Winter session: the Presidents of Armenia and Austria, Prime Minister and Crown Princess of Denmark

The Presidents of Armenia and Austria, as well as the Prime Minister and the Crown Princess of Denmark, are among VIPs to address the winter session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), which takes place in Strasbourg from 22 to 26 January 2018.

The Assembly is also due to elect its President and a new Commissioner for Human Rights.

Key debates will cover good football and modern sports governance, the humanitarian consequences of the war in Ukraine, the case for a basic citizenship income and the protection of regional and minority languages. Also due for discussion are the latest monitoring report on how far Bosnia and Herzegovina is meeting its Council of Europe obligations and commitments, as well as “periodic reviews” of the situation in Estonia, Greece, Hungary and Ireland.

The Foreign Minister of Denmark will report to the Assembly on the work of the Committee of Ministers, the Council of Europe’s executive body which he currently chairs, and respond to questions. The Secretary General of the Council of Europe will present his annual communication, and the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights will report on his activities in 2017.

Three requests for urgent debates have been received so far, two of them relating to the Israeli-Palestinian peace process and the role of the Council of Europe, and a third concerning rising anti-Semitism, Islamophobia and xenophobia in Europe.

The Assembly will decide its final agenda on the opening day of the session.
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Monday 22 January
• Opening of the part-session
• Election of the President of the Assembly
• Election of the Vice-Presidents of the Assembly
• Progress report of the Bureau and the Standing Committee
• Communication from the Secretary General of the Council of Europe, Thorbjørn Jagland
• Free debate

Tuesday 23 January
• Elections
- Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights
- Judge to the European Court of Human Rights
• The protection and promotion of regional or minority languages in Europe
• Address by HRH The Crown Princess of Denmark
• Communication from the Committee of Ministers presented by Anders Samuelsen, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Denmark, Chairman of the Committee of Ministers
• The case for a basic citizenship income
• Humanitarian consequences of the war in Ukraine

Wednesday 24 January
• Joint debate
- Working towards a framework for modern sports governance
- Good football governance
• Address by Serzh Sargsyan, President of Armenia
• Address by Lars Løkke Rasmussen, Prime Minister of Denmark
• The honouring of obligations and commitments by Bosnia and Herzegovina
• The case for drafting a European convention on the profession of lawyer

Thursday 25 January
• Debate under urgent procedure or current affairs debate
• Address by Alexander Van der Bellen, President of Austria
• Annual activity report 2017 by the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights presented by Nils Muiznieks
• The progress of the Assembly's monitoring procedure (January-December 2017) and the periodic review of the honouring of obligations by Estonia, Greece, Hungary and Ireland
• Protecting children affected by armed conflicts

Friday 26 January
• Jurisdictional immunity of international organisations and rights of their staff
• Strengthening international regulations against trade in goods used for torture and the death penalty
• Progress report of the Bureau and the Standing Committee (continued)

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Practical information

Live web stream: The session is streamed live on PACE’s website.
Twitter: #PACEwinter2018
Press conferences: Press conferences will be announced on the spot. They are streamed live over the web.
For TV planning units: audiovisual facilities: videos in broadcast quality summing up PACE highlights can be downloaded for free. Contact: TVCoord@coe.int
For press accreditation: Directorate of Communication, please fill in the form
Further details: see the Assembly's website.
Contact: PACE Communication Division, tel. +33 3 88 41 31 93; pace.com@coe.int