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Written declaration No. 648 | Doc. 14459 | 19 December 2017

Defending the values and credibility of the Council of Europe

Signatories: Mr Andres HERKEL, Estonia, EPP/CD ; Ms Iwona ARENT, Poland, EC ; Mr Volodymyr ARIEV, Ukraine, EPP/CD ; Ms Eka BESELIA, Georgia, SOC ; Mr José CEPEDA, Spain, SOC ; Ms Annicka ENGBLOM, Sweden, EPP/CD ; Mr Axel FISCHER, Germany, EPP/CD ; Lord George FOULKES, United Kingdom, SOC ; Sir Roger GALE, United Kingdom, EC ; Mr Valeriu GHILETCHI, Republic of Moldova, EPP/CD ; Ms Nino GOGUADZE, Georgia, EC ; Mr Antonio GUTIÉRREZ, Spain, SOC ; Ms Maura HOPKINS, Ireland, EPP/CD ; Mr Michael Aastrup JENSEN, Denmark, ALDE ; Ms Nellija KLEINBERGA, Latvia, ALDE ; Ms Ksenija KORENJAK KRAMAR, Slovenia, ALDE ; Mr Luís LEITE RAMOS, Portugal, EPP/CD ; Mr Georgii LOGVYNSKYI, Ukraine, EPP/CD ; Ms Kerstin LUNDGREN, Sweden, ALDE ; Mr Jaak MADISON, Estonia, EC ; Mr Emanuel MALLIA, Malta, SOC ; Mr Kęstutis MASIULIS, Lithuania, EPP/CD ; Ms Martine MERGEN, Luxembourg, EPP/CD ; Ms Marianne MIKKO, Estonia, SOC ; Mr Arkadiusz MULARCZYK, Poland, EC ; Ms Ria OOMEN-RUIJTEN, Netherlands, EPP/CD ; Mr Aleksander POCIEJ, Poland, EPP/CD ; Mr Virgilijus PODERYS, Lithuania, EPP/CD ; Mr Martin POLIAČIK, Slovak Republic, ALDE ; Mr Cezar Florin PREDA, Romania, EPP/CD ; Ms Rita TAMAŠUNIENĖ, Lithuania, EC ; Mr Dominik TARCZYŃSKI, Poland, EC ; Mr Sergiy VLASENKO, Ukraine, EPP/CD ; Mr Leonid YEMETS, Ukraine, EPP/CD ; Mr Emanuelis ZINGERIS, Lithuania, EPP/CD

This written declaration commits only those who have signed it.

We reiterate that the Parliamentary Assembly is an integral part of the Council of Europe and one of its statutory bodies. Its decisions remain a powerful tool in defending human rights, democracy and the rule of law. The strength of Assembly decisions is based exclusively on its authority and will remain in force until the Assembly maintains this authority and abides by its own decisions.

We regret that certain forces are trying to undermine the authority of the Assembly and the Council of Europe as a whole, infringing the statutory foundations of the Organisation and the incontestability of the obligations under the European Convention on Human Rights.

Any attempt to restore the Russian Federation in the Assembly without the implementation of the resolutions adopted in response to the Russian aggression against Ukraine will shatter the institutional credibility of the Assembly and will cause a domino effect. Political expediency or financial viability cannot substitute the principles of the rule of law when it comes to the foundations of the Council of Europe.

We urge all members of the Assembly to do their utmost with a view to stopping this scenario, preserving the authority of the Assembly and defending our common values.