Spring session: addresses by the Prime Ministers of Armenia and Georgia

The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) will hold its spring session in Strasbourg from 8 to 12 April 2019, with addresses expected by the Prime Ministers of Armenia and Georgia. 

The Assembly will hold joint debates on stopping hate speech and acts of hatred in sport - as well as the role of political leaders in combating hate speech - and on strengthening co-operation with the UN and implementation of its Sustainable Development Goals.

There has been a request for an urgent debate on "The budgetary crisis at the Council of Europe".

Other topics to be discussed include promoting parliaments free of sexism and sexual harassment, the implications for human rights of social media, and a report on balancing the rights of parents, donors and children during the anonymous donation of sperm and oocytes.

The Assembly will also look at so-called “laundromats” and new challenges in combating organised crime and money laundering, and will take a stand on the creation of a new EU mechanism on democracy, the rule of law and fundamental rights.

The Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights will present her annual activity report for 2018 and take questions, while there will be the usual exchange of views with the current head of the Council of Europe’s ministerial body, Finnish Foreign Affairs Minister Timo Soini, and question time with Secretary General Thorbjørn Jagland.

The Assembly will decide its final agenda on the opening day of the session.

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Draft agenda

Monday 8 April
• Statement by the President
• Progress report of the Bureau and the Standing Committee
• Observation of the parliamentary elections in the Republic of Moldova (24 February 2019)
• Communication from the Committee of Ministers presented by Timo Soini, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Finland, Chairman of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe
• Annual activity report 2018 by Dunja Mijatovic, Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights and statement

Tuesday 9 April
• [Possibly] Elections of judges to the European Court of Human Rights
• Joint debate
- Strengthening co-operation with the United Nations in implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development
- Implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals: synergy needed on the part of all stakeholders, from parliaments to local authorities
• Question time with Thorbjørn Jagland, Secretary General of the Council of Europe
Establishment of a European Union mechanism on democracy, the rule of law and fundamental rights
Promoting parliaments free of sexism and sexual harassment

Wednesday 10 April
• [Possible 2nd round] Elections of judges to the European Court of Human Rights
• Joint debate
- The role and responsibilities of political leaders in combating hate speech and intolerance
- Stop hate speech and acts of hatred in sport
• Address by Mamuka Bakhtadze, Prime Minister of Georgia
Modification of various provisions of the Assembly’s Rules of Procedure
Evaluation of the partnership for democracy in respect of the Parliament of Morocco

Thursday 11 April
• [Possibly] Debate under urgent procedure or current affairs debate
• Address by Nikol Pashinyan, Prime Minister of Armenia
The situation of migrants and refugees on the Greek islands: more needs to be done
Laundromats: responding to new challenges in the international fight against crime, corruption and money laundering

Friday 12 April
Anonymous donation of sperm and oocytes: balancing the rights of parents, donors and children
Social media: social threads or threats to human rights?
• Free debate
• 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: #PACEspring2019
Press conferences: Press conferences will be announced on the spot. They are streamed live over the web.
Audiovisual: download and share clips of plenary debates from the Video on demand service (user guide), or request other audiovisual facilities.
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