Credentials of Greek and Hungarian members are ratified by PACE

Strasbourg, 22.01.2012 – The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) has decided to ratify the credentials of Eleni Zaroulia and Tamás Gaudi Nagy, Greek and Hungarian members of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) whose credentials were challenged on the opening day of the session.

Making the challenges yesterday, Fiamma Nirenstein (Italy, EPP/CD) said that both members belonged to political parties which were “racist and anti-semitic” and that the values of these parties – as well as statements made by the individuals concerned – were inconsistent with Council of Europe values.

The Assembly’s Committee on Rules of Procedure, Immunities and Institutional Affairs said in an opinion, adopted this morning, that the “strict criteria” laid down in the Assembly’s rules “did not make it possible to challenge the credentials of individual members in an effective manner, so as to sanction the actions or words where these seriously and persistently violate the principles and values defended by the Council of Europe”.

It added: “The committee wishes to state, in the strongest terms, that this decision must not be interpreted as an expression of support or recognition, albeit indirect, of activities, beliefs, actions or political positions that the Parliamentary Assembly has constantly denounced throughout its 63 years of existence.”

The committee said it intends to re-examine the wording of the relevant rules in order to give due consideration to “the concerns that emerged among the members of the Assembly”.