AS (2018) CR 12



(Second part)


Twelfth sitting

Tuesday 24 April 2018 at 10 a.m.

In this report:

1.       Speeches in English are reported in full.

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

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

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

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

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

(Mr Nicoletti, President of the Assembly, took the Chair at 10.05 a.m.)

      The PRESIDENT – The sitting is open.

1. Election of a judge to the European Court of Human Rights

      The PRESIDENT – The first item on the agenda is the election of a judge to the European Court of Human Rights in respect of Montenegro. I refer members to the list of candidates and biographical notices to be found in Document 14514 and an opinion from the Committee on the Election of Judges to the European Court of Human Rights in Document 14529 Addendum 2.

      The voting will take place in the area behind the President’s chair. At 1 p.m. the ballot will be suspended. It will re-open at 3.30 p.m. I shall close the ballot at 5 p.m. Counting will then take place under the supervision of four tellers.

      I shall now draw by lot the names of the four tellers who will supervise the counting of the votes. The names of Mr R. Huseynov, Ms Glasovac, Ms Bures and Mr Lupu have been drawn. They should go to the back of the President’s chair at 5 p.m.

      I hope to announce the result of the election before the end of the sitting this afternoon. If needed, a second ballot will take place on Wednesday in the morning and afternoon sittings.

      I now declare the ballot open.

2. State of emergency: proportionality issues concerning derogations under Article 15 of the European Convention on Human Rights

      The PRESIDENT – The next item of business this morning is the debate on the report titled “State of emergency: proportionality issues concerning derogations under Article 15 of the European Convention on Human Rights”, presented by Mr Comte on behalf of the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights (Doc. 14506).

      In order to finish by 12 p.m. I will interrupt the list of speakers at about 11.15 a.m. to allow time for the reply and the vote. I remind members that there is a three-minute speech limit in this debate. I now call Mr Comte, rapporteur. You have 13 minutes in total, which you may divide between presentation of the report and reply to the debate. You have the floor.

      Mr COMTE (Switzerland)* – The European Convention on Human Rights is the foundation stone of the protection of human rights at the national and regional level throughout Europe. The maintenance of democracy and the rule of law depends on the effectiveness of rights, such as freedom of expression and association, prohibition of arbitrary detention and the right to a fair trial and an effective remedy. However, the Convention also provides for situations in which states are not compelled to respect all those rights. In a time of war or other public danger that threatens the life of the nation, a State that is party to the Convention may derogate from certain rights by resorting to Article 15.

      From the standpoint of protecting human rights, derogation is a grave matter. Within the limits of proportionality, a State is authorised to take measures that in normal times would constitute manifest violations, and the usual norms of human rights protection, which are supposed to apply to all States, may be disregarded. A State should derogate from the Convention only in the most exceptional circumstances – when ordinary measures are obviously inappropriate for the duration – and only to the extent strictly required by the emergency.

      Recently, three member States have declared derogations from the Convention: Ukraine, France and Turkey. Each derogation has a different origin and is understandably justified. None the less, it is troubling to note that three States have, in a relatively short period, resorted to what should be exceptional measures, and there have previously been other such cases. All of this should not lead to the normalisation of the recourse to derogations.

      Each derogation has taken a very different form, with very different effects. Ukraine’s derogation is limited to a specific territory, whereas the French one spanned the whole national territory, as was the case for the Turkish derogation. The Ukrainian and French derogations related to a limited number of laws, while the Turkish one was very broad and covered very diverse areas. As its title indicates, my report emphasises the importance of the proportionality of measures taken in the context of such derogations, and again, the conclusions vary very much from one country to another.

      On Ukraine, the report pinpoints a provision allowing administrative detention for up to 30 days. Admittedly, the provision seems never to have been used – and so much the better – but one seriously doubts whether it is consistent with the Convention. Its abrogation would be a positive signal, and it should not pose any practical problems because the authorities have other perfectly effective legal instruments at their disposal. Moreover, the report calls on the Ukrainian authorities to minimise the practical impact of other measures, and it would be desirable for the Ukrainian constitutional court to examine the constitutionality of laws derogating from the Convention.

      On France, the main criticism of the state of emergency relates to its duration. It may be easier politically to declare a state of emergency than to end it, and we can only welcome the fact that France has ended its state of emergency at a time when, as we all know, there continues to be a terrorist threat. The ending of the state of emergency has nevertheless been the subject of some criticism, in that some measures that were valid under it have now been included in ordinary law. It is essential for the recently adopted French law to be applied in full consistency with the norms of the Convention. Special attention may have to be given to the application of certain definitions, which are sometimes subjective and rather imprecise, and the authorities will have to show restraint.

      Turkey has had to deal with serious challenges to its constitutional order and domestic security, with an attempted coup that led to the deaths of hundreds of civilians and several terrorist attacks, and terrorism continues to pose a threat. However, the scope of the emergency measures and the impact on private individuals and organisations seems excessive. As the Venice Commission has said, measures to protect constitutional order should not themselves undermine it, but that is what now seems to be happening in Turkey.

      My report is far from being the first to reach such a conclusion; the Assembly, on the basis of the Monitoring Committee’s report, has already said the same, making reference to the detailed deliberations of the Venice Commission. Since then, another year has passed, and criticisms of the duration of the state of emergency have become ever more relevant during that period. It is time for the Turkish Government to put an end to the state of emergency, and for ordinary legislation to be used to tackle the security challenges facing the country. Judicial remedies must be able to function fully again, and the constitutional court should examine the emergency measures that have since been approved as ordinary laws. The 140 000 civil servants dismissed without notice, often on the basis of dubious evidence and subject to what has been called “civil death”, should have the opportunity to challenge the decisions against them. Television channels, newspapers and other independent media must be authorised to reopen so that free and pluralistic public debate may be fully restored.

      Beyond the situation in each State, we must learn the overall lessons from recent experience. Although derogations sometimes allow extreme restrictions on human rights, they are subject to the same examination in the Council of Europe as other human rights issues. The derogations are submitted to the oversight of the European Court of Human Rights, but by the time the Court intervenes the damage may already be considerable. Our report therefore contains a series of proposals for member States, the Secretary General and the Committee of Ministers to minimise future recourse to such derogations and to avoid the most damaging abuses. In particular, the report invites the Secretary General to make systematic use of the powers entrusted to him under Article 52 of the Convention to investigate the effects of measures taken in the context of a derogation. To our mind, such an examination should be systematic, because we must absolutely prevent the opening or otherwise of an investigation from being perceived as political choice, with all the arbitrary elements of such a choice. We also propose that the Committee of Ministers should examine the practices of States in the light of the requirements of Article 15 and the case law of the European Court of Human Rights, and that it should adopt a recommendation for member States.

      This report deals with some of the gravest issues that the Council of Europe may face. Our draft resolution is thorough, but each word has been carefully considered and chosen. Not everyone will be happy, but our Assembly aims to foster dialogue and to allow us to progress collectively, which will be possible only if we are very candid in talking to each other. I look forward to hearing members’ views on the report, which I submit on behalf of the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights, and I of course count on their support.

      The PRESIDENT – Thank you, Mr Comte. You have five minutes and 16 seconds remaining.

      The debate is open. The first speaker is Mr Howell.

      Mr HOWELL (United Kingdom, Spokesperson for the European Conservatives Group) – This paper deals with situations that are not actually very common. It gives the example of three member States that have had derogations – Ukraine, France and Turkey – although France has now withdrawn its derogation. As we have heard, the Convention envisages States derogating in certain circumstances, particularly war and public emergencies, and when we look at these three examples, we see that those countries have faced major problems. We should not underestimate the scale and horror of the terrorist threats and unpredictable challenges facing France. Similarly, it is difficult to imagine the extent of the problems caused by the Russian invasion of parts of Ukraine, or for Turkey, in slightly different circumstances, of the implications of the failed coup.

      These situations are very serious, and as the guardians of human rights in Europe, we must assess whether the measures used are proportionate. That is the key test. It is perfectly proper for the Council of Europe to look at this issue, but we should take a strong and robust view of human rights in such situations with that mind. If we do not do so, the danger is that we will make the situation worse, and we will be no better than those seeking to use such situations to cause problems.

      Whatever the advice given by the Council of Europe and its Secretary General, the decision to use a derogation must remain with the State. We are talking about achieving a balance between the rights of the State and the right of a supra-national body such as this Organisation to take action. With that in mind, we and the countries involved must be very careful, and we must ensure that the Secretary General does not have a veto on a State having a derogation. After all, a derogation does not mean that the circumstances fall outside the European Convention on Human Rights or that it does not apply, although a derogation may affect the extent of the State’s obligations. Rather than this role falling to the Secretary General, as the report suggests, it should be undertaken by an individual judge from the European Court of Human Rights. That judge may not be able to sit again in any subsequent action, but we should use the expertise that they have. The report recommends a multi-level strategic response, but I would prefer that to be in the context of having selected a judge to do it and being able to use their expertise.

      Mr van de VEN (Netherlands, Spokesperson for the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe) – Statesmanship requires that the leadership of any State – that is to say, the government – takes responsibility in cases of public emergency. In times of war or terrorist attacks, citizens become rightfully frightened, society is in shock, and the government, at the very moment of the incident, is typically paralysed for 24 hours as to how to react adequately.

      Abundant contingency plans for public emergency situations and a legal framework under the State’s constitution may be available to take preventive measures to protect the State’s interests. Nevertheless, protective legislation that derogates from existing law and is enacted by the government to safeguard the State and its citizens in a crisis situation must be proportional with a view to democracy, the rule of law, human rights and the speedy restoration of normal life.

      On behalf of ALDE, I congratulate our colleague Mr Comte on his broad, balanced and clear analysis of proportionality in connection with derogations under Article 15 of the European Convention on Human Rights. I really enjoyed reading Mr Comte’s report. His elaborate comparison of emergency legislation in Ukraine, Turkey and, until very recently, France stresses the complexity and isolated aspects of derogations from the rule of law in national crisis situations.

      In my view, witnessing States are under an obligation to be somewhat lenient as to the possible harshness embedded in emergency laws. Nevertheless, emergency laws should satisfy the requirement of proportionality and should be introduced and applicable only insofar as they are really necessary in a public emergency situation. A government should not misuse a public emergency to enlarge its powers permanently, contrary to democracy and human rights. By that, I mean that the introduction of unfettered powers for a government is not acceptable if a complete disregard of the rule of law ensues. I am against the development from statesmanship to dictatorship out of a genuine national crisis.

      Paragraph 3 of Article 15 of the European Convention on Human Rights rightly requires any State availing itself of the right of derogation from the rule of law to keep the Secretary General of the Council of Europe fully informed of the measures it has taken and the reasons for them. In such cases, the decree legislation for the public emergency can be tested against that State’s existing international obligations concerning democracy and human rights.

      Any rapporteur has the right to at least one question. My question to Mr Comte is whether, during his research for the report, he was informed about the underlying justification for the Turkish Ministry of Transport’s issuing of an emergency decree on the use of winter tyres. I am interested to know the answer.

      In closing, I confirm that ALDE endorses all recommendations in the draft resolution of the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights. ALDE also agrees with the draft recommendation to the Committee of Ministers.

      Mr ÖZSOY (Turkey, Spokesperson for Group of the Unified European Left) – We are not talking about whether these countries had the right to derogate from certain obligations, given that in all the situations – in Ukraine, France and Turkey – they were highly critical; rather, we are talking about proportionality. The report is very clear that the situation in Turkey is extreme. In France, the state of emergency was lifted; but unfortunately, France became a very bad example for Turkey, which constantly referred to France to justify the prolongation of emergency rule in the country.

      It is clear that, when a State perceives a threat to the nation, it has the right to suspend certain obligations stated in the Convention. However, in Turkey the emergency powers themselves became a threat to the life of the nation and its democratic future. The government has used them as an opportunity not only to repress the opposition in the lead-up to the presidential elections, but to issue more than 30 decrees with the power of law to structure both society and the political system. Those changes are not being monitored through judicial processes or by the parliament, because our parliament is mostly dysfunctional and our judiciary is totally dependent on the government – it is actually working under direct orders from the government. Given those circumstances, we underline the fact that emergency powers in Turkey are a threat to the life of the nation.

      Last year, we had the referendum on the presidential system under emergency conditions. As an opposition party with 6 000 of our members, including our co-chairs, members of parliament and mayors, in prison, it was extremely difficult to campaign under those horrible conditions of emergency rule. In about two months, we will have presidential elections in Turkey. They are not normal elections. They are not about who will rule the country; they are about a new political system. If the government is successful, we will have a highly authoritarian, even dictatorial, system in the country. The emergency rule powers have been used by the government, with its allies, to establish this very authoritarian system. In that sense, we perceive the emergency powers to be a threat to the life of the nation and repeat that elections should not be held under emergency rule.

      Mr VAREIKIS (Lithuania, Spokesperson for the Group of the European People’s Party) – We generally think of democracy as a soft power – calm, nice, full of justice, and nothing wrong going on – but sometimes democracy needs to show its strong hand: a state of emergency. A state of emergency is a normal, legal part of a democratic system. We cannot use it very frequently, but from time to time we must be ready not only to announce a state of emergency but to practise that side of democracy.

      The report has three examples of three very different countries in the Council of Europe. France is a stable, long-standing democracy with no major human rights problems. Turkey is a long-standing member of the Council of Europe and has been from the very beginning, but faces very dangerous geopolitical and internal challenges. Ukraine is a so-called new democracy, or still emerging democracy, which needs to establish or regain its democratic institutions.

      The report is based on those three case studies. It generally says that a state of emergency is a natural feature of democracy, but we need always to respect the principle of proportionality in different cases, different countries and different circumstances.

      The report clearly shows how that proportionality has to be applied. In very general terms, a state of emergency has to defend human rights in unusual circumstances. It has to be the guardian of human rights. If a state of emergency becomes an instrument for suppressing human rights, the principle of proportionality is not in place. We cannot invent some universal measurement to determine which day and in which situation a state of emergency should stop or start to apply. Proportionality has to be about feeling and political understanding. How should proportionality be applied when it comes to a state of emergency? When do we need it to defend society from war, coups d’état and other evils and when must we lift it because it is not working for democracy? I thank the rapporteur for the interesting and useful report and I suggest that members support it.

      Ms MIKKO (Estonia, Spokesperson for the Socialists, Democrats and Greens Group.) – It is the duty of every State to protect its citizens and provide a sense of security in times of public emergency. However, its reaction needs to be proportionate and subject to the strict conditions in Article 15 of the European Convention on Human Rights. Even in times of war, the right to life applies, with the exception of deaths resulting from lawful acts of war. No one shall be subjected to torture or inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, no one shall be held in slavery or servitude, and no punishment shall be carried out outside the law. States should not abuse public emergency situations to put disproportionate derogations into force.

      The report rightly finds that there are concerns with the question of proportionality in respect of States that currently have derogations in force. I recently returned from a fact-finding mission in Turkey, where the situation is worrying and the response to the coup d’état has been disproportionate. The powers granted to the government have been used for purposes beyond what the exigencies of the situation giving rise to the state of emergency strictly require. The state of emergency has been unnecessarily prolonged seven times, allowing disproportionate measures to be resorted to, including massive dismissals of officials and numerous closures of media and civil society associations.

      Although it is legitimate for Turkey to address its security issues, that should not be at the expense of democratic freedoms. As highlighted by the European Court of Human Rights, criticism of political leaders and government policies should not attract criminal, terrorism-related charges. Pre-trial detention should be used only as an exceptional measure of last resort. The Turkish Government would send a strong and welcome signal that it was not turning its back on democratic norms if it initiated, as soon as possible, a process of transition from the state of emergency to the situation that existed before it.

      Undoubtedly, the countries that have declared states of emergency face serious situations and the security of their citizens is threatened. But a proper balance should be found between security and democracy. We need to ensure that all voices, even dissenting voices, can be heard. Any restriction should be strictly necessary and proportionate to the situation.

      Last but not least, I come to states of emergency and elections. The Monitoring Committee has just adopted a declaration that the elections in Turkey should be postponed. The Socialists, Democrats and Greens Group strongly supports the adoption of the relevant amendment in our resolution as well. I thank the rapporteur and I thank members for their attention.

      The PRESIDENT – Thank you. That was the last speaker from the political groups. Mr Comte will respond at the end.

      I remind colleagues that the vote for the judge at the European Court of Human Rights is in progress. The poll will close at 5 p.m. Those who have not voted may still do so by going to the area behind the President’s chair.

      Mr FOURNIER (France)* – Mr President, colleagues, derogations from the European Convention on Human Rights should remain exceptional. The circumstances causing Ukraine, France and Turkey to invoke Article 15 of the Convention are fully justified. When faced with terrorism, war or a coup d’état, a State needs to be able to mobilise exceptional resources to protect its institutions and democracy. However, the measures need to be proportionate. Their duration should be limited: a state of emergency cannot be permanent. In France, a state of emergency was in force for two years, which could have been counter-productive, given the human and financial resources mobilised as a result. The measures taken should serve only in the interests of the re-establishment of security and the rule of law, and not serve the political interests of parties. In France, the aim has been to combat terrorism. The fact that, during the state of emergency, some protests were forbidden is regrettable.

      The situation in Turkey is very worrying. There have been flagrant attacks on freedom of expression and the freedom of the press. Our Assembly expressed its disquiet way back in June 2016, even before the declaration of the state of emergency, which enabled the government to close down countless opposition media and step up restrictions on fundamental freedoms. It is important that the measures taken in a state of emergency be subject to appeal. That will limit abuses. The implementation of a commission of inquiry tasked with the investigation of individual measures taken during the Turkish state of emergency was a necessary step. However, we can ask questions about its impartiality and the means it has to carry out its work.

      In Ukraine, it is important to ensure that the courts are transferred from the zones not controlled by the government and given the requisite resources to be able to function. Now the state of emergency has been lifted in France, which can only be welcomed. I sincerely hope that Turkey and Ukraine will take the same step. In Ukraine, the implementation of the Minsk Agreements should enable the state of emergency to be rapidly lifted. It is important to continue the dialogue to resolve the conflict with the Russian Federation.

      In Turkey, the situation remains very worrying. The lack of systematic parliamentary oversight of the decree laws flies in the face of the Turkish constitution. That cannot continue. After almost two years of the state of emergency, Turkey should once again become a State governed by the rule of law.

      Mr VENIZELOS (Greece) – Dear colleagues, the state of derogation provided by Article 15 of the Convention depicts a classical assumption of European constitutionalism. The possibility of imposing exceptional measures, usually in the form of the so-called state of siege – “l’état de sičge” – is provided by all national constitutions. The activation of those provisions in cases of war or external danger is easy to confirm. The activation of exceptional measures for internal reasons frequently causes great difficulties as it is connected to the quality and durability of democratic institutions. It is also connected with critical issues of foreign and defence policy – the situation in Turkey is very sensitive, for example, not only for the State but for stability in peace in the wider area, such as the Aegean and eastern Mediterranean Seas.

      That is why the immediate convocation of Parliament for approval of relevant measures is provided by the national constitution as a procedural guarantee for the activation of the state of exception provisions. In many cases, there is also judicial review by the constitutional court itself. The guarantees provided by Article 15 of the Convention are less than those provided by national constitutions. Keeping the Secretary General fully informed under Article 15(3) of the Convention is not sufficient. The Parliamentary Assembly’s competencies of monitoring and pressurising are significant, yet they do not constitute an institutional guarantee corresponding to the competencies of the national parliaments in cases of activation of a state of emergency, as provided in the national constitutions of the majority of member States. I agree with Mr Comte’s excellent report, but I believe that the Parliamentary Assembly should examine, with the assistance of the Venice Commission, whether the provisions of the constitutions of the member States for states of siege are compatible with the acquis of European constitutional civilisation. It should examine whether the internal constitutional procedures in the member States for asking for derogation are in accordance with Article 15 and in particular Article 15.2. This should be the object of the inquiry, which we ask to be conducted by the Secretary General.

      Mr GROSDIDIER (France)* – Respect for the European Convention on Human Rights is a commitment of all member States of the Council of Europe. It guarantees for member States’ citizens respect for their fundamental rights. Some circumstances might necessitate derogations and the establishment of a temporary emergency regime. However, this derogation should be temporary and proportionate.

      In France, a state of emergency was decreed following the terrorist attacks of November 2015 during which 130 people were killed and 413 wounded. France had never experienced such slaughter and the government had to react. It did so in a way that respected the rules under Article 15 of the European Convention on Human Rights. The state of emergency remained in force for some two years, which might seem excessive, but it was necessary to bolster the security of our citizens. Moreover, once the state of emergency had been decreed it was politically difficult to put an end to it as the terrorist threat remains present: without security there can be no rule of law.

      The state of emergency came to an end with the adoption of a law strengthening domestic security and counter-terrorism. The French Senate, in which I sit, amended the government’s draft, so that the text was more respectful of fundamental freedoms. The Senate gave a temporary nature to the main measures restricting freedoms, particularly by limiting in terms of time the application of individual measures of administrative supervision and surveillance. Moreover, the administrative closure of places of worship can be done only to prevent acts of terrorism. This demonstrates the role that we, as parliamentarians, can play to enforce respect for the rule of law. All these elements should ensure the provisions will be applied in a way that abides by the norms of the Council of Europe.

      Previously, a state of emergency had been enforced three times: during the Algerian War, three times overseas in the 1980s, and in 2005 during the suburban riots. The use made of it is therefore, fortunately, very restricted, but there could perhaps be reforms to better circumscribe the implementation of the individual measures, and the Senate has taken a pluralist approach by having someone from each political party monitor the situation.

      The situations in Turkey and Ukraine are very different; in one case a failed coup d’état and the other a situation of war. These situations undoubtedly required the decreeing of a state of emergency, but it is now necessary to emerge from that state. Indeed, a state of emergency is, by definition, not effective over the long term for combating terrorism, and, above all, it must ensure there is respect for the rule of law over the long term.

      The PRESIDENT – Thank you. Mr Cepeda is not here, so I call Mr Kern.

      Mr KERN (France)* – Derogations from the European Convention on Human Rights should be exceptional measures that inevitably will have an impact on the rule of law. Whether in France my country Turkey or Ukraine, governments are fully entitled to take, and justified in taking, these exceptional measures. All these States have been confronted with serious threats which justified these derogations. However, their sole purpose should be to make it possible to speedily restore the rule of law. They should be applied in a proportionate way and be limited in time.

      In France, the state of emergency lasted almost two years. That might seem a long period. In July 2017, a law strengthening the fight against terrorism and extending police powers was adopted, and the state of emergency was lifted. This law as implemented must not compromise fundamental freedoms.

      In Turkey, the situation today is very worrying, and relations with the European Union have deteriorated greatly. The provisions taken as part of the emergency situation are manifestly disproportionate. Of course countries must react to terrorism, and they must also act to resist an attempted coup d’état, which in this case threatened Turkish democracy. As I said at the beginning of my speech, a state of emergency should be established simply to make it possible to restore the rule of law speedily, but Turkey’s has now lasted for over two years, and what has happened since then? Some 150 000 state officials have been dismissed, and 177 media outlets and 1 800 associations have been shut down. Has this really prevented the threat posed by FETÖ? Clearly, this was not the right approach. Far from promoting the restoration of the rule of law, these measures have simply disorganised the organisation of the State, and it is high time to put an end to the state of emergency.

      This is all the more necessary as Turkey is about to organise early presidential and legislative elections on 24 June. In 2017 this led to the banning of some electoral meetings for the referendum on constitutional reform.

      In Ukraine, the situation is still fraught with conflict. Only a peace agreement will bring an end to the situation of chaos prevailing in the east of the country. Permitting preventive detention of 30 days without judicial authority is unlikely to resolve the current difficulties. The measure should be reconsidered on the grounds of effectiveness.

      I thank the rapporteur for his work.

      Mr EFSTATHIOU (Cyprus) – My intention is not to give lessons in law, nor would I like to turn this debate into a legal argument. But dealing with human rights is par excellence not only a legal, but also, primarily, a political issue which goes to the heart of democracy, freedom and the raison d’ętre of human beings. There are serious doubts about whether Article 15 enables or legitimises a State to interfere and curtail the civil and political rights of its citizens or persons residing in its territory. The right and meaningful interpretation of Article 15 is that that must be limited to cases of war or other public emergencies threatening the life of a nation. It cannot be used as a basis for interference in a situation of domestic upheaval or state of emergency.

      In the event of an internal threat, every single article of the convention includes a self-regulatory stipulation which allows for a limited derogation from the strict adherence of the article’s provisions. The criteria for this are: the exigencies of a democratic society, the principle of proportionality, and the strict application of the rule of law. Limitations must be clearly provided by law and relevant legislation. Therefore, derogation goes, in such cases, with the rule of law, not its absence.

      Article 15 does not provide for, and does not legitimise, the interference of public authorities with the fundamental rights of citizens. Let me emphasise once again that Article 15 relates to international law, not domestic situations. This cannot be done in abstracto, but must be in concreto, and the one who decides must be the law and the judiciary, not the president of a country, its prime minister or interior minister. Nobody can play with human rights by simply invoking a situation that, according to international law, does not really exist. Human rights in Turkey have been curtailed by the authorities under the pretext of Article 15. That is intolerable and unacceptable in any democratic society. In the Ukrainian case, any derogation is justified only if it is strictly limited in time and scope, while in the case of France the interference with certain rights was rightly provided for by law, although they should have been pursued under the specific articles of the Convention, not under Article 15.

      Returning to the report, I am sorry to say that it is very timid and, if I may say so, too politically correct towards the derogations in respect of human rights. For those reasons, I cannot vote for it.

      Mr KÜRKÇÜ (Turkey) – I would like to express my appreciation to Mr Comte for his outspoken and evidenced report on the ongoing emergency rule in Turkey, which has lost all relevance and legitimacy, if it ever had any, in relation to the attempted coup of 15 July 2016. At the time, the parliamentary opposition parties HDP, my party, and the main opposition CHP voted against the declaration of a state of emergency, and staunchly opposed derogations from Article 15 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which we believed would award the Erdoğan regime the power to undermine all democratic institutions and erode the remnants of the separation of powers, in particular the independence of the judiciary.

      I would like to summarise the meaning of the failed coup of 15 July 2016, which Erdoğan called a “gift from God”. We should admit that Erdoğan and his allies hardly deserved such a gift. It is still unclear where, when, how and by what means Erdoğan and his aides were informed of the preparations for the coup, and how and through which mechanisms they reacted to it. According to analysts, witnesses and documents leaked from the prosecutor’s office, there are inconsistencies in Erdoğan’s personal narrative of the attempted coup.

      The Erdoğan regime was very informed of the preparations for the coup, which they initially and informally related to the Gϋlen movement’s expected reaction against the liquidation of pro-Gϋlen army officials, judges and police officers. It is highly symptomatic that 2 735 judges were sacked from office on the early morning of 16 July. How could the government have targeted thousands of judges for a military coup attempt that they claimed they were unaware of until it had actually started? It is also symptomatic that the AKP majority barred the parliamentary inquiry commission from questioning all major political and other figures, to lay out an impartial narrative of the coup and the role played by major actors: the Gϋlen movement, Erdoğan and his party, the army, the police, the judiciary and so on. Emergency rule in Turkey appears to be not just a reaction by the government against an aborted coup, but an expected and engineered state of affairs – a leverage to be exploited to lay down the foundations of an emergency state.

      The Assembly should take note that last week emergency rule in Turkey was prolonged for a seventh three-month period. During these 18 months, the Turkish Government has used the draconian powers granted under the emergency rule to bypass parliament and issue decrees for every purpose from education to tourism, and from prison regulations to export regulations. Under emergency case rule Turkey, has become an extraordinary State. The Assembly should take note of that and keep its eyes on Turkey during the 24 June elections, when the fate of the country will be decided. Thank you for your patience.

      Mr USOV (Ukraine) – First of all, as a Ukrainian MP, I would like to offer my gratitude to the rapporteur for his work. Although the situations in Turkey, France and Ukraine are definitely not comparable, we are all State parties to the European Convention on Human Rights and we all have to respect our commitments.

      As the Assembly will be well aware, Ukraine faces open and undisguised armed aggression from the Russian Federation. The scale, force and danger of that armed aggression to our nation are the only reasons why the Ukrainian Parliament and the Ukrainian Government have taken some hard, confronting measures. The goal of those measures is to ensure the survival of our people and our State, and to protect those who are suffering from the Russian attack. Even now, after four years of war, there is law and order in every city and village with a Ukrainian flag flying over it. In contrast, it is the occupied territories where human rights are no longer either recognised or secured. It is the occupied territories where there is no freedom of speech, no freedom of movement and no impartial justice. That is all on the Russian Federation: that is the Russian Federation’s direct responsibility. The Assembly has emphasised that fact many times.

      In respect of all the Ukrainian derogations to be withdrawn, we urge the Russian Federation to put an end to its armed aggression against Ukraine. We demand that it withdraw all regular forces and units that are subordinate to the defence ministry of the Russian Federation, all units and special units subordinate to other law enforcement agencies of the Russian Federation, and all advisers, instructors, and illegal armed gangs and groups of mercenaries who are either commended or funded by the Russian Federation.

      Mr BILDARRATZ (Spain)* – In the past few days, we have been debating and discussing what role the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe should play. Today, we are grappling with a subject that amply justifies the role we need to play, and I commend the quality of the contributions that have been made to the debate.

      All our States consider that extraordinary and exceptional measures may have to be taken to secure and protect our democracies. In Spain, there is a so-called state of siege or state of alarm. All such things are built into our constitutions – charters of public rights and so on – and democracies have a duty to defend themselves. The rapporteur speaks in terms of democratic security. I would not go that far, but there are some key components necessary for democracy to survive: security, freedom and human rights. I do not think we can conceive of democracy without those fundamental features. Article 15 of the European Convention on Human Rights makes substantial reference to that, which I think is complemented by Article 7 of the Convention. Article 7 states that there can be no punishment without a legal basis. That concept should underpin our entire debate.

      There are a certain number of concepts that we need to make more explicit when referring to some of the rights enshrined in the Convention which are non-negotiable and cannot be derogated. For example, we cannot derogate the right to life, and torture is totally prohibited. Other issues, such as the state of emergency in France and Ukraine, are specific cases with their own particular features and justifications.

      I would like to refer to the most recent report by the United Nations. It puts forward a very clear view on the compromise by Turkey, Ukraine and France of any fundamental rights, including the prohibition on torture. We in the Council of Europe have a fundamental role in defining these issues. I agree with the recommendations in the report, but I think that we need to be much more critical and stringent when it comes to States that fail to abide with our basic values.

      Mr YENEROĞLU (Turkey)* – Mr President and dear colleagues, I thank the rapporteur for preparing this important report with such sensitivity and great enthusiasm. Turkey is and has always been willing to work with the Council of Europe. If we work closely, constructively and show mutual respect we can achieve success. We want our discussions to continue in this spirit. We want to debate and work with the Assembly. With that in mind, I thank the rapporteur once again for his constructive dialogue and co-operation.

      The circumstances and threats that led to the declaration of a state of emergency in Turkey have their own reality. As a sovereign State, Turkey has the right and even the duty to determine the scope and duration of the measures taken against those threats. Turkey is also obliged to take action not only to protect the unity and continuity of the State but to protect the rights of those who suffered from the attempted coup. The Turkish Government is also fully aware of its duty to deal with these circumstances and threats in a very thorough and precise way in order to avoid human rights violations. As the former chairman of the human rights inquiry within our parliament, I can assure the Assembly that the Turkish Government is very much bound by these principles and will do its utmost within the framework of possibilities to uphold them.

      Dear colleagues, ever since the declaration of the state of emergency, we have been trying to keep you informed of and briefed on the situation. Unfortunately, however, I have come to believe that some members have failed to understand or even ignored the seriousness of the terrorist threats that Turkey is facing. Our French colleague, Mr Grosdidier, has made it clear that it is difficult to end the state of emergency if there is still a terrorist threat. The same situation has applied in France. However, what happened in France is still a daily reality in Turkey. How would other States react if terror attacks became a permanent state of affairs in those countries? How would they react if other parliamentarians not only failed to condemn those attacks but, in some cases, supported them? I refer colleagues to the European Court of Human Rights decision in which a distancing from terrorism and the use of violence was held to be a requirement. However, there was a side-event of this Organisation to which the head of a terrorist organisation was invited. That shows us very clearly how important it is for all of us together to reject terrorism, to combat it as strongly as we can and to provide support to States that face these threats daily.

(Mr Jonas Gunnarsson, Vice-President of the Assembly, took the Chair in place of Mr Nicoletti.)

      The PRESIDENT – Thank you, Mr Yeneroğlu.

      I must remind members that the vote is in progress to elect a judge to the European Court of Human Rights. The poll will close at 5 p.m. Those who have not voted may still do so by going to the area behind the President’s chair.

      I call Ms Trisse.

      Ms TRISSE (France)* – Thank you, Mr President. Rapporteur and dear colleagues, Article 15 of the European Convention on Human Rights states that: “In time of war or other public emergency threatening the life of the nation any High Contracting Party may take measures derogating from its obligations under [the] Convention”, provided that it informs the Council of Europe of them. Following the appalling attacks carried out on 13 November 2015, the French authorities did indeed make use of this possibility, at the same time declaring the state of emergency to cope with the exceptional threat that France was facing at the time. The state of emergency that was provided for and governed by the law of 3 April 1955 was extended on five occasions, not for convenience or through a lack of political courage, as people have sometimes said, but as the result of an overriding need to provide for public security.

      Proof of this was provided on 14 July 2016 in Nice. A few hours after President Hollande mentioned lifting the state of emergency, a deadly attack hit the Promenade des Anglais in Nice. Whenever faced with such a thing, the French Parliament has dealt with it with a great deal of seriousness and objectivity. In fact, a fact-finding mission set up within the National Assembly’s law commission has very carefully followed the implementation of measures taken in the context of the state of emergency. Moreover, it handed in a very detailed report on this at the end of 2016. The Constitutional Council and the Conseil d’État, the highest judicial bodies in France, carried out very careful and thorough oversight of the state of emergency until it expired on 1 November 2017. Of course the aim was not at all to have a state of emergency lasting forever.

With that in mind, President Macron and his government executed their responsibilities by carrying out a very wide-ranging process to adapt our domestic legislation and remove ourselves from this exceptional situation. The events that happened in Carcassonne and Trčbes on 23 March do not call this finding into question; they simply highlight that the choices that have been made are very courageous ones in the face of a lasting threat that is difficult to second-guess. Unlike some hastily drawn conclusions, the law of 30 October 2017, which strengthens domestic security in combating terrorism, is not simply a copying and pasting of the state of emergency in common law. It provides for new, adapted measures that can be taken under judicial oversight by public authorities. It also enables France to come fully once again within the purview of the European Convention on Human Rights.

I thank our rapporteur, Mr Comte, for the quality of the work carried out. In the main, I can fully endorse the findings and recommendations in his report. I think I can say that the French authorities themselves will attach great importance to the resolution that our Assembly will examine today.

Mr HUNKO (Germany)* – Thank you, Mr President. We are discussing three cases in which Article 15 of the European Convention on Human Rights has been set aside, by Ukraine, France and Turkey. I welcome the fact that, however different the cases may have been in the individual countries, we are discussing the matter in this context. I share the views of the rapporteur and agree with the general thrust of the report.

The first instance was the suspension of Article 15 in Ukraine in the course of the civil war in Donbass. The second was in France following the terrorist attacks in Paris, and the third in Turkey following the attempted coup. Each instance, as the examples show, made it easier for other countries to do the same and suspend Article 15. In Turkey, for example, the declaration and repeated extensions of the state of emergency were always done with reference to France. However, we can refer to other situations in Europe in recent years when other countries have not gone down this path. Let me remind you that there have been terrorist attacks in other countries. Let us recall the attack in Norway, for example, in 2011, when Breivik, a right-wing extremist, shot 77 people and caused a bomb to explode in Oslo. If the Norwegian Government’s aim had been to reshape the state along authoritarian lines, things would have been different, but the then premier said, “We will not be deflected from our commitment to creating a better world; let us not give that up. Our answer should be more democracy, openness and humanity.”

      I am not saying that Article 15 should never be invoked, but it should be done with great restraint and care, as the report says. A year ago, a referendum in Turkey was supposed to introduce a new system. The fact that there are to be elections there on 24 June with the country still in a state of emergency shows how significant the steps taken were, and that there has been abuse of Article 15. Thank you.

      Mr Petter EIDE (Norway) – Thank you, Mr President. I am grateful for the report and the resolution, which I warmly welcome. As I understand it, the resolution strictly limits the ability of national States to declare a state of emergency. The context for the debate is events in Turkey, France and Ukraine, but the resolution has wider consequences.

      I want to bring to the Assembly’s attention the fact that some authorities in Europe are exploring how state-of-emergency legislation can be used to reduce asylum seekers’ rights and the number of refugees entering the country. The question is whether it could be legally acceptable, under the framework of the European Convention on Human Rights, to derogate from obligations if we faced a new wave of refugees of the kind that we faced in the summer of 2015. Could such a situation be defined as an event of national crisis? If so, would it give a legal basis for derogation from the Convention? That question has been raised in Norway, my country. The government has explored the possibility of amending state-of-emergency legislation to give them the authority to derogate from basic asylum rights if a refugee crisis occurs. If the parliament passes such legislation, the Norwegian authorities could be mandated to stop refugees forcibly and deny access to asylum procedures.

      I wanted to bring that to the Assembly’s attention because the issue is critical, and I strongly oppose this development. I therefore welcome the resolution, which is very clear that a state of emergency can be used only during a state of war, or another situation in which an emergency threatens the country. If, once again, a million refugees crossed the Mediterranean, and thousands drowned, it would be mostly a crisis for the refugees, not European countries, and such a situation should never give States the opportunity to declare a state of emergency. The Assembly should be very clear: declaring a state of emergency must never be an excuse to derogate from basic obligations, or to deny refugees and asylum seekers their basic rights. Thank you.

      The PRESIDENT – Thank you, Mr Eide.

      That concludes the list of speakers. I call Mr Comte to reply. You have just over five minutes.

      Mr COMTE (Switzerland)* – I thank everyone for their thanks to the whole committee, which improved the draft resolution. I also stress my thanks to the committee’s secretariat, which has been praised for its sterling work in preparing the report.

      I will use the few minutes that I have to highlight a number of amendments that have been proposed in the light of developments that have taken place, particularly in Turkey, since we drafted the resolution. Although member States are obliged to inform the Secretary General of all decree laws enacted, not all did. However, that information has now been transmitted, albeit somewhat belatedly, so we can delete reference to that point from the draft resolution. Similarly, the draft resolution says that all decree laws should be examined critically by the Turkish Parliament. All have since been examined in the way that ordinary laws are; we could deliver a judgment on that procedure, and there were major delays in carrying that out, but that has been done, so the resolution can be corrected in that respect. Those are two examples, but there are others. Those amendments represent factual changes and in no way water down the content of the resolution.

      Conversely, there are amendments to take account of a troubling recent development: the announcement of the extension of the state of emergency, and the calling of an early election while the State is still under that state of emergency. The resolution should express our concern about that. The Venice Commission has pointed out that holding an election or referendum under a state of emergency is problematic, particularly when it could have major effects on political parties and the media, as it could in Turkey. When an election or referendum is to be held, there has to be free debate, and a state of emergency may impede that, which is obviously a major source of concern to the Assembly.

      Our continent will doubtless have an opportunity over the next few years to deal with other situations in which States seek to use Article 15 of the Convention. The most important thing is to ensure that we are equipped with the tools to ensure that its use is proportionate. A state of emergency should not be a cure that is worse than the ailment; it should protect human rights, and not attack them. I think that everyone would agree that in future we need to pay special heed to the issue of establishing a state of emergency, and the principle of proportionality.

      Time is precious, so I give the Assembly the gift of my remaining time – one minute and 45 seconds – and hope that it makes good use of it.

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

      Mr SCHWABE (Germany) – Yes. Thank you, Mr President. Mr Comte’s important report addresses a crucial issue that is at the heart of the work of the Council of Europe, and is not just theoretical; it relates to the current situation in some member States, and particularly Turkey. When a State derogates from the Convention, there is the possibility that it will no longer fully respect all Convention rights. That brings grave risks to the rule of law and democratic freedoms. Our committee’s report serves two purposes: it critically examines recent derogations, and makes general recommendations for future states of emergency. The committee adopted the report unanimously in January, thanks to good co-operation with the delegations that are particularly concerned with the report.

      The committee is able to support most of the amendments that have been tabled. This is a good example of the Assembly at its best, being a forum for dialogue, even on the most politically difficult issues. I thank everybody who participated in the debate, here and in committee, and our rapporteur, Mr Comte.

      The PRESIDENT – Thank you, Mr Schwabe.

      The debate is closed.

      The Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights has presented a draft resolution, to which 19 amendments have been tabled, and a draft recommendation, to which no amendments have been tabled.

      I understand that the committee wishes to propose to the Assembly that amendments 5 and 6, 9 to 11 and 1 to the draft resolution, which were unanimously approved by the committee, be declared as agreed by the Assembly.

      Is that so, Mr Schwabe?

      Mr SCHWABE (Germany) – Yes.

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

      Amendments 5 and 6, 9 to 11 and 1 are adopted.

      The remaining amendments will be taken individually in the order in which they appear in the organisation of debates and the revised compendium, issued today.

       We come to Amendment 2. I call Mr Graf to support the amendment. You have 30 seconds.

      Mr GRAF (Austria)* – France has not just resisted terrorist attacks – that wording is insufficient. France was in the fight against IS, which declared holy war against France. The report should therefore talk about “jihad” rather than “terrorist attacks”.

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

      Mr YENEROĞLU (Turkey)* – I oppose the amendment because the term “jihad” is used not just by terrorists but by right-wing extremists, so let us not do them any favours.

      The PRESIDENT – What is the opinion of the committee?

      Mr SCHWABE (Germany) – The amendment was rejected by a large majority.

      The PRESIDENT – The vote is open.

      Amendment 2 is rejected.

      The PRESIDENT – We come to Amendment 3. I call Mr Graf to support the amendment. You have 30 seconds.

      Mr GRAF (Austria)* – Given that our speaking time is so brief, let me simply refer to my previous remarks.

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

      Mr YENEROĞLU (Turkey)* – I think that there is an attempt here to criminalise mosques. We must make it clear that the fight against terrorism is not a fight against religion, but something that should be conducted together by believers of all faiths.

      The PRESIDENT – What is the opinion of the committee?

      Mr SCHWABE (Germany) – The amendment was rejected by a large majority.

      The PRESIDENT – The vote is open.

      Amendment 3 is rejected.

      The PRESIDENT – We come to Amendment 4. I call Mr Yeneroğlu to support the amendment. You have 30 seconds.

      Mr YENEROĞLU (Turkey)* – As we heard in the official communication from Turkey, it should be noted that the particular measures had to be taken, and Turkey pursued them.

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

      What is the opinion of the committee?

      Mr SCHWABE (Germany) – The amendment was approved by a large majority.

      The PRESIDENT – The vote is open.

      Amendment 4 is adopted.

      The PRESIDENT – We come to Amendment 7, which is, “In the draft resolution, at the end of paragraph 15, insert the following sentence: “The Assembly also firmly condemns terrorist attacks, which target the very values of democracy and freedom, recalling that since the terrorist coup attempt, Turkey has repeatedly suffered further such atrocities.’”

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

      Mr YENEROĞLU (Turkey)* – Condemnation of the terrorist attacks in Turkey should be included, because the terrorist attacks in France were heavily condemned.

      The PRESIDENT – I have been informed that Mr Comte wishes to propose an oral sub-amendment on behalf of the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights. This sub-amendment relates to the English version of the text only. The amendment is as follows: in Amendment 7 to delete the word “terrorist” before “coup attempt”.

      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? That is not the case.

      I call Mr Comte to support the oral sub-amendment. You have 30 seconds.

      Mr COMTE (Switzerland)* – There is a discrepancy between the English and French versions. The English version has an extra word, “terrorist”, to describe the coup attempt, which was not the case in the previous resolution. The idea is for the English and French versions to be identical, which is always better. We should therefore stick to the French version, which refers to a “coup attempt”.

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

      What is the opinion of Mr Yeneroğlu?

      Mr YENEROĞLU (Turkey)* – I will abstain.

      The PRESIDENT – The Committee is clearly in favour.

      The vote is open.

      The oral sub-amendment is adopted.

      The PRESIDENT – We will now consider the main amendment, as amended. Does anyone wish to speak against Amendment 7, as amended? That is not the case.

      What is the opinion of the committee?

      Mr SCHWABE (Germany) – The amendment was approved unanimously.

      The PRESIDENT – The vote is open.

      Amendment 7, as amended, is adopted.

      The PRESIDENT – We come to Amendment 8. I call Mr Yeneroğlu to support the amendment. You have 30 seconds.

      Mr YENEROĞLU (Turkey)* – It is appropriate to avoid generalisations. That is the reason for the amendment.

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

      What is the opinion of the committee?

      Mr SCHWABE (Germany) – The amendment was approved by a large majority.

      The PRESIDENT – The vote is open.

      Amendment 8 is adopted.

      We now come to Amendment 18, which is “in the draft resolution replace paragraph 18.1.2 with the following paragraph ‘make further efforts to enhance material conditions in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions using the crossing points between government-controlled territories and temporarily occupied territories controlled by the Russian occupation administration;’.”

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

      Mr YEMETS (Ukraine) – This is a technical amendment to specify who really controls the territory in the same terminology that we have used in other resolutions. Please vote for the amendment.

      The PRESIDENT – I have been informed that Mr Comte wishes to propose an oral sub-amendment, on behalf of the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights, as follows: in Amendment 18 to replace the words “temporarily occupied territories controlled by the Russian occupation administration” with the following words: “territories temporarily under the effective control of the Russian authorities”.

      In my opinion, the oral sub-amendment is in order under our rules. However, do 10 or more members object to the oral sub-amendment being debated?

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

      Mr COMTE (Switzerland)* – The aim of this oral sub-amendment is to refer to other resolutions that we have adopted. It is a purely editorial change, and I am happy to strengthen the amendment by mentioning that the territories are no longer under Ukrainian control, because they are de facto under Russian control – under the control of the military forces present in the territories. There is no disagreement about the substance; it is just a case of the formulation.

      The PRESIDENT – Thank you very much. Does anyone wish to speak against the oral sub-amendment?

      That is not the case. What is the opinion of Mr Yemets?

      Mr YEMETS (Ukraine) – I support it.

      The PRESIDENT – The Committee is clearly in favour.

      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 on Legal Affairs and Human Rights on the amendment, as amended?

      Mr SCHWABE (Germany) – It was approved by a large majority.

      The PRESIDENT – Thank you.

      The vote is open.

      Amendment 18, as amended, is adopted.

      We now come to Amendment 19, which is, “in the draft resolution, paragraph 18.1.3, replace the words ‘non-government-controlled areas;’ with the following words: ‘temporarily occupied territories in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions controlled by the Russian occupation administration;’.”

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

      Mr YEMETS (Ukraine) – The argument is the same as for the previous amendment. Please support it.

      The PRESIDENT – I have been informed that Mr Comte wishes to propose an oral sub-amendment, on behalf of the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights, as follows:

      In Amendment 19 to delete the words “temporarily occupied” and replace the words “controlled by the Russian occupation administration” with the words “temporarily under the effective control of the Russian authorities”.

      In my opinion, the oral sub-amendment is in order under our rules. However, do 10 or more members object to the oral sub-amendment being debated?

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

      Mr COMTE (Switzerland)* – The explanation is the same as for the previous amendment. We have changed the text of that amendment and the proposed text of Amendment 19 needs to be corrected in the same way.

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

      What is the opinion of Mr Yemets?

      Mr YEMETS (Ukraine) – I am in favour.

      The PRESIDENT – The Committee is obviously in favour.

      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 on Legal Affairs and Human Rights on the amendment, as amended?

      Mr SCHWABE (Germany) – It was approved by a large majority.

      The PRESIDENT – Thank you.

      The vote is open.

      Amendment 19, as amended, is adopted.

      I call Mr Yeneroğlu to support Amendment 12. You have 30 seconds.

      Mr YENEROĞLU (Turkey)* – Paragraph 14 of the draft resolution notes that we have already carried out the requirement in paragraph 18.3.1. The amendment would simply confirm a fact; otherwise, the report will contain an untrue assertion.

      The PRESIDENT – Thank you very much, Mr Yeneroğlu. Does anyone wish to speak against the amendment? That is not the case.

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

      Mr SCHWABE (Germany) – It was rejected.

      The PRESIDENT – Thank you.

      The vote is open.

      Amendment 12 is rejected.

      I call Mr Yeneroğlu to support Amendment 13. You have 30 seconds.

      Mr YENEROĞLU (Turkey)* – All amendments were adopted by the Grand National Assembly of Turkey and the necessary changes were made. That means that all things have gone through the customary procedures and we have paved the way for the constitutional court, so an amendment ought to be made.

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

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

      Mr SCHWABE (Germany) – It was approved by a large majority.

      The PRESIDENT – Thank you.

      The vote is open.

      Amendment 13 is adopted.

      I call Mr Yeneroğlu to support Amendment 14. You have 30 seconds.

      Mr YENEROĞLU (Turkey)* – The reference to the core principles, including independence, impartiality and transparency, would strengthen the paragraph. Mr Jagland preferred this wording during his last visit to Turkey and used it in his work for the Committee, so I suggest that we keep to it.

      The PRESIDENT – Thank you, Mr Yeneroğlu. Does anyone wish to speak against the amendment? That is not the case.

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

      Mr SCHWABE (Germany) – It was approved by a large majority.

      The PRESIDENT – Thank you.

      The vote is open.

      Amendment 14 is approved.

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

      Mr YENEROĞLU (Turkey)* – The decrees were taken up by the Grand National Assembly and adopted through normal proceedings. No further decrees could be repealed. The appeal in the draft resolution therefore makes no sense any more.

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

      What is the opinion of the committee?

      Mr SCHWABE (Germany) – The amendment was approved unanimously.

      The PRESIDENT – The vote is open.

      Amendment 15 is adopted.

      I have received an oral amendment from Mr Comte, which is as follows: “In paragraph 18.3.6, replace the words ‘reinstatement of any measures that may require’ with the following words: ‘introduction of any future measures that may be required’”.

      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 Mr Comte to support Oral Amendment 1. You have 30 seconds.

      Mr COMTE (Switzerland)* – As a consequence of the decision that we have just taken to delete the first sentence of the paragraph, we need to adapt the text. If Turkey is to take new measures, we call for the pursuance of normal administrative and legislative processes. This is an editorial change relating to the deletion of the first part of the paragraph.

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

      The committee is clearly in favour.

      The vote is open.

      The oral amendment is adopted.

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

      Mr YENEROĞLU (Turkey)* – It would be appropriate to refer to the dialogue of experts between Turkey and the Council of Europe. That is what I aim for with the amendment.

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

      What is the opinion of the committee?

      Mr SCHWABE (Germany) – It was approved by a large majority.

      The PRESIDENT – The vote is open.

      Amendment 16 is adopted.

      We come to Amendment 17. I call Mr Yeneroğlu to support the amendment. You have 30 seconds.

      Mr YENEROĞLU (Turkey)* – The paragraph refers to time pressure, but the circumstances and threats that led to the imposition of a state of emergency have their own reality and dynamic. We must therefore be precise about those circumstances, which involved avoiding human rights abuses. That is why we should keep a distance from such deadlines.

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

      What is the opinion of the committee?

      Mr SCHWABE (Germany) – It was rejected by a large majority.

      The PRESIDENT – The vote is open.

      Amendment 17 is rejected.

      We will now proceed to vote on the draft resolution contained in Document 14506, as amended.

      The vote is open.

      The draft resolution in Document 14506, as amended, is adopted, with 110 votes for, four against and seven abstentions.

      We will now proceed to vote on the draft recommendation contained in Document 14506.

      The vote is open.

      The draft recommendation in Document 14506 is adopted, with 111 votes for, three against and two abstentions.

      I must remind you that the vote is in progress to elect a judge in respect of Montenegro to the European Court of Human Rights. The poll will close at 5 p.m. Those who have not voted may still do so by going to the area behind the President’s chair.

      I will now suspend the sitting for a short time until the address by Mr Nikola Dimitrov. I ask members to stay in the room and not to rush off.

(The sitting, suspended at 11.50 a.m., was resumed at 12 noon, with Mr Nicoletti, President of the Assembly, in the Chair.)

3. Address by Mr Nikola Dimitrov, Minister for Foreign Affairs of

“The former Yugloslav Republic of Macedonia”

      The PRESIDENT – We will now hear an address by Mr Nikola Dimitrov, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the “The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia”. After his address, Mr Dimitrov will take questions from the floor.

      Minister, welcome to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. It is an honour to receive you. Our Assembly is the largest European political forum and a place where politicians from different corners of Europe meet, share views and express opinions on topical issues of European politics.

      Your statement today allows us to focus our attention on the situation in south-eastern Europe, which is a key region for Europe’s stability. The region, and your country in particular, faces important external challenges, such as those relating to the wave of migrants and refugees arriving in Europe, as well as internal challenges, in particular important ongoing reforms. The European integration process in which all countries of the region are involved is a driving force behind those reforms. It is also an opportunity to make the region more stable and resilient in the face of external and internal challenges. Therefore, we look forward to hearing your views about how the process is progressing in your country and the region in general.

      In that context, allow me to emphasise the importance of good neighbourly relations and regional co-operation. Talks between your country and Greece have recently intensified. We welcome that process and look forward to hearing more from you about the possibility of reaching an agreement on the issue that continues to divide the two countries.

      Minister, you have the floor.

      Mr DIMITROV (Minister for Foreign Affairs of the “The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia”) – Mr President, members of the Parliamentary Assembly, your Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen and dear friends, it is a special honour to have this opportunity to address the oldest, in a multilateral sense, home of European parliamentarianism.

      I will talk briefly about my selfish reasons for being here. I worked with the Council of Europe a lot when I joined the Foreign Ministry back in 1996 or 1997. At the time, the work was about the drafting of the non-discrimination clause – Article 14 of our Convention. I also did my Master’s thesis on the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities, so the Council of Europe’s ideals and values are very close to my heart.

      However, I have other, less selfish, reasons for being here: I have a hopeful story to share. At a time when our values are not to be taken for granted, when democracy is not without its challenges globally and in Europe, good stories should be told and shared. Friday 27 April will mark one year since the darkest day in our democracy since our independence in 1991, when we had a dreadful attack on the parliament. An angry mob was allowed to enter and attack members of parliament. What we have achieved since then, in less than a year, is nothing short of a U-turn.

      I am really proud that the European Commission’s report recognises that. It recognises the government’s hard work and, more importantly, that of our society, to gallop towards European and Euro-Atlantic integration. Allow me to recall the words of the High Representative Federica Mogherini, who said recently in Skopje, “You have delivered so much in such a little time.” Commissioner Hahn added that the country has become an example for democratic changes in the region. The report gave us a clear recommendation to start accession negotiations with the European Union on the basis of merit-based results. It also commends the government’s reform efforts and undertakings. A report by Freedom House, an impartial entity that measures democracy and media freedom globally, said that was the biggest chance for a democratic breakthrough in Europe. It went on to say that the country is small, but the opportunity is big. All of that proves that the country has shifted from a position of being a “captured State”, usually listed in the past few years under the heading “problems to be resolved”, towards being a State of opportunities.

      It is a fact that these processes cannot be developed overnight. We are far from perfect, but we have a genuine political will to make it. That requires an inclusive, open, transparent and constructive debate. Most of all, it requires an earnest, sincere approach by all sides. That applies to our strategic partners, whose support remains essential. We need a sincere relationship to do the work properly at home, as well as a credible European perspective. If there is a mistake, it should be said and shamed. If there is something good and progress is made, that needs to be praised.

      The only right way to preserve stability and ensure prosperity in the Balkans is to further accelerate European integration. The new EU-Western Balkans enlargement strategy gives a new impetus to that. The main question is how to make our region a better place. If we were to join the European Union tomorrow, the countries would be the same. The challenge is to change our countries from within, making them better and more European. To me, that is about the rule of law, checks and balances, free media, predictability, power being checked and holding governments to account.

      What we had back home was a crisis of institutions, which failed to react to an obvious wrongdoing. The result of two and a half years of back and forth and broad political mobilisation across ethnic lines is that we proved that our country is better than that: our society is more resilient than our institutions. That is why this government’s biggest promise is to make the institutions stronger to ensure that a system is in place that means no future abuse is possible, regardless of who is in power. To me as a citizen, our fight was not about the left or right; it was a fight to save our democracy.

      On foreign policy, we have put a special emphasis on our integration with the European Union and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, good neighbourly relations and regional co-operation. We have introduced a new spirit in fostering our relations with all neighbouring countries, with a focus on overcoming difficult issues. After all, diplomacy should be about resolving, not maintaining, problems – about opening doors and building friendships. Here, again, I turn to the influence of Strasbourg itself with its history and symbolism for reconciliation. Guided by these positive examples of building bridges, we managed without third party engagement to conclude an agreement of friendship, good neighbourliness and co-operation with our neighbour, Bulgaria, setting an important milestone in our bilateral relations and confirming the readiness on both sides to focus on the common European future. The agreement already proves its aim.

      We want to do the same with our Greek friends. For my first bilateral visit, during my second week as Foreign Minister, I went to Athens. Our region is proud and very rich in history, but given the times we live in and how busy our continent is, it is time to think about the present and future while learning the lessons from that history. It is time to work on something that we can actually change and shape. During my 10 months in post, Minister Kotzias is probably the Minister I have met the most. Initially, it was about getting to know each other and building trust and confidence. Now we are trying to resolve an issue as old as the independence of my country in 1991, in a way that will cover the most important requirements in both Athens and Skopje.

      We are trying to increase the differentiation between Macedonia the country and Macedonia the region in Greece in a way that will not harm or undermine dignity and identity on either side of the border. If we manage to do that, it will be a huge breakthrough. Tonight I am going to Vienna for another round of talks with Nikos Kotzias and the mediator, Mr Matthew Nimetz. A solution is not impossible, but I do not want to underestimate the difficulties of an issue that has been entrenched for more than two decades. In many ways, we are racing against time: the European train has departed and the electoral cycles in both countries mean that we have a limited window of opportunity. We also talk about the positive agenda for the future. We have tried hard, but it is not easy to overcome the difference in the visions of both countries in terms of our future bilateral co-operation and where we would like to see our region. Having a genuinely democratic neighbour that is stable, predictable and friendly will be important for Greece as well.

      We have taken a proactive approach, at all levels, to our relations with Albania, Serbia and Kosovo, with the goal of advancing our political and economic relations. We have a sense that in our region we will either make it and rise, or break it and fall – together. We have an interest in all our neighbours becoming successful, strong and prosperous democracies.

      Ladies and gentlemen, I turn briefly and slightly more specifically to the domestic reform agenda. We are investing a lot of effort in curing weaknesses that have been detected. Mostly, we focus on the justice system, the judiciary, freedom of expression, the media, functional checks and balances and the fight against corruption. We have started substantial reforms of the judiciary, which I can discuss at greater length if there are questions about it. I give one example: there was an entity, the so-called Council for the Establishment of Facts, that was obviously used as a tool to influence judges politically. It was dismantled. We have also investigated abuses of software used to randomly assign cases to individual judges. We want to create a situation and context where judges will be independent. That will be partly an effort of the executive and the legislature. Also very importantly, it will be about the integrity of the people who make up the third power: the judiciary.

      We are also tackling the heart of the crisis, which those who have followed the situation will recall was the system to intercept communications. We have a model, based on lengthy consultations with partners and the European Commission, which will make it impossible for anyone to misuse the system for political or personal gains. The system will be excluded from the ministry of the interior and its technical aspects will be separated from the content, so that those switching off and on will not have access to the content. There will also be a triple-layered oversight: parliamentary, civic and that of the public prosecutor.

      Freedom of expression is extremely important; we have learned that the hard way. The attack of 27 April that I mentioned was not exactly broadcast from many of the TV channels that are supposed to defend the public interest. In addition to drafting laws – they are important, but their implementation is more so – we have stopped using taxpayers’ money to fund the media by way of publicly paid advertisements. Market forces are back in play in the media, and we have changed our attitude: we debate with representatives from the opposition, academia and civil society. Debate is healthy.

      I mentioned civil society. We have a very inclusive decision-making process when it comes to dealing with all these reforms: the voice of civil society is heard and it is part of the group of experts working on reforms.

      The fight against corruption remains a top priority, and we co-operate fully with GRECO, the Group of States against Corruption, to combat corruption at all levels. We are working on making subject to the comprehensive methodology developed by Commissioner Malmström to measure real corruption, not the perception of it, by sector, based on the experiences of citizens and companies. We want to do that this year. We are fully committed to the Ohrid Framework Agreement, which is a basis for inter-ethnic cohesion and positive inter-ethnic relations in our society. We are a multi-ethnic society. Our big-picture vision is that, the more together the different communities are, the stronger the country will be. That is how we approach all such issues. I like the saying “Never waste a good crisis”: the political crisis had the effect of mobilising people across ethnic lines on the basis of values and principles – in our case, those were accountability and the demand for justice. That is a healthy development for our society.

      I would like to emphasise the significance of Council of Europe and European Union assistance incorporated in the three-year horizontal facility programme for the Western Balkans and Turkey. It relies on tailor-made technical co-operation to assist the respective States in implementing recommendations made by the Council of Europe monitoring bodies. Working on incorporating Council of Europe standards, we have ratified the Istanbul Convention as the most comprehensive international agreement on combating domestic violence.

      All of these efforts emphasise our political will to make it. We are determined to continue on our course and avoid a relapse, and to enhance the resilience of our institutions and the system for future challenges. Our commitment and political will, and the new approach of the European Union, are a huge driving force to deepen the momentum that opens up the road towards the political decision by the European Council in June to start our accession negotiations, and we will do everything we can for Greece to be part of that consensus.

      We live in a world of global uncertainty, unpredictability and new challenges. Upholding the values of this organisation is all the more important in this context. Mindful of Europe’s turbulent history, today it is important to restate that we, the 47 member States of the oldest European organisation, have the duty and responsibility to uphold the high standards set out in the field of human rights, democracy and the rule of law. In reaching these goals, we protect and promote the core values of Europe and lay the foundations for a better future for the next generations, and for them to live in peace, prosperity and freedom.

      We all experience the complex old and new threats, phenomena and challenges: the rise of populism and xenophobia, massive waves of migration and refugees, fake news, terrorism and financial difficulties. These are extremely serious issues that go beyond national borders and, as such, require a joint response. We have a duty to unite, organise ourselves and work hard to address these challenges, whether us as government officials at home or in the Committee of Ministers or you as members of national parliaments, working here in this Assembly and representing national parliaments. We are called to make a difference and lead our nations for a better tomorrow, and to bring forward the vision of our brave predecessors, the creators of the structure for European co-operation. We support the idea of organising a Council of Europe summit to reaffirm European unity, defend and promote democratic security, and enhance the efficiency and authority of the human rights protection system.

      Another important issue is Council of Europe action to secure the long-term effectiveness of the supervisory mechanism of the European Convention on Human Rights. In the declaration adopted on 13 April in Copenhagen, the member States recalled the principle of shared responsibility for implementing our Convention, and the obligation to ensure full and effective execution of the Court’s judgements and the need to take the appropriate procedure in the process of the selection of judges. We welcome the measures taken by the Court to reduce its workload, and no less important is the ratification of Protocol 15, ratified by 42 State parties to the Convention, among which is “the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia”.

      Finally, Mr President, I turn to an issue that is highly topical on your agenda as well, and I do so less on behalf of my government and more on my personal behalf as a European citizen: the recent report of the Independent Investigative Body on the allegations of corruption in the Parliamentary Assembly. What we learned from our own crisis in our society is never to leave a problem unattended and never to turn a blind eye. That is why it is of the utmost importance to completely and comprehensively shed light on the allegations and clear all suspicions. We are indebted to the vision of the founding fathers and owe it to our children to keep the moral high ground of our Organisation, which serves as guardian of the values of democracy, freedom and justice.

      I thank you all most warmly for your attention, and I am eager to respond to your questions.

      The PRESIDENT – Thank you very much, Mr Dimitrov, for your most interesting address. Members of the Assembly have questions to put to you.

      I remind them that questions must be limited to 30 seconds and no more. Colleagues should be asking questions and not making speeches.

      The first question is by Mr Ghiletchi.

      Mr GHILETCHI (Republic of Moldova, Spokesperson for the Group of the European People’s Party) – Mr Minister, welcome to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. You touched in your speech on the sensitive issue of the name of the country, and you seem optimistic but also prudent. If you reach an agreement, how will you tackle the issue inside the country? Are you optimistic about forming a large political coalition on this issue, given the crisis you recently went through?

      Mr DIMITROV – That is not an easy question. A sustainable solution to the differences over the name between the Hellenic Republic and “the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia” must take into account the moods of the two bodies of public opinion. A solution that splits society in half will not be a sustainable one, so we face an obvious political constraint. At the same time, we have a duty to prepare public opinion that a compromise is important for the future and is the right thing to do, and I will say what I 7usually say when I talk at home: politicians usually think about political responsibility in terms of what they will do, but often forget that there is political responsibility in non-action as well. The easiest thing for any Foreign Minister to do is not touch this issue or completely ignore it, but the consequences of that are negative. I think we have a lot to gain; if we manage to achieve a breakthrough, there are so many issues on which we have a common interest. In many ways, I see the process with Greece as a process of learning how to become friends and allies, because eventually, once we do this, that is what the reality will be: we will be allies. That is why, unlike in the previous strategy on this issue, we take out arguments from those political forces that would not like to see a solution and give arguments to those political forces that would like to see a solution. The foreign policy of my country in our region is such that it is very difficult to pick a fight with us; it is difficult to pick a fight with someone who is not interested in fighting.

      Mr Espen Barth EIDE (Norway, Spokesperson for the Socialists, Democrats and Greens Group.) – On behalf of my group, I welcome you, Mr Dimitrov, to the Assembly and thank you for your important statement. My question also relates to the name issue, which regrettably has held your country back from Euro-Atlantic integration for way too long. What specific steps can be taken in the near future to capitalise on this important window of opportunity and this momentum that has been created so you can open all the doors that would be opened if you actually achieved a settlement? What is the immediate near-term plan?

      Mr DIMITROV – As I mentioned, the immediate plan is to fly to Vienna and have another round of talks with our mediator, Mr Nimetz. These negotiations have never been directly at the level of foreign ministers so there is a measure of political risk, but at the same time I really think we have a window of opportunity. On structure and steps, I do not know if I can provide a concrete answer in that regard. We have to keep at it and do our best. The latest issue is a matter of domestic policy. The more this issue is about strategy and long-term vision, the more chance we will have to resolve it. It is not easy, because in the past I do not think we have done enough to explain. There is a thick layer of prejudice and ignorance, dare I say it, in terms of both sets of public opinion, but no one said it would be easy. Our task is to do our best and to leave no stone unturned in finding an opportunity or a window that we can use.

      The Earl of DUNDEE (United Kingdom, Spokesperson for the European Conservatives Group) – On the window of opportunity to achieve formal European Union accession in the negotiations this summer, which particular measures are now planned to progress further some of the issues to which you have just referred – judicial reform, parliamentary oversight of the intelligence services, public administration, including non-partisan recruitment and promotion; and with regard to the media environment, allowing investigative freedom for journalists, while encouraging the broader scrutiny of government and a wider forum for public debate?

      Mr DIMITROV – I do not think I will be able to tackle all those elements, although I touched on some of them in my introductory remarks. This is the very heart of our mission at the moment. We have been locked in the waiting room or waiting at the station since 2005. We were the first country, back in 2001, to sign a stabilisation and association agreement, in Luxembourg. Candidate status was granted in 2005, with the Commission recommending the start of accession talks. After going through a difficult crisis, which has had the effect of making our society more mature, determined and hungry to make it, we will now do everything we can to catch that train. It is important for us, for our neighbours and for the region. The ultimate goal is not joining the European Union, but becoming a European democracy.

      On the issues you mention, of the nine fundamental areas that the Commission put under the spotlight in the report, we have in the past two or three years made good progress on media freedom, good progress overall on Chapters 23 and 24, and good progress on the reform of public administration. I mentioned the Freedom House report. We finally have positive scores for the first time since 2010. After seven years of decline, we have managed to turn it around. Even if there was no European Union, we would still have to do what we have started to do. This is our mission. Be assured that we will stay honest. There is genuine political will. I sometimes use the word “hunger” – perhaps not the most appropriate word to use – to explain the sense of urgency we feel in our society to make it this time.

      Ms RODRÍGUEZ HERNÁNDEZ (Spain, Spokesperson for the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe)* – The European Commission has recommended the opening of negotiations for the accession of “the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia” to the European Union, but what about the lack of respect for freedom of expression in the media? What about the fight against corruption? What concrete measures will be taken by your government to secure the freedom of the press and to ensure a proper fight against corruption?

      Mr DIMITROV – Transparency with regard to governance has increased dramatically. In my first week in office, I realised that the trips and expenses of the ministry and the minister were classified. I declassified them immediately, so now everything is in the open. I sometimes use the phrase “tying one’s own hands”. It is healthy for the public to have access on that issue and on much bigger issues. Bad things are done in the dark and that is why we need the light. We publish the agenda of government sessions before they take place and we have opened up completely in many other ways. I mentioned the project we want to undertake, which is to have a very in-depth, comprehensive measurement of corruption by sector. This will involve a number of surveys of citizens and companies, and will serve as a good guide as to where our biggest issues are.

      On the media, I mentioned not using public funds to advertise and influence editorial policies. We had a number of elections without debate between political opponents, which is not a healthy sign in a democracy. We have had a change of approach and now have debates. Public opinion’s tolerance of mistakes has been set at a very low level. There is criticism on small issues and on big issues, which is how it should be. A proposed draft law will enable the financial independence of the editorial board of the public broadcaster. That is what I mean when I talk about tying one’s own hands. The government will not be able to encourage or discourage the public broadcaster through financial dependence. The report of the Commission showed, the Freedom House report showed and I am sure the Reporters Without Borders report will show that we are definitely on the way up when it comes to the freedom of the media, and that is not because we want to get good scores but because we need it for ourselves at home. We have learnt the hard way how important that is.

      Mr HUNKO (Germany, Spokesperson for the Unified European Left)* – A few weeks ago, we witnessed the terrible attack in Salisbury. Investigations are still under way – we do not yet have any evidence – and yet many European countries have expelled diplomats, while others have not. I would like to know why “the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia” took part in expelling diplomats. I do not think it is an intelligent approach to take decisions before conclusions have been reached.

      Mr DIMITROV – The decision was not made lightly; it involved a careful consideration of many elements. We also had a separate domestic reason, as a person using diplomatic cover was involved in the unauthorised and illegitimate collection of delicate information. We made the decision after taking all that into account. We believe in friendship with both large and small powers. However, friendship must be based on sincerity and a basic understanding of the needs and divisions of the other. The action was also taken following a press release from Moscow saying how our aspirations to join NATO might not be a positive development for regional stability. We would like both small and big countries to respect the will of our people. Over 70% of our public is very keen to see this unfinished business completed. It has been a charted goal since 1993. One of the first declarations of our parliament was about NATO. This is not about liking or disliking or against any country. We firmly believe that it will help our stability and have a calming influence on our region. We already have enough issues in our region without adding to them the renewed tensions between the Russian Federation and the West in moving our region forward. I think I will stop there before saying something that I do not really want to.

      Ms FILIPOVSKI (Serbia, Spokesperson for the Free Democrats Group) – Mr Dimitrov, what do you think the Bulgarian summit in May could bring to the Western Balkans after the statement of President Macron of France, in relation to European Union reform, about the admission of new members and the criticism in the European Commission report on the rule of law, media freedom and the fight against corruption in the Western Balkans countries, as a problem for their accession to the European Union?

      Mr DIMITROV – The Sofia summit next month will take place 15 years after the European Union’s promise to the Balkans in Thessaloniki in Greece. The summit will be focused on connectivity and security, and I believe it is really important that a strong signal should be sent as the summit will take place 15 years after Thessaloniki and the European Commission’s strategy. Ms Filipovski referred to the statement of President Macron. I do not think the statements were necessarily contradictory as it is possible both to consolidate and to expand the European Union. As we all know, none of the countries in our region is in a situation where it can join tomorrow. The European Commission set 2025 as an indicative timeline. What is really important is the journey, the accession process. The accession process is the best reform tool we have. At the same time, the consolidation of Europe cannot exclude the Balkans. The migration crisis has shown how integral our vision is to Europe’s own security. I end with a quote from Lord Robertson, who was engaged in our region back in 2001 as the Secretary-General of NATO. He said: “If you cannot ride two horses at the same time, what are you doing in the circus in the first place?” I will stop there.

      The PRESIDENT – Thank you very much, Mr Dimitrov.

We will hear a group of three questions and then give the floor again to Mr Dimitrov. I call first Ms Kasimati.

       Ms KASIMATI (Greece) – Welcome, Mr Minister. We must remain confident that the ongoing negotiation process will contribute in any case substantially to the deep enhancement of the already significant bilateral relationship of our countries in all fields of activity, with a common denominator being the good will and prosperity of our people. Having said that, the negotiated common ground for a mutually agreed name between Greece and FYROM, the need of which has been recognised and stipulated by the United Nations, NATO and the European Union, has thus far been centred upon the use of that name to be both erga omnes and for all purposes. In which specific way do you think you can protect that common ground considering that you still seek to maintain the constitutional name, which is the core of the issue? Also, do you believe that you grant the said protection to the negotiation process, when in fact you seem to be seeking to secure a formal status of a double name?

      Ms SCHOU (Norway) – Dear Minister Dimitrov, thank you for your statement. As was said in the Chamber yesterday, corruption is like cancer for democracy and the rule of law. I know that combating corruption has been an important part of your reform agenda and that much of the legal and institutional framework is in place, but what further initiatives do you think are most important to effectively tackle the corruption in Macedonian society?

      Mr HOWELL (United Kingdom) – Since “the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia” appeared before the European Court of Human Rights in 2012, what have you done to clean up the human rights record of “the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia”?

      Mr DIMITROV – The first question was very detailed, and I appreciate it. Throughout this month of talks with our Greek friends – I think this is true for their side as well, but I can speak for our side – we have had this difficulty of juggling two interests that are not always compatible. One is to protect the process, where negotiations actually take place, and the other is to inform the public. The danger of presenting negotiating positions publicly is that they will become national positions, thereby limiting the space for the negotiations and for talks to proceed. I am therefore debating with myself as I speak whether I should touch on some of the concrete issues.

      We all know the positions on both sides. I do not know whether it will help if we say that a solution must include both our positions; we have to think creatively, to see whether we can move the elements in a way that will ensure that it covers what is most important in Athens and what is really important in Skopje. That is easier said than done. To do that, we have to put more weight on the talks at the table, and of course, once there is a package that both sides are willing to support, we have to go over details and elaborate on everything to the public, and so on. I see this tension, and I do not know whether we have done a perfect job in balancing the two sets of interests in recent months.

      There was another question on corruption, and the third question was on the jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights, and what we do domestically. I will answer the latter question somewhat symbolically. With regard to those who fail to get justice, or think that justice has failed them at home, in terms of the domestic procedures, all citizens are aware of the light and the credibility of the European Court of Human Rights. That is why I think – this was my last point in my speech – it is so important to protect the integrity and credibility of that beacon of hope and justice; we do not have too many of those nowadays, even in Europe.

      At home, in the long run, two significant elements will be important in maintaining this effort. One of them is the awakening of the civil society that is there, so that it is aware of its potential and strength. If governments are left unchecked, they will make a mistake sooner or later, so you have to have a strong civil society, watching, criticising, praising, and engaging with them. I think we have that. That is a major achievement that is not about laws and legislation; it is a result of the crisis of impunity that we faced.

      On corruption, we are preparing a new public procurement law, which will be in line with the European experience. For instance, with regard to the fight to attract foreign direct investment, matters regarding all investments made under the State aid incentives offered to foreign companies, so that they would come and create jobs, were classified. Under the new system, we declassified them, and we will have a standardised State aid system, in which aid is contingent on the number of jobs created, the amount of investment, the impact of the investment on the domestic economy, and so on. Before, this was done in the shadows; it will now be completely in the open, transparent, and standardised, and things will be equal for all companies. Thank you.

      The PRESIDENT – Thank you. We will have four last questions; I ask members to please be brief. The first is from Mr Vareikis.

      Mr VAREIKIS (Lithuania) – Minister, my question is about Albania, a neighbouring country. In your country, you still have controversy about the Albanian language and the status of the Albanian community. How will you evaluate future relations with your Albanian-speaking neighbours and the Albanian community in your country?

      Ms GROZDANOVA (Bulgaria) – Minister, my question concerns the progress made on cross-border co-operation between “the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia” and Kosovo, in line with the instrument for pre-accession assistance, and the results achieved in the fight against illegal migration across the border between the two countries. Thank you.

      Mr CSENGER-ZALÁN (Hungary) – Thank you for your statement, Mr Dimitrov. The latest news is that the pressure of illegal mass migration is growing again on the Turkey-Greece border. How do you see this problem, and what measures do you plan to take on the Macedonian border to keep the West Balkan route closed? Thank you.

      Mr YENEROĞLU (Turkey) – I withdraw my question.

      Mr DIMITROV – Thank you for the questions. We have had our first ever joint government session with Albania, in which we talked about several new agreements. We share many interests; there is a very positive relationship there. We are a multi-ethnic society. Our region is ethnically mixed, and my country is not an exception. We have two competing visions for the future of the Balkans. One is European integration, and the second is a focus on ethnicity and ethnic boundaries – and we saw where that focus took us in the ’90s. The only viable, safe, peaceful vision for the region is European integration. I think the political will is there. I think we can still do more at home, in the region, but if we match genuine efforts at home to do the homework with a credible European perspective, and if we show sincerity, progress will definitely come.

      At home, the long-term challenge will be to build more bridges between our youngsters of different ethnic backgrounds. One of the best tools for doing that is integrated education. We have very strong protections – I do not think that anyone would question that – but in the long run, our next focus should be on integration, and building a sense of togetherness between those of the next generation who are of different ethnic backgrounds. There are some ideas along those lines in the Office of the High Commissioner on National Minorities of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, and at home.

      On cross-border co-operation, I am struggling to come up with details. I know that we are working on a new border crossing point, and that, together with Bulgaria, we have a great record of using the European funds that are available for cross-border co-operation. We have a strong interest in our two neighbours, Pristina and Belgrade, resolving their own bilateral history, and in maintaining close and friendly relations with both. Occasionally, our relations with one or the other suffer from their own dynamic – we do not want to be a player in this or that. It is a workable, close relationship at a political level, but I am struggling to come up with details about cross-border co-operation, so perhaps we can send you a letter with more precise information.

      On migration, I do not think that there is an easy response. All the concerns are relevant. One is the important and complex relationship between the European Union and Turkey. It can have – it has already had – consequences for the challenge of migration. The closing of the Balkan route is also very important. Many countries have a strong interest in its remaining closed. There is also the matter of solidarity with our Greek friends. It is not an easy territory to fully control in terms of the islands and the sea. In my last 30 seconds, I cannot really offer a big vision on this. We have to continue to do our best and watch for our neighbours, our friends in Europe and our own interests – our people and our national boundaries. However, the problem goes well beyond national borders and the only way to really tackle it will include close international co-operation and thinking about the needs of the other. It also means thinking about the needs of refugees, especially those who flee to save their lives. We can do a better job, globally and in Europe.

      Thank you very much for the opportunity to speak, Mr President, ladies and gentlemen.

      The PRESIDENT – We must now conclude the questions to Mr Dimitrov. On behalf of the Assembly, I thank you most warmly for your address and your answers. Let me express my sincere appreciation for what your country has done recently in progressing democracy, protecting human rights and defending the rule of law. We also appreciate your commitment in ratifying the Istanbul Convention, which is one of our most important conventions. We appreciate too the way in which you are dealing with the relationship with your neighbours and we wish you all the best, and great success in the important task of strengthening good relationships and friendship with all the members of our Assembly.

      You said at the end of your speech that you learned from the crisis in Macedonian society never to leave a problem unattended. That is good advice, which also applies to us. Thank you very much indeed.

      I remind colleagues that the ballot for electing the judge in respect of Montenegro to the European Court of Human Rights is now suspended until this afternoon’s sitting. Voting will reopen at 3.30 p.m. and close at 5 p.m.

4. Next public business

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

      The sitting is closed.

      (The sitting was closed at 1.05 p.m.)


1.        Election of a judge to the European Court of Human Rights

2.        State of emergency: proportionality issues concerning derogations under Article 15 of the European Convention on Human Rights

Presentation by Mr Comte of the report of the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights in Document 14506

Speakers: Mr Howell, Mr van de Ven, Mr Ӧzsoy, Mr Vareikis, Ms Mikko, Mr Fournier, Mr Venizelos, Mr Grosdidier, Mr Kern, Mr Efstathiou, Mr Kürkçü, Mr Usov, Mr Bildarratz, Mr Yeneroğlu, Ms Trisse, Mr Hunko and Mr Petter Eide

Replies: Mr Comte and Mr Schwabe

Amendments 5, 6, 9, 10, 11, 1, 4, 7 as amended, 8, 18 and 19 as amended, 13, 14, 15, oral amendment 1, and 16

3.        Address by Mr Nikola Dimitrov, Minister for Foreign Affairs of “the Former Yugloslav Republic of Macedonia”

Questions: Mr Ghiletchi, Mr Espen Barth Eide, Earl of Dundee, Ms Rodríguez Hernández, Mr Hunko, Ms Filipovski, Ms Kasimati, Ms Schou, Mr Howell, Mr Vareikis, Ms Grozdanova and Mr Csemger-Zalan

4.        Next public business

Appendix I / Annexe I

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 ŕ l’article 12.2 du Rčglement. Le nom des personnes remplacées suit celui des Membres remplaçant, entre parenthčses.

ĹBERG, Boriana [Ms]

ĆVARSDÓTTIR, Thorhildur Sunna [Ms]

AGHAYEVA, Ulviyye [Ms]

AKTAY, Yasin [Mr]

ALEKSANDROV, Nikolay [Mr] (BOGDANOV, Krasimir [Mr])

AMON, Werner [Mr]

ARENT, Iwona [Ms]

ARNAUT, Damir [Mr]

BADEA, Viorel Riceard [M.] (BRĂILOIU, Tit-Liviu [Mr])

BAKOYANNIS, Theodora [Ms]

BAKUN, Wojciech [Mr] (JAKUBIAK, Marek [Mr])

BALÁŽ, Radovan [Mr] (PAŠKA, Jaroslav [M.])

BARTOS, Mónika [Ms] (VEJKEY, Imre [Mr])

BECHT, Olivier [M.]

BENEŠIK, Ondřej [Mr]

BENNING, Sybille [Ms] (VOGEL, Volkmar [Mr])

BERNACKI, Włodzimierz [Mr]


BĒRZINŠ, Andris [M.]


BEYER, Peter [Mr]


BILOVOL, Oleksandr [Mr]


BLONDIN, Maryvonne [Mme]

BRASSEUR, Anne [Mme]

BUSHATI, Ervin [Mr]

BUSHKA, Klotilda [Ms]

CEPEDA, José [Mr]

CHITI, Vannino [Mr]




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

CIMBRO, Eleonora [Ms] (SANTANGELO, Vincenzo [Mr])

COMTE, Raphaël [M.] (MÜLLER, Thomas [Mr])


CORREIA, Telmo [M.] (MARQUES, Duarte [Mr])

CORSINI, Paolo [Mr]

COURSON, Yolaine de [Mme] (MAIRE, Jacques [M.])


CSÖBÖR, Katalin [Mme]

CZELEJ, Grzegorz [Mr] (WOJTYŁA, Andrzej [Mr])

DAMYANOVA, Milena [Mme]

DE TEMMERMAN, Jennifer [Mme]

DI STEFANO, Manlio [Mr]

DIVINA, Sergio [Mr]

DONCHEV, Andon [Mr] (HRISTOV, Plamen [Mr])

DUMERY, Daphné [Ms]

DUNDEE, Alexander [The Earl of] [ ]

EBERLE-STRUB, Susanne [Ms]

EFSTATHIOU, Constantinos [Mr] (LOUCAIDES, George [Mr])

EIDE, Espen Barth [Mr]

EIDE, Petter [Mr] (MEHL, Emilie Enger [Ms])

ESTRELA, Edite [Mme]

EVANS, Nigel [Mr]

FATALIYEVA, Sevinj [Ms] (PASHAYEVA, Ganira [Ms])

FIALA, Doris [Mme]

FILIPOVSKI, Dubravka [Ms] (PANTIĆ PILJA, Biljana [Ms])

FOURNIER, Bernard [M.]

FRESKO-ROLFO, Béatrice [Mme]

FRIDEZ, Pierre-Alain [M.]

GAFAROVA, Sahiba [Ms]

GALE, Roger [Sir]

GAMBARO, Adele [Ms]

GATTI, Marco [M.]

GAVAN, Paul [Mr]

GENTVILAS, Simonas [Mr] (TAMAŠUNIENĖ, Rita [Ms])

GHILETCHI, Valeriu [Mr]

GILLAN, Cheryl [Dame]

GIRO, Francesco Maria [Mr]

GLASOVAC, Sabina [Ms] (BALIĆ, Marijana [Ms])

GOGA, Pavol [M.] (MAROSZ, Ján [Mr])


GOLUB, Vladyslav [Mr] (GERASHCHENKO, Iryna [Mme])

GONÇALVES, Carlos Alberto [M.]


GORGHIU, Alina Ștefania [Ms]


GRAF, Martin [Mr]

GRECH, Etienne [Mr] (CUTAJAR, Rosianne [Ms])

GROSDIDIER, François [M.]



HAJDUKOVIĆ, Domagoj [Mr]

HAJIYEV, Sabir [Mr]

HEER, Alfred [Mr]

HEINRICH, Frank [Mr] (MARSCHALL, Matern von [Mr])

HEINRICH, Gabriela [Ms]

HONKONEN, Petri [Mr] (KALMARI, Anne [Ms])

HOPKINS, Maura [Ms]

HOWELL, John [Mr]

HOYO, Belén [Ms] (GARCÍA HERNÁNDEZ, José Ramón [Mr])

HUNKO, Andrej [Mr]

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

HUSEYNOV, Rafael [Mr]

IBRYAMOV, Dzheyhan [Mr] (HAMID, Hamid [Mr])

JABLIANOV, Valeri [Mr]

JANSSON, Eva-Lena [Ms] (KARLSSON, Niklas [Mr])

JENIŠTA, Luděk [Mr]

JENSEN, Mogens [Mr]


JONES, Susan Elan [Ms]

KANDELAKI, Giorgi [Mr] (BAKRADZE, David [Mr])


KASSEGGER, Axel [Mr] (HAIDER, Roman [Mr])

KAVVADIA, Ioanneta [Ms]

KELLEHER, Colette [Ms] (COWEN, Barry [Mr])

KERN, Claude [M.] (GOY-CHAVENT, Sylvie [Mme])

KITEV, Betian [Mr]


KOBZA, Jiři [Mr] (NĚMCOVÁ, Miroslava [Ms])

KOPŘIVA, František [Mr]

KOVÁCS, Elvira [Ms]

KOX, Tiny [Mr]

KÜRKÇÜ, Ertuğrul [Mr]


LACROIX, Christophe [M.]


LEŚNIAK, Józef [M.] (POMASKA, Agnieszka [Ms])




LUCHERINI, Carlo [Mr] (ZAMPA, Sandra [Ms])

LUCIO, Pilar [Ms] (RODRÍGUEZ RAMOS, Soraya [Mme])

LUPU, Marian [Mr]

MANNINGER, Jenő [Mr] (GULYÁS, Gergely [Mr])

MARKOVIĆ, Milica [Mme]

MASIULIS, Kęstutis [Mr] (BUTKEVIČIUS, Algirdas [Mr])

MASSEY, Doreen [Baroness]


MEIMARAKIS, Evangelos [Mr]

MIKKO, Marianne [Ms]

MULARCZYK, Arkadiusz [Mr]

MUNYAMA, Killion [Mr] (HALICKI, Andrzej [Mr])


NENUTIL, Miroslav [Mr]

NICK, Andreas [Mr]

NICOLINI, Marco [Mr] (D’AMBROSIO, Vanessa [Ms])

OBRADOVIĆ, Marija [Ms]


OBREMSKI, Jarosław [Mr] (BUDNER, Margareta [Ms])

OSUCH, Jacek [Mr] (MILEWSKI, Daniel [Mr])

OVERBEEK, Henk [Mr] (MULDER, Anne [Mr])



POCIEJ, Aleksander [M.] (KLICH, Bogdan [Mr])

POLIAČIK, Martin [Mr] (KAŠČÁKOVÁ, Renáta [Ms])

POPA, Ion [M.] (PRUNĂ, Cristina-Mădălina [Ms])

PREDA, Cezar Florin [M.]

RAUCH, Isabelle [Mme] (SORRE, Bertrand [M.])

REISS, Frédéric [M.] (ABAD, Damien [M.])

RIBERAYGUA, Patrícia [Mme]

ROCA, Jordi [Mr] (MATARÍ, Juan José [M.])


SANDBĆK, Ulla [Ms] (KRARUP, Marie [Ms])

SANTA ANA, María Concepción de [Ms]

SANTERINI, Milena [Mme]

SCHENNACH, Stefan [Mr]

SCHIEDER, Andreas [Mr] (ESSL, Franz Leonhard [Mr])

SCHMIDT, Frithjof [Mr]

SCHOU, Ingjerd [Ms]

SCHWABE, Frank [Mr]

SEKULIĆ, Predrag [Mr]

ŠEPIĆ, Senad [Mr]

SILVA, Adăo [M.]

SOBOLEV, Serhiy [Mr]

SOTNYK, Olena [Ms]

STANĚK, Pavel [Mr]

ȘTEFAN, Corneliu [Mr]

STELLINI, David [Mr]

STEVANOVIĆ, Aleksandar [Mr]

STIENEN, Petra [Ms]

STIER, Davor Ivo [Mr]

STRIK, Tineke [Ms]

STROE, Ionuț-Marian [Mr]

ŞUPAC, Inna [Ms]

TARCZYŃSKI, Dominik [Mr]

THIÉRY, Damien [M.]

TOMIĆ, Aleksandra [Ms]

TRISSE, Nicole [Mme]

TRUSKOLASKI, Krzysztof [Mr]

TSKITISHVILI, Dimitri [Mr] (PRUIDZE, Irina [Ms])

TUȘA, Adriana Diana [Ms]

TZAVARAS, Konstantinos [M.]

USOV, Kostiantyn [Mr] (ARIEV, Volodymyr [Mr])

VALLINI, André [M.] (CAZEAU, Bernard [M.])

VAREIKIS, Egidijus [Mr]

VEN, Mart van de [Mr]

VENIZELOS, Evangelos [M.] (ANAGNOSTOPOULOU, Athanasia [Ms])

VERDIER-JOUCLAS, Marie-Christine [Mme] (GAILLOT, Albane [Mme])

VILLUMSEN, Nikolaj [Mr]

VLASENKO, Sergiy [Mr] (LOGVYNSKYI, Georgii [Mr])

VOGT, Ute [Ms] (BARNETT, Doris [Ms])

VOVK, Viktor [Mr] (LIASHKO, Oleh [Mr])

WHITFIELD, Martin [Mr] (SHARMA, Virendra [Mr])

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

WOLD, Morten [Mr]

XHEMBULLA, Almira [Ms] (SHALSI, Eduard [Mr])

YEMETS, Leonid [Mr]

YENEROĞLU, Mustafa [Mr]

Also signed the register / Ont également signé le registre

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

ANTL, Miroslav [M.]

AST, Marek [Mr]


BALFE, Richard [Lord]

BAYR, Petra [Ms]

BÜCHEL, Roland Rino [Mr]

EROTOKRITOU, Christiana [Ms]

HAMOUSOVÁ, Zdeňka [Ms]

JANIK, Grzegorz [Mr]

LUNDGREN, Kerstin [Ms]

MAVROTAS, Georgios [Mr]

RUSSELL, Simon [Lord]

SHEPPARD, Tommy [Mr]

ZAVOLI, Roger [Mr]

Observers / Observateurs

DOWNE, Percy [Mr]

O’CONNELL, Jennifer [Ms]


TILSON, David [Mr]

Partners for democracy / Partenaires pour la démocratie

ALAZZAM, Riad [Mr]

AMRAOUI, Allal [M.]

CHAGAF, Aziza [Mme]

HAMIDINE, Abdelali [M.]

LABLAK, Aicha [Mme]

LEBBAR, Abdesselam [M.]

MUFLIH, Haya [Ms]

SABELLA, Bernard [Mr]

Representatives of the Turkish Cypriot Community (In accordance to Resolution 1376 (2004) of

the Parliamentary Assembly)/ Représentants de la communauté chypriote turque

(Conformément ŕ la Résolution 1376 (2004) de l’Assemblée parlementaire)

CANDAN Armağan

SANER Hamza Ersan

Appendix II /Annexe II

Representatives or Substitutes who took part in the ballot for the election of the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights and in the ballot for the election of a Judge to the European Court of Human Rights in respect of Montenegro / Représentants ou suppléants qui ont participé au vote pour l’élection du/de la Commissaire aux droits de l’homme du Conseil de l’Europe et au vote pour l’élection d’un juge ŕ la Cour européenne des droits de l’homme au titre du Monténégro

ĹBERG, Boriana [Ms]        Ć

ĆVARSDÓTTIR, Thorhildur Sunna [Ms]        A

AGHAYEVA, Ulviyye [Ms]        A

AKTAY, Yasin [Mr]        A

AMON, Werner [Mr]        A

ANAGNOSTOPOULOU, Athanasia [Ms] /VENIZELOS, Evangelos [M.]

ARIEV, Volodymyr [Mr]/ USOV, Kostiantyn [Mr]

BAKOYANNIS, Theodora [Ms]        B

BALIĆ, Marijana [Ms] / GLASOVAC, Sabina [Ms]

BARNETT, Doris [Ms] / VOGT, Ute [Ms]

BARREIRO, José Manuel [Mr] / GONZÁLEZ TABOADA, Jaime [M.]

BECHT, Olivier [M.]        B

BERNHARD, Marc [Mr]        B

BERNINI, Anna Maria [Ms] / AMORUSO, Francesco Maria [Mr]

BEUS RICHEMBERGH, Goran [Mr]        B

BEYER, Peter [Mr]        B

BLONDIN, Maryvonne [Mme]        B

BOGDANOV, Krasimir [Mr] / ALEKSANDROV, Nikolay [Mr]

BRASSEUR, Anne [Mme]        B

BURES, Doris [Ms]        B

BUSHATI, Ervin [Mr]        B

BUSHKA, Klotilda [Ms]        C

CEPEDA, José [Mr]        C

CHITI, Vannino [Mr]        C

CHRISTOFFERSEN, Lise [Ms]        C

CHUGOSHVILI, Tamar [Ms]        C

CORLĂŢEAN, Titus [Mr]        C

CORSINI, Paolo [Mr]        C

COWEN, Barry [Mr] / KELLEHER, Colette [Ms]

CSENGER-ZALÁN, Zsolt [Mr]        C

CSÖBÖR, Katalin [Mme]        D

D’AMBROSIO, Vanessa [Ms] / NICOLINI, Marco [Mr]

DAMYANOVA, Milena [Mme]        D

DE TEMMERMAN, Jennifer [Mme]        D

DIVINA, Sergio [Mr]        E

EBERLE-STRUB, Susanne [Ms]        E

EIDE, Espen Barth [Mr]        E

ESSL, Franz Leonhard [Mr] / SCHIEDER, Andreas [Mr]

ESTRELA, Edite [Mme]        F

FOURNIER, Bernard [M.]        F

FRIDEZ, Pierre-Alain [M.]        G

GAFAROVA, Sahiba [Ms]        G

GAILLOT, Albane [Mme] / VERDIER-JOUCLAS, Marie-Christine [Mme]

GALE, Roger [Sir]        G

GARCÍA HERNÁNDEZ, José Ramón [Mr] / HOYO, Belén [Ms]

GATTI, Marco [M.]        G

GERASHCHENKO, Iryna [Mme] / GOLUB, Vladyslav [Mr]

GILLAN, Cheryl [Dame]        G

GIRO, Francesco Maria [Mr]        G

GONÇALVES, Carlos Alberto [M.]        G

GOUTTEFARDE, Fabien [M.]        G

GROZDANOVA, Dzhema [Ms]        G

GULYÁS, Gergely [Mr] / MANNINGER, Jenő [Mr]

GUNNARSSON, Jonas [Mr]        G

GUZENINA, Maria [Ms] / HUOVINEN, Susanna [Ms]

HAJDUKOVIĆ, Domagoj [Mr]        H

HAJIYEV, Sabir [Mr]        H

HALICKI, Andrzej [Mr] / MUNYAMA, Killion [Mr]

HEINRICH, Gabriela [Ms]        H

HUSEYNOV, Rafael [Mr]        J

JABLIANOV, Valeri [Mr]        J

JENIŠTA, Luděk [Mr]        J

JENSEN, Mogens [Mr]        J

JONES, Susan Elan [Ms]        K

KALMARI, Anne [Ms] / HONKONEN, Petri [Mr]

KARLSSON, Niklas [Mr] / JANSSON, Eva-Lena [Ms]

KAŠČÁKOVÁ, Renáta [Ms] / POLIAČIK, Martin [Mr]

KITEV, Betian [Mr]         K

KLEINWAECHTER, Norbert [Mr]        K

KLICH, Bogdan [Mr] / POCIEJ, Aleksander [M.]

KOVÁCS, Elvira [Ms]        K

KRONBICHLER, Florian [Mr]        K


KYTÝR, Jaroslav [Mr]        L

LACROIX, Christophe [M.]        L

LAIZĀNE, Inese [Ms] / CILEVIČS, Boriss [Mr]

LEITE RAMOS, Luís [M.]        L

LIASHKO, Oleh [Mr] / VOVK, Viktor [Mr]

LĪBIŅA-EGNERE, Inese [Ms]        L

LOGVYNSKYI, Georgii [Mr] / VLASENKO, Sergiy [Mr]

LOUCAIDES, George [Mr] / EFSTATHIOU, Constantinos [Mr]

LUPU, Marian [Mr]        M

MAIRE, Jacques [M.] / COURSON, Yolaine de [Mme]

MARKOVIĆ, Milica [Mme]        M

MARQUES, Duarte [Mr] / CORREIA, Telmo [M.]

MARSCHALL, Matern von [Mr] / HEINRICH, Frank [Mr]

MASSEY, Doreen [Baroness]        M

MATARÍ, Juan José [M.] / ROCA, Jordi [Mr]

MAURY PASQUIER, Liliane [Mme]        M

MIKKO, Marianne [Ms]        M

MOTSCHMANN, Elisabeth [Ms] / HARDT, Jürgen [Mr]

MULDER, Anne [Mr] / OVERBEEK, Henk [Mr]

NAUDI ZAMORA, Víctor [M.]        N

NENUTIL, Miroslav [Mr]        N

NICK, Andreas [Mr]        O

OBRADOVIĆ, Marija [Ms]        O


PANTIĆ PILJA, Biljana [Ms] / FILIPOVSKI, Dubravka [Ms]

PASHAYEVA, Ganira [Ms] / FATALIYEVA, Sevinj [Ms]

PREDA, Cezar Florin [M.]        P

PRUIDZE, Irina [Ms] / TSKITISHVILI, Dimitri [Mr]


RIBERAYGUA, Patrícia [Mme]        R


RODRÍGUEZ RAMOS, Soraya [Mme] / LUCIO, Pilar [Ms]

SANTA ANA, María Concepción de [Ms]        S

SANTANGELO, Vincenzo [Mr] / CIMBRO, Eleonora [Ms]

SEKULIĆ, Predrag [Mr]        S

SEYIDOV, Samad [Mr]        S

SHALSI, Eduard [Mr] / XHEMBULLA, Almira [Ms]

SHARMA, Virendra [Mr] / WHITFIELD, Martin [Mr]

SILVA, Adăo [M.]        S

SMITH, Angela [Ms]        S

SOBOLEV, Serhiy [Mr]        S

SOTNYK, Olena [Ms]        S

STANĚK, Pavel [Mr]        Ș

ȘTEFAN, Corneliu [Mr]        S

STEVANOVIĆ, Aleksandar [Mr]        S

STIENEN, Petra [Ms]        S

STRIK, Tineke [Ms]        Ş

ŞUPAC, Inna [Ms]        T

TERIK, Tiit [Mr]        T

TOMIĆ, Aleksandra [Ms]        T

TRISSE, Nicole [Mme]        T

TRUSKOLASKI, Krzysztof [Mr]        T

TUȘA, Adriana Diana [Ms]        V

VAREIKIS, Egidijus [Mr]        V

VEJKEY, Imre [Mr] / BARTOS, Mónika [Ms]

WENAWESER, Christoph [Mr]        W

WILSON, Phil [Mr]        W

WOJTYŁA, Andrzej [Mr] / CZELEJ, Grzegorz [Mr]

YEMETS, Leonid [Mr]        Y

YENEROĞLU, Mustafa [Mr]        Z

ZAMPA, Sandra [Ms] /LUCHERINI, Carlo [Mr]