREDA (Romania)* – A large majority of the committee is against.

      The PRESIDENT – The vote is open.

      Amendment 18 is rejected.

      I have received an oral amendment from the Monitoring Committee which is as follows: “Replace the text of Amendment 24 with the following: ‘The problem of representation in the Verkhovna Rada of Ukrainian citizens residing in certain parts of the Donetsk and Luhansk Oblast not under the control of the authorities in Kyiv should be resolved as soon as possible.’”

      If Oral Amendment 1 is accepted then Amendment 24 will fall.

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

      In my opinion the oral amendment meets the criteria of Rule 34.7.a. Is there any opposition to the amendment being debated?

      That is the case. We will therefore proceed to the next amendment.

      We come to Amendment 24. I call My Hunko to support the amendment.

      Mr HUNKO (Germany)* – The amendment is about a lack of representation in areas not under the control of the Ukraine Government. As I said in my speech, that is a problem that needs to be solved. We found a compromise in the committee, but that has been rejected, so I would like the amendment to be accepted and to tackle this problem.

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

      Mr ARIEV (Ukraine) – There is the same issue with this amendment and the oral amendment. Both propose something on Ukraine that is completely outside of the Minsk agreement. On doing our utmost to hold elections in the occupied territories, that is absolutely impossible in reality, so please strongly reject the amendment.

      The PRESIDENT – What is the opinion of the committee?

      Mr PREDA (Romania)* – A large majority of the committee is against.

      The PRESIDENT – The vote is open.

      Amendment 24 is rejected.

      I have received an oral amendment from the Monitoring Committee which is as follows: “Replace the text of Amendment 12 by adding the following text to the end of the paragraph: ‘The Assembly urges the authorities to take all measures to ensure a pluralist political environment in which the political opposition can fully fulfil its democratic role.’”

      If Oral Amendment 2 is accepted then Amendment 12 will fall.

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

      In my opinion, the oral amendment meets the criteria of Rule 34.7.a. Is there any opposition to the amendment being debated?

      That is not the case. I therefore call one of the co-rapporteurs of the Monitoring Committee to support Oral Amendment 2. You have 30 seconds.

      Mr XUCLÀ (Spain)* – This is a compromise amendment that urges the authorities to take all measures to ensure that the political opposition can fully fulfil its democratic role. We worked on and agreed the oral amendment in the Monitoring Committee, and it would be good to adopt it in the vote.

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

      That is not the case. What is the opinion of the committee?

      Mr PREDA (Romania)* – A large majority of the committee is in favour.

      The PRESIDENT – I shall now put Oral Amendment 2 to the vote.

      The vote is open.

      Oral amendment 2 is adopted.

      We come to Amendment 13. I call Mr Schennach to support the amendment.

      Mr SCHENNACH (Austria) – Dear colleagues, imagine being in a parliament where the opposition does not hold a single seat, a chair or vice-chairmanship of a committee or a vice-presidency – de nada, nothing, with no rights for minorities in the parliament. This is in fact the case, and we only want to remind you of that. The vote was 50:50, so feel free in how you vote, because the decision was made by the chair. Vote for minority rights in the parliament, please.

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

      Mr ARIEV (Ukraine) That information is not correct, so let me be precise about what is going on. Our vice-speaker belongs to the Samopomich faction, which is in opposition, and, if I am not mistaken, a minimum of six chairs of committees are opposition members, so what Mr Schennach said is absolutely contrary to the reality.

      The PRESIDENT – What is the opinion of the committee?

      Mr PREDA (Romania)* Against, 12 to 11, with the vote of the chair.

      The PRESIDENT – The vote is open.

      Amendment 13 is rejected.

      I have received an oral amendment from the Monitoring Committee, which is as follows: “To add, at the end of the paragraph, the following: ‘The Assembly is concerned about the publication of the names and addresses of a large number of journalists accredited by the de facto authorities in the Donbas region who were therefore accused of collaboration with the separatists jeopardising their personal integrity’.”

      If Oral Amendment 3 is accepted, then Amendment 19 will fall. The President may accept an oral amendment on the grounds of promoting clarity, accuracy or conciliation, and if there is no opposition from 10 or more members to it being debated. In my opinion, the oral amendment meets the criteria of Rule 34.7.a.

      Is there any opposition to the amendment being debated? That is not the case.

      I therefore call one of the co-rapporteurs of the Monitoring Committee to support Oral Amendment 3. You have 30 seconds.

      Mr XUCLÀ (Spain)*I think we can all agree that we have based our considerations on facts. It is true that the names and private addresses of a large number of journalists have been published – these were people working in the Donbass region – and that is a violation in all 47 member countries of the Council of Europe, so I invite you to approve the amendment.

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

      Is the committee in favour?

      Mr PREDA (Romania)* Yes, by a large majority.

      The PRESIDENT – I shall now put Oral Amendment 3 to the vote.

      The vote is open.

      Oral amendment 3 is adopted.

      Amendment 19 therefore falls, so we come to Amendment 2. I call Mr Ariev to support the amendment.

      Mr ARIEV (Ukraine) We have discussed the situation regarding Russian media many times, but it is now a matter of discussion in the forthcoming report about hybrid warfare, because Russian media is part of a hybrid war against Ukraine. To make the conditions more precise, I propose to include a reference to articles of the European Convention on Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

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

      What is the opinion of the committee?

       Mr PREDA (Romania)* A large majority in favour.

      The PRESIDENT – The vote is open.

      Amendment 2 is adopted.

      We come to Amendment 11, which is, in the draft resolution, paragraph 4.1, replace the second and third sentences with the following sentence: “It herein underlines that the decentralisation process is important for the stability and democratic consolidation of the country as a whole;”.

      An oral sub-amendment has been tabled. If the oral sub-amendment is adopted, Amendments 14, 3 and 20 will remain. If Amendment 11 is adopted without the oral sub-amendment, Amendments 14, 3 and 20 will fall.

      I call Ms Sotnyk to support Amendment 11.

      Ms SOTNYK (Ukraine)This amendment is about fairness. As Mr Xuclà told us, in reality this report is about Ukraine’s internal reforms, so I would like to remove references to the conditions arising under the Minsk agreement. If you agree with me that Russia is the aggressor and that we must first push Russia to fulfil the Minsk agreement, in particular with regard to the ceasefire, I would invite you to support my amendment.

      The PRESIDENT – I have been informed that one of the co-rapporteurs wishes to propose an oral sub-amendment on behalf of the Monitoring Committee, which is: “Add the phrase at the end of the sentence” [instead of “replace”].

      In my opinion, the oral sub-amendment is in order under our rules. However, do 10 or more members object to the oral sub-amendment being debated? That is not the case.

      I therefore call the co-rapporteur to support the oral sub-amendment.

      Mr XUCLÀ (Spain)*We did not have an opportunity to defend this amendment, but we believe that paragraph 4.1 needs to be maintained. At the same time, I believe that what is being put forward is common sense and that we should therefore underscore the importance of decentralisation as an element for stability and democratic consolidation for the entire country. This is basically common sense and should therefore be seen as an addition to the end of the paragraph.

      The PRESIDENT – Does anyone wish to speak against the oral sub-amendment? I call Ms Sotnyk.

      Ms SOTNYK (Ukraine)This is nothing to do with common sense. I am talking about the complete opposite. I agree that decentralisation is a crucial process that we should support in Ukraine, but this is not about the special status of Donbass, because that is the 11th condition of the Minsk agreement, and as long as the Russian Federation fails to fulfil any conditions – the first, second, third, eighth and so on – we cannot talk about pressuring Ukraine to fulfil the last one. That is why I think we are talking about different things, so I disagree with the oral sub-amendment.

      The PRESIDENT – What is the view of the committee?

      Mr PREDA (Romania)* A large majority in favour.

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

      The vote is open.

      The oral sub-amendment is adopted.

      We will now consider the main amendment, as amended. Does anyone wish to speak against the amendment, as amended? That is not the case.

      What is the opinion of the Monitoring Committee on the amendment, as amended?

      Mr PREDA (Romania)*In favour.

      The PRESIDENT – I shall now put Amendment 11, as amended, to the vote.

      The vote is open.

      Amendment 11, as amended, is adopted.

      We proceed now with Amendment 14, which is, in the draft resolution, paragraph 4.1, second sentence, after the words “country as a whole” insert the following words: “, taking into account the ethnic composition as well as the specificities of historic regions.”

      An oral sub-amendment has been proposed. I call Mr Németh to support Amendment 14.

      Mr NÉMETH (Hungary) – The committee has accepted an oral sub-amendment to this amendment, which means that the last half of the amendment would fall and it would read: “taking into account the ethnic composition of the regions” – that would be Amendment 14 as it was accepted by the committee. That is an important precondition for successful decentralisation.

      The PRESIDENT – I have been informed that one of the co-rapporteurs wishes to propose an oral sub-amendment on behalf of the Monitoring Committee. The text is as follows: “After the words ‘country as a whole’, insert the following: ‘also taking into account the ethnic composition of the regions’”.

      In my opinion, the oral sub-amendment is in order under our rules. However, do 10 or more members object to the oral sub-amendment being debated? That is not the case.

      I therefore call the co-rapporteur to support the oral sub-amendment.

      Mr XUCLÀ (Spain)* – We have introduced this oral sub-amendment because for us it is very important to take on board in this report the rights of minorities in a country such as Ukraine with integration policies and respect for minorities. I thank Mr Németh and the other proposers for submitting this amendment. We think that we do indeed need to take into account the pluralist ethnic composition of the country. We have simply deleted the reference to the historic dimension, because that takes us into some very wavy paths in European geography.

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

      What is the view of the committee?

      Mr PREDA (Romania)* – In favour, by a large majority.

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

      The vote is open.

      The oral sub-amendment is adopted.

      We will now consider the main amendment, as amended. Does anyone wish to speak against the amendment, as amended? That is not the case.

      What is the opinion of the Monitoring Committee on the amendment, as amended?

      Mr PREDA (Romania)* – In favour.

      The PRESIDENT – I shall now put Amendment 14, as amended, to the vote.

      The vote is open.

      Amendment 14, as amended, is adopted.

      We now come to Amendment 3. If Amendment 3 is adopted, Amendment 20 falls. I call Mr Ariev to support Amendment 3.

      Mr ARIEV (Ukraine) – Dear colleagues, in speaking about the Minsk agreement, all parts of the Minsk process should be fulfilled. Without this amendment, it looks like only Ukraine should follow that, but not the Russian Federation and others. To make the current situation more precise, please vote for this amendment.

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

      What is the opinion of the committee?

      Mr PREDA (Romania)* – Against, by a substantial majority.

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

      The vote is open.

      Amendment 3 is rejected.

      We proceed with Amendment 20. I call Mr Hunko to support Amendment 20.

      Mr HUNKO (Germany)* – This is about the Minsk agreement again. I do not think that there is any need to name the Russian Federation again here, so I am in favour of deleting that last phrase, especially because Russia is not a direct party to the Minsk agreement.

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

      Mr SOBOLEV (Ukraine) – Dear colleagues, I think that the co-rapporteurs have found the right way in order to show that every side had to fulfill this agreement. We know that we had a long negotiation, and after the declaration of the Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation the agreement was not fulfilled. I think that we need to support the co-rapporteurs and vote against this amendment.

      The PRESIDENT – What is the opinion of the committee?

      Mr PREDA (Romania)* – Against, by a substantial majority.

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

      The vote is open.

      Amendment 20 is rejected.

      We now proceed with Amendment 5, which is, in the draft resolution, paragraph 5.3, replace the words “encourages the authorities to ensure that all recommendations are reflected in the law to be adopted by the Verkhovna Rada, in order to ensure its full compatibility with Council of Europe standards in this field” with the following words: “welcomes the adoption by the Verkhovna Rada of this law, which reflects the recommendations of the Council of Europe and is compatible with its standards in this field”.

      An oral sub-amendment has been proposed. I call Mr Ariev to support Amendment 5.

      Mr ARIEV (Ukraine) – Dear colleagues, the draft report was written before the parliament of Ukraine voted for the High Council of Justice legislation. My amendment reflects the reality because this legislation is already adopted by the Ukrainian parliament, so the situation is done.

      The PRESIDENT – I have been informed that one of the co-rapporteurs wishes to propose an oral sub-amendment on behalf of the Monitoring Committee. It would add the sentence: “The Assembly asks the authorities to seek a Venice Commission opinion on the adopted law and implement any recommendations contained in that opinion.”

      In my opinion, the oral sub-amendment is in order under our rules. However, do 10 or more members object to the oral sub-amendment being debated? That is not the case.

      I call Mr Xuclà to support the oral sub-amendment.

      Mr XUCLÀ (Spain)* – Mr Ariev has done a great deal of work to help us because, indeed, when we drafted the report, this law on the High Council of Justice had not been adopted. We put forward this oral sub-amendment to point out that the Assembly calls upon the Ukrainian authorities to follow the recommendations of the Venice Commission for the full implementation of the reform of the judiciary. Since this involves close co-operation between the Ukrainian authorities and the Venice Commission, this is a time to recall the advisability of continuing this co-operation and implementing reform.

      The PRESIDENT – What is the opinion of Mr Ariev on the oral sub-amendment?

      Mr ARIEV (Ukraine) – Dear colleagues, I think that the oral sub-amendment is not necessary, because the workings of the Venice Commission and our parliament are moving in a parallel way. A special decision of the Venice Commission is not needed because we are working together. As I said before, the conclusions were written while the law was under preparation.

      The PRESIDENT – What is the opinion of the committee?

      Mr PREDA (Romania)* – In favour, by a substantial majority.

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

      The vote is open.

      The oral sub-amendment is adopted.

      We will now consider the main amendment, as amended. Does anyone wish to speak against the amendment, as amended? That is not the case.

      What is the opinion of the Monitoring Committee on the amendment, as amended?

      Mr PREDA (Romania)* – In favour, by a substantial majority.

      The PRESIDENT – I shall now put Amendment 5, as amended, to the vote.

      The vote is open.

      Amendment 5, as amended, is adopted.

      We come to Amendment 21, which is, in the draft resolution, after paragraph 5.3, to insert the following paragraph: "calls for an investigation of the targeted killings at the Maidan protests in February 2014, the massacre in the union building in Odessa on 2 May 2014 and the murders of many political figures.".

      I call Mr Hunko to support the amendment.

      Mr HUNKO (Germany)* – The amendment aims to seek clarification on the shootings at Maidan and the massacre in Odessa in May 2014. Secretary General Jagland set up an investigation group that was critical of the local investigations, so it would be sensible to go back to the issue and seek clarification.

      The PRESIDENT – I have been informed that one of the co-rapporteurs wishes to propose an oral sub-amendment on behalf of the Monitoring Committee. It would add the following text: “The Assembly welcomes the progress in the investigations, and reiterates its call to the authorities to fully investigate the violence and fatalities during the Euromaidan protests as well as the events in and around the Trade Union Building in Odessa in line with the recommendations of the International Advisory Panel of the Council of Europe.”

      In my opinion, the oral sub-amendment is in order under our rules. However, do 10 or more members object to the oral sub-amendment being debated? That is not the case.

      I therefore call the co-rapporteur to support the oral sub-amendment.

      Mr XUCLÀ (Spain)* – The report is on the situation in Ukraine. Obviously, we need to address events in the past, including the violence and fatalities during the Euromaidan protests and the other events around the Trade Union Building in Odessa. This has also been covered by the International Advisory Panel on Ukraine under the auspices of the Secretary General of the Council of Europe, and we also need to consider the progress made in the investigations.

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

      Mr GONCHARENKO (Ukraine) – Colleagues, I am against the word “massacre”, which you can see in the amendment. I am from Odessa and witnessed these events. We cannot call what happened a massacre. The events were terrible, but they were not prepared in order to kill people. There was a fire in the building. The word is not correct, so you should not support the amendment.

      What is the opinion of Mr Hunko?

      Mr HUNKO (Germany)* – I think there has been a misunderstanding. Mr Xuclà has tabled a sub-amendment, which I support, and the word “massacre” no longer appears in the amendment.

      The PRESIDENT – Are you satisfied with this qualification, Mr Xuclà?

      Mr XUCLÀ (Spain)* – We are talking about the sub-amendment, which does not contain the word “massacre”. We need to go stage by stage and we must agree the sub-amendment before we discuss the amendment.

      Mr GONCHARENKO (Ukraine) – In that case, I accept.

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

      The vote is open.

      The oral sub-amendment is adopted.

      We will now consider the main amendment, as amended.

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

      What is the opinion of the committee?

      Mr PREDA (Romania)* – Substantially in favour.

      The PRESIDENT – I shall now put Amendment 21, as amended, to the vote.

      The vote is open.

      Amendment 21, as amended, is adopted.

      We come to Amendment 22, which is, in the draft resolution, at the end of paragraph 7, to insert the following words: "Likewise the Assembly calls for the amendment of the "law on the condemnation of the communist and national socialist (Nazi) regimes and prohibition of propaganda of their symbols" along the lines of the opinion of the Venice Commission and for the annulment of the liquidation of the Communist Party."

      I call Mr Hunko to support the amendment. You have 30 seconds.

      Mr HUNKO (Germany)* – The amendment is about the so-called decommunisation law. The Venice Commission issued an opinion on the subject that was partly very critical of the law. I think we should be reminded of that in the report and should call for the Venice Commission’s opinion to be implemented. We should also ask for the lifting of the ban on the Communist Party, which was apparently to be banned as the basis of the whole law.

      The PRESIDENT – I have been informed that one of the co-rapporteurs wishes to propose an oral sub-amendment on behalf of the Monitoring Committee. It would delete the following words: “and for the annulment of the liquidation of the Communist Party”.

      In my opinion, the oral sub-amendment is in order under our rules. However, do 10 or more members object to the oral sub-amendment being debated? Yes. As I understand it, that means that the oral sub-amendment cannot be considered.

      We will now consider the main amendment.

      Does anyone wish to speak against the amendment? I call Mr Sobolev.

      Mr SOBOLEV (Ukraine) – It is not true that we have prohibited the Communist Party. It participated in our previous elections, only two years ago, but it did not pass the barrier. We do not have a law for decommunisation; we have a law that prohibits totalitarian symbols, including Nazi symbols. It will mean that we will not allow Nazi symbols on Ukrainian territory. All countries that were part of the communist regime have that law.

      The PRESIDENT – What is the opinion of the committee?

      Mr PREDA (Romania)* – Against, with a substantial majority.

      The PRESIDENT – I shall now put Amendment 22 to the vote.

      The vote is open.

      Amendment 22 is rejected.

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

      Mr HUNKO (Germany)* – This amendment is about corruption, which was one of the subjects of our debate. My proposal describes corruption and the oligarchic structures in Ukraine. It is more damning than the rapporteur’s proposal. Because of the development in Ukraine, this more critical view makes sense.

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

      What is the opinion of the committee?

      Mr PREDA (Romania)* – Against, by a substantial majority.

      The PRESIDENT – The vote is open.

      Amendment 23 is rejected.

      I have received an oral amendment from the Monitoring Committee, which is as follows: “To replace the text of Amendment 7 with the following: ‘In the draft resolution, paragraph 9, first sentence, to delete ‘regional’ in the original text.’”

      If Oral Amendment 4 is accepted, Amendment 7 will fall. The President may accept an oral amendment on the grounds of promoting clarity, accuracy or conciliation and if there is not opposition from 10 or more members to it being debated.

      In my opinion, the oral amendment meets the criteria of Rule 34.7.a. Is there any opposition to the oral amendment being debated? That is not the case.

      I therefore call one of the co-rapporteurs of the Monitoring Committee to support Oral Amendment 4. You have 30 seconds.

      Mr XUCLÀ (Spain)* – Paragraph 9 is dedicated to the electoral system and electoral reform in Ukraine, which is of key importance. We each have our own opinions about what the best electoral system for Ukraine would be. We recommend that we go into greater depth with regard to the issue of decentralisation. For that reason, we would like the word “regional” to be deleted.

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

      What is the opinion of the committee?

      Mr PREDA (Romania)* – In favour, by a substantial majority.

      The PRESIDENT – I shall now put Oral Amendment 4 to the vote.

      The vote is open.

      Oral amendment 4 is adopted.

      We come to Amendment 15. I call Mr Németh to support the amendment. You have 30 seconds.

      Mr NÉMETH (Turkey) – The amendment would insert the words: “The Assembly expresses its concerns that some projects aim at narrowing the current rights of national minorities”. We have tabled an oral amendment to the amendment, to omit the words in brackets following that sentence, because it is obvious that we mean the draft law on State language and the draft law on education.

      The PRESIDENT – I have been informed that one of the co-rapporteurs wishes to propose an oral sub-amendment, on behalf of the Monitoring Committee, which is, in Amendment 15, to delete “for example, the draft Law on State Language or the draft Law on Education”.

      In my opinion, the oral sub-amendment is in order under our rules. However, do 10 or more members object to the oral sub-amendment being debated? That is not the case.

      I therefore call the co-rapporteur to support the oral sub-amendment.

      Mr XUCLÀ (Spain)* – We are very much in favour of the change suggested by Mr Németh. We simply added what is in brackets because these precise pieces of legislation are relevant here, but they are not a substantial element.

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

      What is the opinion of Mr Németh?

      Mr NÉMETH (Turkey) – I support it.

      The PRESIDENT – What is the opinion of the committee?

      Mr PREDA (Romania)* – In favour, by a substantial majority.

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

      The vote is open.

      The oral sub-amendment is adopted.

      We will now consider the main amendment, as amended.

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

      What is the opinion of the Monitoring Committee?

      Mr PREDA (Romania)* – In favour, by a substantial majority.

      The PRESIDENT – I shall now put Amendment 15, as amended, to the vote.

      The vote is open.

      Amendment 15, as amended, is adopted.

      We come to Amendment 16. I call Mr Németh to support the amendment.

      Mr NÉMETH (Turkey) – The amendment is about State language law. There are intentions to amend that law, which will definitely happen. In the process of amending State language law, we should expect that the level of protection of minority languages is maintained.

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

      What is the opinion of the committee?

      Mr PREDA (Romania)* – In favour, by a substantial majority.

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

      The vote is open.

      Amendment 16 is adopted.

      I understand that Mr Ariev wishes not to move Amendment 9.

      Mr ARIEV (Ukraine) – Yes.

      The PRESIDENT – Does anyone else wish to move the amendment?

      That is not the case.

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

      Mr ARIEV (Ukraine) – We expect that the Assembly will be willing to provide Ukraine with all assistance necessary to maintain human rights in the occupied territories.

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

      What is the opinion of the committee?

      Mr PREDA (Romania)* – In favour, by a substantial majority.

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

      The vote is open.

      Amendment 10 is adopted.

      We will now proceed to vote on the whole of the draft resolution contained in Document 14227, as amended. A simple majority is required.

      The vote is open.

      The draft resolution in Document 14227, as amended, is adopted, with 106 votes for, 11 against and 9 abstentions.

(Mr Németh, Vice-President of the Assembly, took the Chair in place of Mr Loucaides.)

2. Reinforcing social dialogue as an instrument for stability and decreasing social and economic inequalities

      The PRESIDENT – The next item of business this afternoon is the debate on the report titled “Reinforcing social dialogue as an instrument for stability and decreasing social and economic inequalities”, Document 14216, prepared by the rapporteur, Mr Ögmundur Jónasson. In his absence, Ms Stella Kyriakides will present the report on behalf of the Social Affairs, Health and Sustainable Development Committee.

      I propose that in order to finish by 8:00 p.m. we shall interrupt the list of speakers at about 7:20 p.m. to allow time for the reply and the vote. Is that agreed? It is agreed.

      I remind you that the time limit for speeches is three minutes. I call Ms Stella Kyriakides. You have 13 minutes in total, which you may divide between presentation of the report and reply to the debate.

      Ms KYRIAKIDES (Cyprus) – Thank you, Mr President. Dear members, I have the honour of presenting this report to you on behalf of my committee and our rapporteur, Mr Ögmundur Jónasson, who left the Assembly at the end of 2016, following the Icelandic elections. However, I know that he is listening to this debate, so I would like to greet him most warmly.

      The issue debated today is an important one but not an easy one, as the discussions in our committee and the numerous amendments presented to the text this week have shown. At stake is the social dialogue as one of the fundamental pillars of the European social model, and thus the dialogue between employers, workers and the State as a foundation of balanced economic processes in democratic societies. Our Committee’s main concerns in this context are as follows: that trade unions have lost significance – according to the OECD, the overall trade union density has declined by a quarter in the past 20 years, although levels of union density vary greatly across Europe, from 70% to 85% in Scandinavian countries, to 8% in France – that collective labour rights, including the right to strike, need protection against various trends and policies challenging them; and, finally, that trade unions need to act in a responsible and accountable manner, such as when, for example, they are acting as investors themselves.

      Trade unions have indeed been losing membership, bargaining power and political influence across Europe over past years, not least because of the economic crisis and the austerity programmes. In that context, collective bargaining has largely been decentralised towards the company level, and memorandums of understanding have imposed lower wage levels in many countries. Decreasing collective labour rights also contribute to democratic deficits, for example, when it comes to adopting social policy reforms. How does this relate to the increase in social and economic inequalities we are currently observing? The main determinants of the widening gap seem to be an increase in non-standard employment, persistent inequalities between women and men, and an unequal distribution of wealth in our societies.

      Against this background of decreasing collective bargaining powers and increasing inequalities, our committee calls upon the Assembly to recognise the need for a strong social dialogue, based on a healthy balance of power; for an open and trustful dialogue between social partners; and for full respect for international standards. By adopting the draft resolution, all parliamentarians here should call upon their governments and parliaments to ratify and fully implement the revised European social charter and its additional protocol providing for a system of collective complaints, and to bring national labour legislation in conformity with these standards; to promote collective bargaining coverage to ensure the stability of economic processes and a more equal income distribution; to reverse, where necessary, the measures that weakened the social dialogue and keep future limitations of collective bargaining and the right to strike to a strict minimum; to support and promote the idea of comparative assessments of relevant policies through the International Labour Organization monitoring mechanisms; and, finally, to promote close co-operation between social partners in designing modern labour market policies and institutions capable of adapting to socio-economic changes.

      Dear colleagues, I hope that I just convinced you that this text is an important step forward to protect democratic processes in the current economic situation. May I therefore invite you to support the draft resolution submitted by our committee and vote in favour?

      The PRESIDENT – Thank you, Ms Kyriakides. You have nine minutes remaining. In the debate I call first Sílvia Bonet, who will speak on behalf of the Socialist Group.

      Ms BONET (Andorra, Spokesperson for the Socialist Group)* – First, let me thank Mr Jónasson for his important work in this report. I also wish to thank the Chairperson of the Committee on Social Affairs, Health and Sustainable Development for her presentation of this report.

      Let me explain what the Socialist Group’s vision of this report is. From the beginning of the 20th century, major progress has been achieved in the field of social rights, mostly because workers started to organise themselves in order to obtain better working conditions. This social progress was very difficult to achieve, but it is being lost fast. The social dialogue is important in this regard, and trade unions of course play a major role in collective bargaining in order to secure better working conditions, better pay conditions, a better and more rational organisation of the working day and better labour legislation. We can therefore all conclude that trade unions are necessary, but over the past years they have not been functioning as they should, as the report explains in great detail. That weakens participation in the bargaining process, in which they are sometimes even absent.

      Among the many issues here, we can say that unions have not always been able to defend the rights of all workers. Many of them, for example independent workers and certain categories of staff, such as cleaning staff, are not covered by the trade unions. Therefore the role of trade unions has weakened considerably, and, as the report says, we need to give them a more prominent role again. When labour reform is taking place, we must look at the role of trade unions and collective bargaining in terms of the general configuration we have today with the economic crisis.

      Bargaining processes should bring about changes that should in turn provide for better working conditions and ensure fairer labour markets to promote modern and participatory processes so that we can achieve better strategies, new forms of management and possibilities for internal reinforcement. Trade unions need to return to their role of social interlocutors. Over the past 10 years, the policies that have been followed in most countries have strengthened companies, with more flexibility of the labour market and working conditions. It is easier to dismiss workers, and jobs are increasingly fragile. In this situation, trade unions have to be able to defend the rights of all workers. Trade unions also have an important role in fighting poverty. Some workers today are unable to get out of poverty or to obtain social benefits, and some migrants and refugees work in conditions of modern slavery.

      The PRESIDENT – I remind speakers that the time limit is three minutes. I call Ms Günay.

      Ms GÜNAY (Turkey, Spokesperson for the European Conservatives Group) – I thank the rapporteur, Mr Jónasson, for preparing a report on the changing function of labour market institutions during globalisation and the global economic crisis of 2008 and onwards. Global economic inequality is a reality with income inequality, consumption inequality and wealth inequality creating economic, societal, technological, environmental and geopolitical risks all over the world. We face a new economic and social order that we call the “new normal”, but nobody knows what the new normal is. Social dialogue is an important pillar in establishing the new global order, and shrinking the economic and social gap.

      I will highlight three concerns and share one comment. First, business models are changing. Internet-based companies with few employers have appeared. Uber has become the largest transportation company in the world. Airbnb has become the largest and most widespread hotel network in the world, despite the fact that the company has no physical building. Alibaba has the largest online network. All those examples show us that 150 years of traditional models and approaches are no longer valid, and we need new models in labour markets.

      Secondly, too many trade unions have failed to become modern organisations, but have instead remained corporatist and are perceived as purely defending a very narrow self-interest. Therefore, trade unions must be modernised in accordance with recent business developments. Unions must represent and respect the interests of wider societal groups.

      Thirdly, the decision to strike should be very last resort in all circumstances, but it too often appears to be the first resort. It should be non-violent and non-disruptive. The disruptive character of strikes should be strictly limited to the sector in which they aim to achieve change. Strikes should not have a disruptive effect on the lives of members of the public who are not part of the industrial dispute. In addition, the decision to strike must result from a secret ballot to show that the decision is taken in a democratic and totally free environment. We respect that the right to work is as important as the right to strike, so trade unions should be sensitive to employees who want to work.

      Finally, I remind everyone that trade unions are not yet incorporated in some member States of the Council of Europe, and therefore operate in the twilight zone of the law. Those member States should reform their legislation in accordance with the Council of Europe’s legislation for harmonisation.

      Mr GRIN (Switzerland, Spokesperson for the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe)* – I thank the Chair of the Committee on Social Affairs, Health and Sustainable Development for presenting the report.

      As far as ALDE is concerned, social dialogue is of paramount importance as an instrument of stability and as an instrument to reduce social and economic inequalities. If we want to have an efficient and effective dialogue, it is important to strike a proper balance between the economic circles and trade unions. The report of our colleague, Mr Jónasson, seeks to attach too much importance to the unions and suggests strengthening the labour law to some extent.

      In a dynamic economy, workers’ rights must be preserved. In some countries, they even need to be improved. I agree with that, but the framework conditions in which companies develop also have great importance for the whole economy. The right to strike, for instance, can have a destabilising effect on companies and public authorities if its use is not carefully thought through and if it is used systematically whenever there is a slight difference of opinion. Most economies in Europe are suffering from the effects of the current economic and financial crisis. If we wish to restore a certain degree of prosperity, both companies and workers need to be willing to make some concessions to guarantee jobs and tackle unemployment.

      In my country, Switzerland, a large number of economic branches are governed by collective bargaining agreements that are drafted following a constructive dialogue between employers, unions or others, and the heads of the economic branches concerned. That works very well provided that a certain degree of administrative flexibility is maintained between the regions, and provided that a balance is struck between the respective rights. Any unilateral coercive measure or reciprocal threats simply weaken social dialogue and create a destabilising effect on the economic branch concerned. Similarly, overly rigid and overly binding legislation will deter employment, and may dissuade certain investors and weaken the country’s economy. If an economy is strong, it will create and keep jobs, and workers will benefit.

      For proper economic workings, it is important for a country to strengthen social dialogue; have proper security of law; have a labour law with some degree of flexibility; and have a proper balance between the employers’ federations and the unions. More important than all that is the importance of maintaining or creating some degree of administrative flexibility and of avoiding, as far as possible, the creation of overly rigid legislative measures. It is important for there to be proper trust between both sides of industry. That is a real guarantee of success. ALDE will support all amendments with the aims expressed in my comments.

      Mr LOUCAIDES (Cyprus, Spokesperson for the Group of the Unified European Left) – The economic crisis highlighted, inter alia, two negative developments in relation to the so-called European social model. On one hand, as a result of the economic crisis, the welfare state was undermined, thereby worsening explosive inequalities and extreme poverty. On the other hand, social dialogue was bypassed and practically dismissed, and institutionalised collective bargaining continues to be undermined. The excellent report before us illustrates the fact that when social dialogue is not respected and when there is a lack of trade union organisation, collective bargaining and contracts, working people see their wages and rights curbed.

      It is well known that the memoranda imposed on several European countries were enforced without the prior consent of the working people, who actually took bank debt and fiscal deficits on their shoulders. In some cases, austerity measures were imposed without previously securing parliamentary majorities and respecting democratic principles. Laws were imposed by decrees, while so-called technocratic governments were appointed in countries such as Greece and Italy, lacking popular legitimacy and accountability. Furthermore, major trade agreements such as the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership and the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement were introduced without prior consultation with labour movements or social and environmental organisations. Even more serious are the systematic efforts to demonise trade unions and collective action carried out by working people. Efforts to criminalise strikes and working people’s struggles continue in Europe under the guise of so-called strike regulation.

      The governments of the Council of Europe member States must respect internationally guaranteed workers’ rights and institutionalise social dialogue in labour relations. Before decisions are taken and legislation is enacted, working people, who are indeed the driving force of our economies and societies, must be listened to. We are under no illusion about how unequal the dialogue between trade unions and the representatives of big business is. It is indicative that 30 000 lobbyists are active in Brussels, promoting the interests of big businesses in policy areas such as employment, consumer protection and the taxation of multinationals. Lobbying agencies have at their disposal armies of personnel with ties to all the major decision makers in Brussels so they can influence policies and decisions.

      Social dialogue is a tool that working people can use to assert their demands and aspirations. The success of social dialogue and the realisation of trade union demands depend primarily on the level of working people’s organisation, their critical mass and the effectiveness of their struggles.

      Mr SCHNEIDER (France, Spokesperson for the Group of the European People’s Party)* – When implemented properly, social dialogue enables people to participate effectively in the democratic process. It is the guarantee of social peace and a factor in a society’s economic performance. Trade unions play a crucial role in that process, but they have lost their representative strength in many countries in Europe, including France, which has caused problems. As we have just heard, fewer than 10% of workers in France are members of a trade union, and more than 90% are covered by a sectoral or workplace agreement. Nevertheless, trade unions are still major players in social dialogue. In France, the foundations of social democracy stand on the parity principle – in other words, co-operation between social partners.

      Point 4 of the draft resolution is cardinal. Responsibly and confidence are essential elements of constructive social dialogue, but trade unions should be more answerable to workers to enable them to express themselves and let their voices be heard in society. For that to happen, unions need to reinvent themselves, respond better to workers’ expectations and act more effectively when faced with the challenges of globalisation in society.

      In 2016, the Economic, Social and Environmental Council of France stressed the need to develop a culture of social dialogue and to develop our methods, including by providing training for all those who need to learn how to negotiate. In short, it highlighted all the important aspects of that interaction. It is in the interests of trade unions to change, because if we do not have true constructive dialogue, governments will step in unilaterally, which will impoverish social dialogue. Trade unions and employers’ organisations are best placed to find appropriate solutions.

      As the rapporteur rightly stressed, social dialogue is a lever for improving enterprises’ performance and is necessary for long-term economic stability. A culture of social dialogue requires better communication between the actors about issues and choices, which means that trade unions must make better use of new tools of communication. In northern Europe, where social dialogue works well, society is aware of that and supports it. Educating the young about how social democracy functions, perhaps by offering internships in companies, would be a step in the right direction. In France, we have a day of defence and citizenship. That, too, would be a good idea. I invite all colleagues to support the report and vote for it.

      The PRESIDENT – Thank you, Mr Schneider.

      Ms Kyriakides, do you wish to respond at this stage? In that case we will proceed to the list of speakers.

      Ms MERGEN (Luxembourg)* – On behalf of our delegation, I thank Mr Jónasson for his well-researched, clear and, most importantly, balanced report. It deals with a complex, multifaceted subject. We regret that he was not able to present it himself, but we are grateful to Ms Kyriakides for doing so in his stead. He describes clearly how trade unions have evolved in the face of new forms of employment, the challenges posed by globalisation and the economic crises of the recent past.

      Austerity measures have reduced unions’ field of action. Collective bargaining has become decentralised and piecemeal, and a large number of sectors are no longer covered by collective bargaining agreements. A number of countries have taken advantage of the economic crises to limit union rights by introducing legislative measures that have weakened the union movement. Unions have also been weakened by positive legislation that introduces employment protections such as a guaranteed minimum wage or measures for combating discrimination against employees. According to some employers, such measures make unions superfluous.

      The rapporteur implies that unions have failed to react swiftly enough, given that the impact of some developments on the labour markets could have been predicted. He calls on the unions to fight to restore workers’ trust, to be innovative and forward-looking, and to be responsible economic players.

      In my country, since the end of the 1990s unions have decided no longer to carry out political actions, but they are active in creating employment initiatives. Their aim is to enable jobseekers – in particular, young people who have been out of work for a long time – to get a foothold in the market and to prepare them for accessing the labour market. Jobseekers are paid a wage and given a fixed-term contract of employment, with the structure of working times and training. One of the initial difficulties was that small and medium-sized enterprises feared the competition, which is funded by public subsidies, but the initiatives limited their field of actions. Those companies initially had some financial problems, but a new law will clarify the conditions for accessing and managing public funding. The initiatives have proved to be very successful and have made those individuals employable in the main labour market.

      Union presence varies depending on the economic sector. We have a longstanding tradition of social dialogue, and we subscribe to the view that social gains in Europe are the source and guarantee of economic wellbeing in the medium and long term.

      Ms RODRÍGUEZ RAMOS (Spain)* – I, too, thank the rapporteur for his work. We should all vote in favour of the report.

      The difficult economic crisis that we experienced broadened the inequality gap in all European countries. The OECD report tells us that, due to the crisis, the top 20% wealthiest people in the population are wealthier today, whereas the bottom 20% are poorer. There has been a clear transfer of wealth, and the poor are becoming poorer. We seem to be gradually getting out of the crisis – growth seems to be back and unemployment is dropping – but poverty is nevertheless increasing.

      In Europe, we now unfortunately have what we call poor workers. They are poor because the jobs we are creating today are much worse than those that were destroyed by the crisis. There has been a serious deterioration in workers’ protections. Labour reforms, such as the one that has been applied in my country, have increased the power of industry and companies, which can unilaterally change working and pay conditions.

      We have made the workers far more vulnerable. Their working conditions have also deteriorated and their pay has gone down. It is very important to establish the link between inequality and the protection of workers and their organisations – the unions. From that point of view, it is important that our Assembly makes a plea to all member States to reform their labour legislation, which has made workers so much more vulnerable.

      We also need to strengthen basic rights for trade unions involved in collective bargaining. Around the table there needs to be a balance of fair representation between representatives of the workers and management, along with the right to strike. It is important for all member States to sign up to the European social charter, as well as its additional protocol. We also need to recall all the resolutions of the International Labour Organization and the judgments handed down by our Court, particularly on collective bargaining.

      Mr REISS (France)* – Social dialogue should be self-evident: it should go without saying. It is the guarantee of a more inclusive society and of greater economic effectiveness. The French company Michelin is a good example of this. It embarked successfully on dialogue with its workers, factory by factory in France, to improve productivity. In return, it guaranteed increased investment and no forced redundancies. As a Deputy from Alsace, I would add that comparing France and Germany highlights the issue of efficiency.

      As our rapporteur says, trade union rights should be protected. If they are protected, then trade unions have to act more responsibly. There is a close link between the number of members of a trade union and a sense of responsibility. André Schneider mentioned that in France the average number of workers who are members of a trade union is less than 8%. It is about 18% in Germany, 85% in Iceland, 27% in Austria and 17% in the OECD as a whole. A weak trade union feels forced to push for irresponsible demands to compensate for its lack of representativeness. France offers a clear example of this state of affairs. A trade union with a large number of members can undertake serious and responsible dialogue. The legitimacy that stems from having so many members means it can negotiation. It can also give and take, offering concessions if necessary. It is therefore important that we have a clear definition to establish whether a trade union is considered representative and whether it has the mandate for this recognition.

      Effective social dialogue presupposes that the government, workers and employers are all supportive interested parties. In Germany, this started in the 19th century because of Chancellor Bismarck. In other countries, a confrontational social relations model became the norm. The adoption of social laws by procedures that drastically limit the discussion, as happened in France recently, is the wrong way to try to modernise social dialogue. This is a clear example of what we should not do. How can we modernise social dialogue if we are strangling it at birth? On the contrary, it is necessary to give as much space as possible to the social actors, and to decentralise as far as possible all discussions between social partners.

      Real and respectful social dialogue is absolutely indispensable. As our rapporteur said, we have big challenges to face: competition from countries with cheap labour – what is often called the “Uber-isation” of the economy – and the automation, or robotisation, of the process of production.

      The PRESIDENT – Mr Geraint Davies is not in his place. The next speaker is Mr Bildarratz. He is not here either. The next speaker is Mr García Hernández. My friend, you have the floor.

      Mr GARCÍA HERNÁNDEZ (Spain)* – Good evening, President.

      I congratulate you all on this exercise – a literary exercise, if you like. First, we all share the belief that unions are absolutely necessary. They are fundamental to a complex society. However, we need better unions. Secondly, please allow me a joke. Let me remind you of the words of Oscar Wilde. When somebody speaks to me about time, I have the feeling that they want to speak about something else – they want to distract me. So when the rapporteur speaks about reinforcing social dialogue and economic inequalities he is not really speaking about that. Instead, we are speaking about obsolete unions with their obsolete responses to existing problems. If we want to truly offer something good to society – that is what we want to come out of this debate – we do not want to provide the same recipe.

      In all member States, trade union realities do not allow for harmonisation. Trade unions do not even play the proper role they are supposed to play, either in terms of social dialogue or the development of the economy. We have to respond to different economic realities: training, participation of women in the labour market and so on. There are numerous issues to address, but instead we are listening to the same song over and over again: that austerity has led to inequality and inequality has led to poverty. Numerous situations have to be taken into account, including the fact that there are no jobs. When governments try to confront the crisis – which is a real situation causing a terrible strain on our societies and our workers – the solutions they find are creating unemployment. We have to save the situation, so that people can get jobs, by introducing new elements and new policies to the debate.

      We are in a period of transition. We do not want to trick or deceive people with the recipes we provide. Imagine a politician in 1944 saying to his society, “This society is forever.” No, it is not forever. We have to change. Politicians, trade union bosses, trade union members and everybody in society has to understand that we are in a period of transition. That is why I do not want to hear, yet again, these obsolete responses to the problems we have to confront.

      Ms DE SUTTER (Belgium) – This report on reinforcing social dialogue is not just any report; it is a crucial report on how we see the future of Europe.

      The threat posed by neoliberals across Europe who advocate a reduced role – or no role at all – for trade unions and employers’ associations can and must be opposed. That is possible. We can oppose this threat by explaining its causes, like Mr Jónasson has done in his excellent report.

      One reason why people are no longer satisfied with trade unions and employers’ associations in Europe is that Europe has lost its social face. The European Union has not created social policies that are strong enough. Instead, it has been very active on and sensitive to market liberalisation. I prefer a society that combines sustainable economic growth with ever-improving living and working conditions. That implies full employment, good quality jobs, equal opportunities, social protection for all, social inclusion and involving citizens in decision making.

      That is exactly what Europe should do. That is the common basis for the European social model. Even if nation States are in a key position for the creation of a social Europe, Europe can do more. In addition to strong national policies, more solidarity among European Union member States is needed if we wish to develop Europe as an area of social cohesion. Moreover, cross-border competition requires EU-wide collective agreements. Regulating cross-border competition enables trade unions to innovate, since regulation is the mother of innovation.

      We tend to believe that globalisation and a social Europe are not compatible, but that is not true. Globalisation does not require us to give up on the European social model, which can be seen instead as an advantage in international competition. Even welfare states have to be based on solidarity and strong social cohesion. Market economy, social protection, redistribution of funds and good-quality services that are available to all form the basis of the European social model and will continue to do so.

      Finally, I stress paragraph 5.3 of the resolution and the importance of re-establishing collective rights where they have been weakened, including the right to strike. The rapporteur correctly mentions that these collective rights are essential.

      Let us not forget that this is not a matter of left or right, or of being progressive or conservative; it is a matter of safeguarding the future of Europe. Let us not forget that decreasing inequality is an asset to European market economies; it is a matter of safeguarding the European economy. Let us not forget the demands for a more social Europe – a more socially responsible Europe that ensures the rights and well-being of its workers. It is a matter of social justice. Let us vote in favour of this very intelligent report.

      (Sir Roger Gale, Vice-President of the Assembly, took the Chair in place of Mr Németh).

      Ms ZIMMERMANN (France)* – The rapporteur has rightly pointed out that social dialogue is an instrument for improving social democracy. However, women are the first victims of social and economic inequalities. The persistent wage gap, the difficulty in reconciling professional and private life, inequality in career advancement within companies and enforced part-time work are all issues that can be addressed by collective bargaining, yet in a number of countries, including France, labour equality does not seem to be a priority in social dialogue.

      Let me give you an example from my country. A change in the law made it compulsory to include in collective bargaining issues related to gender equality at work. Most companies are focusing on the same indicators: pay, which is a compulsory criterion, vocational training and the balance between professional and family responsibilities. Qualification, classification and working conditions are very rarely chosen as indicators. Very often, plans and agreements are no more than wishful thinking, because concrete initiatives are few and far between. Furthermore, an efficient tool that we used to have – the comparative situation report – has been scrapped.

      Another important point relates to the role that women play in companies and in social dialogue itself. Women are not sufficiently represented in companies’ staff representative bodies, at departmental or national level or among the executive officials of union organisations. Women are aware of the role of unions and more and more are signing up as members, but they are in a minority in terms of influence and we should seek to remedy that. If unions want to change for the better, it is important that they take much better account of jobholders. That aspect may help to explain the lack of representativeness, despite the fact that women’s participation in economic life has increased.

      It is striking that the union organisations that have the most women representatives at the head of them are in Scandinavian countries, which are the most advanced with respect to women’s rights. A constructive social dialogue will properly exist only if we give women the means to defend their economic and social rights; only if that condition is met can we fully talk about social democracy.

      Ms HUOVINEN (Finland) – Dear colleagues, I thank and congratulate the rapporteur, Mr Jónasson, on his very interesting report. Many of the challenges described in it are common to us all. In Nordic countries, trade unions have traditionally played a crucial role in many social reforms over the last centuries. Unfortunately, this traditional and fruitful form of finding agreements has also been challenged in Nordic countries in recent years.

      My country, Finland, celebrates its 100 years of independence this year. People often ask how a poor, war-torn, small-country on the periphery of Europe managed to become one of the model countries for equality, education and well-being. The road has not been easy. It would not have been possible without the wise realisation that a small nation needs the input of all its citizens into its construction. We could not and cannot afford to sideline anyone because of sex, social status or political views. I also believe that free, high-quality education for all has been the key element of our positive development.

      As is well described in the report, the revolution of work, digitisation and new forms of employment contracts are challenging the way we understand work. In such a situation, it is impossible to get results without trust between the parties. We have said several times in this very forum that, in the end, a more even income distribution within our countries at European and global levels will benefit everyone the most. Without a job, an income or hope, it is difficult for people to look positively at their own or their family’s future. We must therefore make sure that everyone has the opportunity to participate in the construction not only of their own future but of the future of their country and their continent. There is clear evidence for that in the International Labour Organization report, which states that a lower level of union coverage weakens the chances of more equal wage distribution.

      The scope of Mr Jónasson’s report does not extend to migration, but I would still like to ask what impact new Europeans, asylum seekers and migrants have on the issues addressed in it. Are legislators, employers and unions prepared to build equal opportunities in European working life for the new builders of Europe?

      Mr KARLSSON (Sweden) – I congratulate Mr Jónasson on his report on a very important subject. Its conclusions are highly relevant in many ways. It states: “The social dialogue…has been negatively affected by a number of (more or less) recent trends, such as globalisation, new forms of employment, pressure on employment conditions and a changed functioning of labour market institutions.” That is important; it gives a clear indication of how to understand the change in the political landscape. However, in finding a path to a better tomorrow and a more inclusive society, it is important that we do not discard something valuable or useful in the process of removing the bad. We must stop ourselves from throwing out the baby with the bathwater or, worse still, from running the risk of throwing out the baby and keeping the bathwater.

      Globalisation has generally been a positive force for development and prosperity. In recent decades, economic globalisation has created wealth and contributed to a decrease in poverty for several hundred million people. However, in the era of globalisation there have also been many losers: people left behind who have not shared in the fruits of success.

      Requirements for flexibility without social safety nets, and financial turmoil, increase uncertainty and make people vulnerable. From the soil of inequality emerge unrest and insecurity, which feed movements of growing populism. It is of course a big challenge to create socially inclusive societies, but we must be sure that globalisation brings big opportunities, with the benefits distributed to everyone.

      Peace, democracy, respect for human rights and economic development are fundamental, just as free trade unions and trade union rights are important for global justice. The free market is a bad lord but a noble servant. Trade, migration, technological developments and the movement of people bring countries closer together, and problems and solutions become even more common. The IMF and the OECD have pointed out that there is a significant relationship between a more balanced distribution of income and growth and countries with a strong social dialogue. Such countries are characterised by better economic performance.

      Free and fair trade combined with a responsibility to support international trade union work and to stand up for human rights and freedoms in an increasingly globalised labour market is key to just and successful development. Let us therefore speak about a new global agreement between labour, capital and society. We can then look forward to a brighter and better future for all of us, not only some of us.

      Ms KERESTECİOĞLU DEMIR (Turkey) – I point out how timely the rapporteur Mr Jónasson’s work has been. It has taken a long time for alarm bells to ring on deteriorating trade union rights in Europe as well as on re-evaluating social dialogue. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that “Everyone shall have…the right to form and join trade unions” for the protection of her interests. The ILO Convention adds that “freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining is a reflection of human dignity.”

      Those articles are essential for Europe, where trade unions are involved in high-level social dialogue, yet the fact is that those basic rights are under attack from governments and employers in many countries, including in the United Kingdom, Belgium, France, Italy and Spain. Trade unionists have been assaulted and imprisoned and social dialogue has been abandoned, with new labour laws. The global rights index of the International Trade Union Confederation reflects a clear erosion of institutions in Europe. According to the index, several governments have announced significant changes to labour laws that would violate international standards without consulting trade unions. Furthermore, the increased importance given to security has been used as justification to limit fundamental rights, particularly in Turkey but also in western European countries.

      Social dialogue instruments and labour courts were always non-functional in Turkey. The right to strike is strictly limited, as is freedom of association, including trade union affiliation. Even worse, the government, which has extended the state of emergency for a third period and tried to run the country with decree laws, is banning any kind of trade union activities. Lately, rallies by KESK – the Confederation of Public Employees’ Trade Unions – for the reinstatement of dismissed employees were banned, with police interventions. Almost none of the social dialogue mechanisms are working properly. For instance, the so-called Minimum Wage Determination Committee recently finalised its annual work and set a minimum wage that is below the hunger limit, despite the objections of workers’ delegates.

      Finally, I recall the petition of social rights from the European Trade Union Confederation. The group leaders of the European Parliament have already signed the pledge. I strongly encourage colleagues in the Chamber to promote that campaign for decent conditions and fairer economies.

      Ms CHRISTOFFERSEN (Norway) – The importance of Mr Jónasson’s report cannot be emphasised strongly enough. The tone is set in its title. Our welfare societies, either long-lasting or upcoming, are threatened by some international trends linked to globalisation. New forms of employment occur, as in emerging platform economies. We see growth of temporary work, provision of personnel across borders, social dumping, moonlighting and labour crime. The lack of international regulations is obvious. At the end of the day, that will challenge our way of living and stability throughout Europe.

      Europe faces Brexit. Undoubtedly, the causes behind that are complex, but the feelings among people of insecurity and the lack of trust in the European institutions’ ability to cope with the economic crisis and the refugee situation is obvious. In Norway, we are preparing for parliamentary elections in September, and the issues raised in the report go straight to the core of the topics that will be debated: the highest level of unemployment in 20 years, especially among young people; decent work; the fight against social dumping; labour crime; weakened labour rights; and the struggle for welfare.

      Ever since 1935, the history of the Norwegian welfare society has been closely linked to the formalisation of social dialogue. At that time, we experienced 20 different governments in 15 years, there was a high level of conflict in working life and poverty was widespread. A new political alliance between workers and farmers emerged. At the same time, the trade union and the employers federation on their own signed a general agreement that established rules for predictable resolutions of working life conflicts, including strikes. From 1935 onwards, our country has been characterised by tripartite co-operation, bringing trade unions, employers’ organisations and the government together in securing predictability and growing welfare.

      Declining membership in trade unions due to structural changes in the private sector is worrying. Recently, EU institutions have been undermining some of our established labour rights. If nothing is done to counteract those trends, the social dialogue – and, thus, our welfare society – will be threatened. I therefore strongly urge the Assembly to adopt the report and our member States to live up to the recommendations in the draft resolution, and to reject the proposed amendments, which would destroy it.

      The PRESIDENT – Thank you. As Mr Sabella is not here, I call Ms Buliga.

      Ms BULIGA (Republic of Moldova)* – I express my gratitude to the rapporteur, Mr Jónasson, for the profound and complex analysis he has given of the subject and for his proposals on how to improve the level of confidence between the social partners.

      In the ongoing process of globalisation, with all the economic difficulties and political cycles involved, the social partners are often acting in terra incognita: they are in a complex world, faced with interests that are not their own. However, in co-operation between the parties, pluralism and decision taking stand at the base of democracy and the market economy.

      The establishment of a system linking trade unions, employers and the government is a long-term process and not an easy one. Through this democratic instrument, we must prevent economic inequalities from becoming more entrenched. Worldwide trends in the work of trade unions, difficulties and barriers raised against the activities of economic agents, and austerity budgets – these all make it even more necessary to ensure communication and the co-ordination of the activities of the social partners. The need to concentrate these social partners’ efforts to cope with crises and stabilise the socioeconomic situation is more relevant and timely than ever.

      In my country, our laws and standards provide for four functional levels for the social partnership – the national, sectoral, territorial and enterprise levels. This is implemented in the following ways: tripartite collective bargaining; representatives of the social partners; participation in research for draft regulations and proposals for socioeconomic reform; participation in conflict resolution at work; and the participation of workers in governance of the enterprise. A precondition for the adoption of decisions is consensus among the parties. Over the years, we have had positive experiences and remarkable successes, but at the same time we have come up against difficulties, such as the absence at the territorial level of one of the parties to the social dialogue – the employers – as well as the lack of a mechanism for conducting collective bargaining in the public sector and the lack of activity and limited effectiveness of the social partners at all levels.

      I am confident that the resolution to be adopted will mobilise the social partners in my country to strengthen their social dialogue based on openness, confidence and absolute compliance with the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the ILO conventions and the European Social Charter.

      Mr VILLUMSEN (Denmark) – I would like to thank Mr Ögmundur Jónasson for producing an excellent report. The financial crisis has led to severe attacks on social rights in Europe, due to cutbacks and austerity. The result has been grave for ordinary people in Europe. Those who created the crisis have been helped, with billions in taxpayers’ money going to banks and speculators, at the same time as those with no responsibility for the crisis have been severely hit. This report sounds the alarm, and we should listen to it. All our member States are obliged to secure social and democratic rights, but as the report highlights, far too often these rights are forgotten by our governments, and not least by the EU Commission and the European Union’s economic governance.

      Dear colleagues, let me remind you that the social protections and security in our countries were not created by austerity or cutbacks. They were created thanks to the regulation of the market, due to the efforts of trade unions and social movements. Generations of organised workers have secured the rights we have today. Especially at a time of crisis, the social protection of the vulnerable should be secured. Looking at Europe today, it is clear that this is not the case. Massive unemployment for young people, poverty and inequality are the result. Social dialogue is set aside and now even collective bargaining is under attack.

      If action is not taken in a social way, the insecurity will be misused by the extreme right and xenophobic forces. We see that in Europe and the US. Growing insecurity and inequality allow the extreme right to prosper. If the voices of the weak and vulnerable are not heard and instead only the voices of the rich and the wealthy are heard, ordinary people will not be protected.

      I thank Mr Ögmundur Jónasson, our Icelandic colleague, for this very good report, his last contribution. Dear colleagues, let us adopt it.

      Mr HUNKO (Germany)*I, too, congratulate Mr Ögmundur Jónasson, the rapporteur, for this ever so important text. I cannot understand why he is not represented here, following the last elections, but he has left us a particularly valuable report, which contains numerous important examples of how important unions are.

      It is not just that trade unions have been weakened by restructuring of the labour market or have had to restructure or redefine themselves. That is one of the problems, as has been mentioned, but decisions taken by the European Union have also weakened trade unions, for example in the realm of crisis management, as we have seen in Greece, and the right to take industrial action. Guy Ryder, the director general of the ILO was here, and there was mention of the fact that collective bargaining is extremely important, and all the more so in crisis countries.

      We have also had rulings from the European Court of Justice that touch on union rights, for example in the cases of Viking and Laval, in which trade union rights were categorised as lower than the rights of those with major undertakings. The references in the report to the European Social Charter are therefore extremely important. We frequently speak about the European social model, but the European Social Charter is the cornerstone of that model. That is why it is so important for the European Social Charter to be made all the more robust and stronger. The report calls for ratification of the revised European Social Charter and the annexe, which is extremely important. As a representative from Germany, I am in the unfortunate position of having to say that my country has not done that, but I would like to reiterate that strengthening the European Social Charter is extremely important.

      This is a very good report that sends out a positive signal. The amendments that have been tabled go in the wrong direction and should be rejected.

      The PRESIDENT – That concludes the list of speakers.

      I now call the chair of the committee, Ms Stella Kyriakides. You have nine minutes.

      Ms KYRIAKIDES (Cyprus) – I will be very brief. I want first to thank all colleagues for their comments, which have largely been extremely constructive and supportive of Mr Jónasson’s report, which they have praised.

      Our rapporteur has presented an important and balanced report that aims to address the increasing social and economic inequalities that we are currently observing. We reiterate, as the report does, that trade unions need to act in a responsible and accountable manner, but by decreasing collective labour rights we contribute to a democratic deficit. Nor can I fail to reiterate that we need to remedy the inequalities that we often see between men and women, as many colleagues have said.

      Let me end by repeating my invitation to all colleagues to support the draft resolution by our colleague and our committee by voting in favour.

      The PRESIDENT – The debate is closed.

      The Committee on Social Affairs, Health and Sustainable Development has presented a draft resolution, to which 19 amendments have been tabled. They will be taken in the order in which they appear in the revised compendium and the Organisation of Debates, and I remind you that speeches on amendments are limited to 30 seconds.

      Now, we may have an issue. There are 19 amendments, all tabled in the same name, and I am informed that, sadly, Mr Mike Wood, who has tabled all of them, is indisposed. It is open to any other member to move the amendments, and it would be helpful for me in the chair to have an indication as to whether anybody wishes or intends to move all, or any, of these amendments. If so, would you be kind enough to rise in your place?

      This is an unusual situation, and I know that none of us wish a colleague ill, but the fact of the matter is that, without someone to move these amendments, they all fall.

      Therefore, without further ado, we move straight to the final vote on the whole of the draft resolution contained in Document 14216. A simple majority is required.

      The vote is open.

      The draft resolution in Document 14216 is adopted, with 51 votes for, 6 against and 2 abstentions.

3. Next public business

      The PRESIDENT – The Assembly will hold its next public sitting tomorrow morning at 10 a.m. with the agenda that was approved on Monday.

      The sitting is closed.

      (The sitting was closed at 7.20 p.m.)


1. The functioning of democratic institutions in Ukraine

Presentation by Mr Xuclà and Mr Fischer of the report of the Committee on the Honouring of Obligations and Commitments by Member States of the Council of Europe (Monitoring Committee), Document 14227.

Speakers: Mr Németh, Mr Rouquet, Mr Scully, Mr Kross, Mr Hunko, Mr Aeg, Ms Schou, Mr Goncharenko, Mr Lopushanskyi, Mr Ghiletchi, Mr Sobolev, Ms Yaşar, Ms Sotnyk, Mr Ariev, Mr Vareikis, Mr Lozovoy, Mr Golub, Mr Bereza, Ms Ionova, Mr Billström, Mr Logvynskyi, Ms Dalloz, Mr Usov, Mr Šircelj, Mr Novynskyi

Draft resolution in Document 14227, as amended, adopted

2. Reinforcing social dialogue as an instrument for stability and decreasing social and economic inequalities

Presentation by Ms Kyriakides of the report of the Committee on Social Affairs, Health and Sustainable Development, Document 14216

Speakers: Ms Bonet, Ms Günay, Mr Grin, Mr Loucaides, Mr Schneider, Ms Mergen, Ms Rodríguez Ramos, Mr Reiss, Mr García Hernández, Ms De Sutter, Ms Zimmermann, Ms Huovinen, Mr Karlsson, Ms Kerestecioğlu Demir, Ms Christoffersen, Ms Buliga, Mr Villumsen, Mr Hunko

Draft resolution in Document 14216, as amended, adopted

3. Next public business

Appendix / Annexe

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.Le nom des personnes remplacées suit celui des Membres remplaçant, entre parenthèses.

ÅBERG, Boriana [Ms] (GHASEMI, Tina [Ms])

ADAM, Claude [M.] (BRASSEUR, Anne [Mme])

AEG, Raivo [Mr] (NOVIKOV, Andrei [Mr])

ALLAVENA, Jean-Charles [M.]

ANDERSON, Donald [Lord]

ANTTILA, Sirkka-Liisa [Ms]

ARIEV, Volodymyr [Mr]

ARNAUT, Damir [Mr]

BADEA, Viorel Riceard [Mr] (ZZ...)

BALIĆ, Marijana [Ms]

BARTOS, Mónika [Ms] (CSÖBÖR, Katalin [Mme])

BAYDAR, Metin Lütfi [Mr] (KOÇ, Haluk [M.])

BAYKAL, Deniz [Mr]

BEREZA, Boryslav [Mr]

BERGAMINI, Deborah [Ms]

BĒRZINŠ, Andris [M.]



BİLGEHAN, Gülsün [Mme]

BILLSTRÖM, Tobias [Mr]

BLONDIN, Maryvonne [Mme]

BÜCHEL, Roland Rino [Mr] (HEER, Alfred [Mr])

BULIGA, Valentina [Mme]

BUTKEVIČIUS, Algirdas [Mr]

CATALFO, Nunzia [Ms]

ČERNOCH, Marek [Mr] (BENEŠIK, Ondřej [Mr])


CILEVIČS, Boriss [Mr] (LAIZĀNE, Inese [Ms])

CIMBRO, Eleonora [Ms] (ASCANI, Anna [Ms])

CORLĂŢEAN, Titus [Mr] (TUDOSE, Mihai [Mr])

COWEN, Barry [Mr]

COZMANCIUC, Corneliu Mugurel [Mr] (ZZ...)

CROZON, Pascale [Mme] (BAPT, Gérard [M.])


DALLOZ, Marie-Christine [Mme] (MARIANI, Thierry [M.])

D’AMBROSIO, Vanessa [Ms]

DAVIES, Geraint [Mr]

DESTEXHE, Alain [M.]

DI STEFANO, Manlio [Mr]

DIVINA, Sergio [Mr]

DJUROVIĆ, Aleksandra [Ms]

DOBEŠOVÁ, Ivana [Ms] (ZELIENKOVÁ, Kristýna [Ms])

DURRIEU, Josette [Mme]

ECCLES, Diana [Lady]

EẞL, Franz Leonhard [Mr]

EVANS, Nigel [Mr]

FAZZONE, Claudio [Mr] (BERNINI, Anna Maria [Ms])

FENECHIU, Cătălin Daniel [Mr]

FISCHER, Axel [Mr]

FOURNIER, Bernard [M.]


FRIDEZ, Pierre-Alain [M.]

GALE, Roger [Sir]

GAMBARO, Adele [Ms]


GATTI, Marco [M.]

GHILETCHI, Valeriu [Mr]

GIRO, Francesco Maria [Mr]

GOGA, Pavol [M.] (PAŠKA, Jaroslav [M.])

GOLUB, Vladyslav [Mr] (LABAZIUK, Serhiy [Mr])

GONÇALVES, Carlos Alberto [M.]


GOPP, Rainer [Mr]

GORROTXATEGUI, Miren Edurne [Mme] (BALLESTER, Ángela [Ms])

GOY-CHAVENT, Sylvie [Mme]

GRIN, Jean-Pierre [M.] (MÜLLER, Thomas [Mr])

GROTH, Annette [Ms] (WERNER, Katrin [Ms])


GÜNAY, Emine Nur [Ms]

GUTIÉRREZ, Antonio [Mr]

GYÖNGYÖSI, Márton [Mr]

HIGGINS, Alice-Mary [Ms] (CROWE, Seán [Mr])

HOFFMANN, Rózsa [Mme] (VEJKEY, Imre [Mr])

HOLÍK, Pavel [Mr] (MARKOVÁ, Soňa [Ms])

HOWELL, John [Mr]

HÜBINGER, Anette [Ms]

HUNKO, Andrej [Mr]

HUOVINEN, Susanna [Ms] (GUZENINA, Maria [Ms])

IONOVA, Mariia [Ms] (GERASHCHENKO, Iryna [Mme])

JANSSON, Eva-Lena [Ms] (GUNNARSSON, Jonas [Mr])

JENSEN, Mogens [Mr]


KALMARI, Anne [Ms]

KARLSSON, Niklas [Mr]

KAVVADIA, Ioanneta [Ms]


KLEINBERGA, Nellija [Ms] (LĪBIŅA-EGNERE, Inese [Ms])

KORODI, Attila [Mr]

KOVÁCS, Elvira [Ms]

KOX, Tiny [Mr]

KROSS, Eerik-Niiles [Mr]

KÜRKÇÜ, Ertuğrul [Mr]

KYRITSIS, Georgios [Mr]

LE BORGN’, Pierre-Yves [M.]


LOGVYNSKYI, Georgii [Mr]

LOPUSHANSKYI, Andrii [Mr] (DZHEMILIEV, Mustafa [Mr])

LOUCAIDES, George [Mr]


LOZOVOY, Andriy [Mr] (VOVK, Viktor [Mr])

MADEJ, Róbert [Mr]

MAHOUX, Philippe [M.]


MAROSZ, Ján [Mr]

MASIULIS, Kęstutis [Mr] (ZINGERIS, Emanuelis [Mr])


McCARTHY, Kerry [Ms] (SALMOND, Alex [Mr])

MEIMARAKIS, Evangelos [Mr]

MERGEN, Martine [Mme] (HETTO-GAASCH, Françoise [Mme])

MIGNON, Jean-Claude [M.]

MIKKO, Marianne [Ms]

MILTENBURG, Anouchka van [Ms]

MULLEN, Rónán [Mr] (HOPKINS, Maura [Ms])

MUNYAMA, Killion [Mr] (POMASKA, Agnieszka [Ms])

NĚMCOVÁ, Miroslava [Ms] (VÁHALOVÁ, Dana [Ms])

NÉMETH, Zsolt [Mr]

NICOLETTI, Michele [Mr]

NOVYNSKYI, Vadym [Mr] (L OVOCHKINA, Yuliya [Ms])

OEHRI, Judith [Ms]

ÖNAL, Suat [Mr]

OVERBEEK, Henk [Mr] (SCHNABEL, Paul [Mr])

PALIHOVICI, Liliana [Ms] (NEGUTA, Andrei [M.])

PALLARÉS, Judith [Ms]

PECKOVÁ, Gabriela [Ms] (KOSTŘICA, Rom [Mr])

POLIAČIK, Martin [Mr]

POSTOICO, Maria [Mme] (VORONIN, Vladimir [M.])

PREDA, Cezar Florin [M.]

REISS, Frédéric [M.] (JACQUAT, Denis [M.])

RIGONI, Andrea [Mr]

ROCA, Jordi [Mr] (BARREIRO, José Manuel [Mr])


ROJO, Pilar [Ms]

ROUQUET, René [M.]

SANDBÆK, Ulla [Ms] (BORK, Tilde [Ms])

SANTA ANA, María Concepción de [Ms]

SCHENNACH, Stefan [Mr]

SCHNEIDER, André [M.] (ROCHEBLOINE, François [M.])

SCHNEIDER-SCHNEITER, Elisabeth [Mme] (LOMBARDI, Filippo [M.])

SCHOU, Ingjerd [Ms]


SCHWABE, Frank [Mr]

SCULLY, Paul [Mr] (DONALDSON, Jeffrey [Sir])

ŠEPIĆ, Senad [Mr]

SHARMA, Virendra [Mr]

ŠIRCELJ, Andrej [Mr]

SMITH, Angela [Ms] (AHMED-SHEIKH, Tasmina [Ms])

SOBOLEV, Serhiy [Mr]

SOTNYK, Olena [Ms]

SPADONI, Maria Edera [Ms] (SANTANGELO, Vincenzo [Mr])

STROE, Ionuț-Marian [Mr]

SUTTER, Petra De [Ms] (VERCAMER, Stefaan [M.])


THIÉRY, Damien [M.]

TORNARE, Manuel [M.] (FIALA, Doris [Mme])

USOV, Kostiantyn [Mr] (YEMETS, Leonid [Mr])

USTA, Leyla Şahin [Ms]

VAREIKIS, Egidijus [Mr]

VILLUMSEN, Nikolaj [Mr]

WALLINHEIMO, Sinuhe [Mr] (PELKONEN, Jaana [Ms])

WIECHEL, Markus [Mr] (NISSINEN, Johan [Mr])

WILSON, Phil [Mr] (MEALE, Alan [Sir])

WINTERTON, Rosie [Dame]

WOJTYŁA, Andrzej [Mr]

WURM, Gisela [Ms]


YAŞAR, Serap [Mme]

ZECH, Tobias [Mr]

ZIMMERMANN, Marie-Jo [Mme]

ZOTEA, Alina [Ms] (GHIMPU, Mihai [Mr])

Also signed the register / Ont également signé le registre

Representatives or Substitutes not authorised to vote / Représentants ou suppléants non autorisés à voter

BONET, Sílvia Eloïsa [Ms]

CORREIA, Telmo [M.]

CSÖBÖR, Katalin [Mme]

GENTVILAS, Simonas [Mr]


KIRAL, Serhii [Mr]

LUNDGREN, Kerstin [Ms]


VARVITSIOTIS, Miltiadis [Mr]

VLASENKO, Sergiy [Mr]

WILSON, David [Lord]

ZELIENKOVÁ, Kristýna [Ms]

Observers / Observateurs


Partners for democracy / Partenaires pour la démocratie

LEBBAR, Abdesselam [M.]

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)